Taking Nothing Away From The Indians, The Sri Lankans Let Themselves Be Beaten!
Posted on November 28th, 2009

Top Spin By Suni Nov.27th 2009

Indian cricket is now basking in the euphoria of the latest crushing innings win over Sri Lanka but hopefully not for long if the Sri Lankan’s re-group knowing fully well they have the potential to lick the Indians themselves where the potential needs to be supplementd by tangible performance.
That is if the inner sanctum of the Sri Lankan cricketing hierarchy corrects a few muddling decisions indicative  not only of muddling but apparently also of meddling  towards the smooth functioning of an otherwise well geared team where blatant ommissions of a few key players perhaps tell a sorry tale towards the lack of full potency.
Taking nothing away from the fine performance of the Indians however, the Lankans let themselves be beaten through what appears to be a lackadaisical performance and a lacklustre leadership!
Perhaps the experience of Chaminda Vaas, Jehan Mubarak, Pervaiz Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando and the strike capacity of Lasith Malinga (unless of course it is injury which has circumvented his ommission ) should have been points to ponder upon when taking on the Indians with their big guns!
Next on to Skipper Sangakkara whose own personal performances seem to be declining having had the laurels of captaincy thrust on him ( apparently a common Lankan ‘malaise’!)where the Sangakkara banter which at times seems perfunctory increases and the scorebook has little or nothing to show against his name in a consistent sense, making the more discerning to long for the day when another with the Arjuna Ranatunga  coolness and savvy might emerge! Wishful thinking although this seems to be!
In reflection, neither Hashan Tillekeratne, Marvan Atapattu, Sanatha Jayasuriya nor Mahela Jayawardena in order of ascendency ever came close to the Ranatunga magic where to the contrary their own performance ratings too dropped having been weighted with the yoke of responsibility but that isn’t all whats wrong with the Lankans currently touring India.
There seem to be many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ emanating from the Sri Lankan camp particularly from skipper Sangakkara who says “If we had won the toss and batted first on the wicket and got a decent amount of runs on the board our spinners would have been quite a threat on this track,” which is pure conjecture on his part as he has been proven wrong about his choice of 3 spinners by the sheer gutsy performance of  Indian speedster Sreesanth who virtually came out of retirement~ gave an excellent display of reverse swing( must surely have irked Chaminda Vaas at his exclusion!) where in similar token another quickie in the Lankan attack might have made a difference, what with the all round potential of some who were sidelined and that too with a proven track record?
As for the “decent amount of runs on the board ” alluded to, that too is speculative as the top order batsmen squandered their wickets on a batting track which proved true to the very end if Samaraweera’s stoic innings is anything to judge by! Even tail enders like Murali and Mendis showed that the track had no real terrors in it towards proof of the pudding which crumbled in the faces of the Lankans in the end!!
With all due respect to our national Skipper,these are very poor excuses from a world class cricketer spearheading a world class group of cricketers “It would have been very hard to score runs off them as well. The chances that we did create were not taken by us, allowing the Indian batsmen to get away on a really flat track. 400 runs on the first day was a little too much.” end quote where the only thing which seemed to be lacking was motivation and drive which our dear Mr Sangakkara may perhaps have to work on  for the future of Sri Lankan cricket or else hand over the baton to someone more capable, case in point for the hierarchy to note. The drubbing of the nature of the latest one at the hands of a regular bunch of (certainly not phenomenal!!) Indian players where the Lankans could match player for player easily ~ performance wise and perhaps even go one up on them if they chose to judging by their performances in the previously drawn test!
However  there is a  dilemma for Sri Lanka in the low key performance of superstar Muttiah Muralidaran.The inability for him to provide the breakthroughs for the Lankans has been telling and one which hopefully is a temporary one perhaps related to the gamesmanship clause alluded to previously relative to locally manufactured cricket balls and wickets doctored to suit the Indians albeit the speculations involved  being just that!.
Quoting Saadi Thowfeek’s recent insert in the local media refering to Sangakkara’s comment that “It does become a concern when your star strike bowler is not really picking up the wickets you know he can, but he is still the best bowler that’s played the game. You still have to have faith in him and trust him and back him 100% to do the job because he is going to do it at one point, hopefully in the next Test.” There has to be optimism that the Lankans and Murali will bounce back!


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