SRI LANKAN CRICKET-WE NEED ELEVEN SANATH JAYASURIYA’S
Posted on May 14th, 2010

BY DR M D P DISSANAYAKE

Sri Lankan cricket rankings have been fluctuating like Japanese Yen currency, for the past several years.  This is a reflection of our teams overall performances in all forms of cricket. It is sad to notice that the team hasn’t got the “killer instinct”.  On a good day, the team is extremely good and on a bad day, they are like wooden spoons.

 In contrast, teams such Australia and New Zealand have maintained consistency in their performances in all three departments of bowling, batting and fielding.  Australia did suffer series of set backs during past 2 years, yet they grouped themselves quickly and adapted to the situations.   It is an amazing team, their tactics are by far the best in the world.  They never press the “panic” button, placing confidence on all batters.  Even in a worst case scenario, Mitchell Johnson can be relied upon to score runs and reach the target.  Loss of early wickets is not a worry for Australia in most matches.  They do not rely on few “big names”, everyone in the team is a “big name” in all  three departments.

 Sri Lankan teams main weakness is lack of patience and too much reliance  on big names. If big names are back in the shed,  the rest of the team becomes extremely exposed and vulnerable.  Our strengths associated with the “big name ” players  have become our weakness.  They all come in a queue one after another, and they all go back to the shed with fewer runs on the board.  The batting order is not blended with experienced players and young players.  In the most recently concluded T20 semi final, Sanath, Mahela, Dilshan and Kamar all came into bat one after another and they all went back to the pavilion in disgust. 

 With the world cup of ODI only a year away, we need to build on our strengths and reduce weaknesses.  The comments before the commencement of a match by the Skipper shows a glorious picture but without deliverables. 

 Since the appointment of Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lankan cricket team has performed just as badly as some of the other minnows. Trevor Bayliss in his days was never an elite player in Australia, compared many other top class performers. Never played a test match or an ODI.  Since his appointment in August 2007, Sri Lankan team has been struggling to win matches.  When compared with the tenure in office of Tim Moody and David Whatmore, Trevor’s performances have so far been a disaster.

 Today Sri Lanka  is ranked No. 6 in ODI, followed by Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Kenya. 

 Moving to 2011 world cup competition for Sri Lanka is an uphill battle.  The current coach need to be replaced immediately, if David Whatmore is available, he is the best candidate.  David prefers Sri Lanka, he loves our country.  He should be recruited, not just for World Cup, but for a longer duration.

 Finally, our current squad is quite capable of delivering the goods.  Though some people are bashing Sanath Jayasuriya, I think we need not just One Sanath Jayasuriya, but we need 11 Sanath Jayasuriya’s.

One Response to “SRI LANKAN CRICKET-WE NEED ELEVEN SANATH JAYASURIYA’S”

  1. cassandra Says:

    Sorry, Doc, but you have got the prescription wrong this time. We are not dealing here with a patient afflicted with ‘the runs’ – but one who cannot get them!

    There are many reasons for Australia’s continued success at the top. Political interference with appointments at Cricket Australia and of the national selectors and team selection is certainly not one of them. And Australia does not continue to play cricketers who are clearly over the hill.

    Sri Lanka’s weaknesses go beyond a lack of patience and a reliance on ‘big names’. How about the lack of real quality except in the case of a few players? How about poor team selection? How about the poor starts to games because the wrong players are sent in to open? The weaknesses are many. By the way, if the ‘big names’ fail, do you expect the lesser players to win games for them? Mitchell Johnson is not just another lower order player. He is a very good batsman, almost in the all-rounder class, and the way he often plays a match winning innings only demonstrates the depth of talent in the Australian team.

    Sure, the SL team did well when Davenell Whatmore and Tom Moody were coaching the team. But please don’t make a scapegoat of Trevor Bayliss, the current coach, for the present failures of the SL cricket team.

    The quality of the coach’s own playing experience is not the sole test of his coaching ability. So, Bayliss “never played a test match or an ODI”? For that matter, neither did the former Australian coach John Buchanan. And yet, under his watch, Australia won a record 16 test matches on the trot, 24 one day Internationals and 2 successive One Day World Cups! Not a bad record, eh? Contrast that with how India fared when Greg Chappell was their national coach. Not many can match Greg Chappell’s stellar international cricketing career. But his impressive CV did not guarantee the success of the Indian team. Neither has Tom Moody, who was the Western Australian coach, been able to save his side from having three disastrous seasons. A coach can only do so much with a group of adults. He can only work with the players he has got and within the constraints of their abilities and their capacity and willingness to learn.

    You say the “current squad is quite capable of delivering the goods”. Such confidence is admirable but I would like to see some real evidence to corroborate such faith. As for your final comment, it seems inconsistent, having cited the success of the Australian team, to say we need not one but 11 Sanath Jayasuriyas. That might have made sense 15 years ago. Not today.

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