SRI LANKAN CRICKET- HOPELESS MIDDLE ORDER
Posted on February 27th, 2011

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

Arjuna Ranatunga, even though is on the wrong end of political aspirations, is definitely a lover of Sri Lanka.   Most recently  AR correctly pointed out the fact that middle order of Sri Lankan batting line up is weak and either Sangakkara or Jayawardena  should bat down the batting order.

We have depended too much on Angelow Mathews and Tissara Perera.  We have exposed them too early to the highest grade of international cricket.  If the team had the players of the caliber of Sanath Jayasuriya, he would have taken valuable number of wickets restricting Pakis to a far lesser number of runs.   Sanath, extremely physically and mentally fit player for his age, would have made a great contribution and an impact with the bat as well.   He is a great fighter, leaving him out of the squad was one of the greatest  mistakes of selectors.  

Dilshan continue with his poor performance and Upul Tharanga is slow to attack.  On paper it looked  like the Sri Lankan Team was well balanced, but in  practice their weaknesses  were exposed by Pakis.

At the moment we have only two batsmen that we can depend upon, i.e. Kumar and Mahela.  Young man Chamara was a “Thathtu” batsman not scoring fast enough.  Kapugedera and Samaraweera are not reliable.

In all, our batting and bowling cannot be matched with  our   1996  team standards.  We haven’t got the right chemistry, we don’t have experienced all rounders.   What is happening to Sri Lankan cricket is very sad.

There are two persons who could put things right for Sri Lankan cricket .  That is Arjuna Ranatunga on the cricket administration and Sanath Jayasuriya on the field!  Either of these two options should take place immediately, if Sri Lanka to move forward in this tournament.

8 Responses to “SRI LANKAN CRICKET- HOPELESS MIDDLE ORDER”

  1. Nanda Says:

    Dissa Ayya,
    There you go again.

    ” If the team had the players of the caliber of Sanath Jayasuriya, he would have taken valuable number of wickets restricting Pakis to a far lesser number of runs. Sanath, extremely physically and mentally fit player for his age, would have made a great contribution and an impact with the bat as well. He is a great fighter, leaving him out of the squad was one of the greatest mistakes of selectors. ”

    What is your special relationship with Jayasooriya ? Cricket is not a fitness game it require skill. Your pet Jaya’s time is over.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Moreover, Arjuna is a selfish bastard. He is not a lover of Sri lanka. He betrayed his country. Send him to jail to have fun with Fonseka.

  3. ranjit Says:

    MDP YOU ARE WRONG. Sanath & Ranatunga’s time is over in Sri Lanka cricket. Everyone has to understand that. Our team is good and they were playing good but in cricket sometimes we win sometimes we lose that’s cricket. So dont think Jayasooriya can do wonders which he did in the past at this age. They should retire like a Gentleman because this is a Gentleman’s game. They should not be greedy for money and try stay there for ever.Youngsters must give a chance. If we win nobody will tell anything.That’s the habit of human beings. Always complain when go down. Both openers are the best and the batting line up is good and we should play Lasith Malinga for every match.He is a match winner. We shouldnt take risky runs and get out.This is world cup.We should start hammering from the start same like England did yesterday and Jayasooriya and Kalu did in 1996. Chamara is very good only thing he waste time to get runs.He must bat the same way he did in the beginning.

    Nanda you are correct in your words. Both of them were selfish and greedy for money. They were good and they both did something for the country that is different story but now they should stay on the side and watch what our youngsters do in the field or they should spend their wealth on cricket or give to poor in the country without enjoying alone. Let’s give our fullest support for the team and encourage them to play positive cricket and win the game. We should not be like India always thinking and dreaming that they have already won the world cup. Our team can do it and they will do it.Our sincere blessing for the whole team. Hope everyone will give their best for our hero Muttiah on his last world cup and send him for retirement in style. He deserves it. God Bless our team.

  4. Sri Rohana Says:

    Dear Mr Dissanayake! I agree with your article about Sanath Jayasooriya. He is yet our Tendulkar and our Vivien Richards. Unfortunately due to political rivalry some Sri Lankans are against Sanath. I noticed that Daily Mirror readers and Sunday Leader readers are dead against Sanath as they are mostly Fonseka / Ranil/LTTE supporters. In this crucial time for some Lankan’s political affiliation is more important than the country. I cannot see any reason why selectors dropped Sanath and Vaz out from the team. This is mainly Ranatunga’s influence.
    Vaz is world’s most accurate bowler but selectors have not considered him. Now we already paid for that decision last Saturday against Pakistan. The way we played last Saturday Australia and New Zealand matches are not easy to us. If we loose those two matches where we going to stand. But we are not too late to bring that world best one day all rounder Sanath and world’s most accurate bowler Vaz’s experience to Sri Lanka team.

    Ranjith! Cricket is not a gentlemen game as you think. Can’t you remember match-fixing dramas in every team? Hansy Cronje, Azarudeen, Jadeja, Kapil Dev, Salman Butt, banned and Hershel Gibbs, our 2 A’s were to question by Indian detectives?

  5. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Mr Dissanayake’s observations need to be out into perspective as pretty perceptive albeit not entirely gospel. We as Lankans however need to show a bit of unity and decorum about references to once revered and adulated players of the past like Arjuna and Sanath who despite their political affiliations of today( WHICH NEED TO BE CAST ASIDE WITH NO JAIL TERMS!) were of the same mould as BRILLIANT cricketers then and Jayasuriya and Vaas still are on a scale of ten compared with some of the less deserving in the side.Although it is speculation about what might have happened had they Been in on the Pakistan game they would probably have made an appreciable difference based on experience and skills ~ and please dont refer to the Pakistanis as’ Pakis’ which is a universally condemned racial slur and these are a wonderful bunch of guys by comparison with another lot from the same part of the sub-continent whose egos are as big as coconuts and need to be brought down a peg or two, hopefully by the Lankans when they play them soon! True enough the game involves more gamesmanship than sportsmanship today but blame that on the professionalism factor and big money involved where the euphemism ” gentlemen tend to forget themselves when the bucks are big” seems applicable. It may be a fortuitous move if it is in anyway possible to bring in Arjuna as CEO of SL Cricket and indeed find a means to play both Jayasuriya and Vaas for the rest of the World Cup and there are ways and means of wangling this, just ask the master craftsman Nishantha Ranatunga! By the way that ” coconut sized ego” analogy might also be applicable to the present chairman of selectors whose administrative and selective skills don’t appear to be that much more than a chameleon’s. It may also be further prudence to reiterate Mr. Dissanayakes suggestion about sending Sanga and Mahela a bit lower down the order to bolster the batting if the openers are rock solid although the running between wickets probably needs assistance from motors installed on the derrieres of some of the players and a back to kindergarten re the- striker non striker call.

  6. sanath sirisena Says:

    We lost the game because we failed in our batting. mahila & Thilan’s failure cost the game. Sangakkara got out at the wrong time playing a careless shot and Chamara batting well also got out in a very foolish way. Yes we were uder pressure when we lost mahila and Thilan and that led Chamara to be slow as he did not want to take any risks when he came to bat. Still we were shaping up well till Sangakkara gave his wicket away. Both chamara and Sangakkara are capable in scoring runs at a high rate in the last ten overs . My opinion is that losing Sangakkara’ s wicket led to the disaster. Just imagine the way a tail ender Kulasekera the way he scored It was a treat to watch how this guy played placing his shots and scoring many runs as possible. My hats off to him Well done Kule. What if Sangakkara stayed there for that no of overs. So we got to play the game without panicking. If one fails the other got go and play the game.

    I still feel that Sanath J’s presence (if he is still fit to play) would have made a difference as all of us have experieced in the past, where Sanath contributed in both batting and bowling. Thats what India doing with the inclusion of Tanderlukar. Experience counts a lot at this level.

    Anyway lets not get panicked. We got to cheer out team and give them the fullest support to ensure that we win the world cup. Thats our aim.

  7. Sri Rohana Says:

    MDP I agree with you what you said of Sanath. But I have a doubt that Arjuna a good cricket administrator. He was a good cricketer as well as good captain that I admit without any argument. But 1996 world cup winning team planned by then cricket board chairman Mr. Ana Punchihewa. He who took the chairmanship with a plan to make SL cricket team best one day as well as best test cricket team. At that time we were sincerely just a second-class cricket team.
    Ana hired Dave Wattmore from Australia and made a new concept in cricket coaching pattern. After then most countries started to hire foreign coaches. Dave Wattmore was the best coach we had so far. Without any favor he trained every member of the team equally. Swimming, sprint, as well as fitness had to maintain. Dave changed the traditional batting order and brought Sanath as an opener then the result was world one-day cricket pattern also changed by Sanath.
    In 1996 world cup winning credit now take only by Arjuna but it should give to entire team + Ana Punchihewa and Dave Wattmore. Instead of giving a due respect to Ana Punchihewa our cricket board not allowed him to contest again as a chairman. Then appointed a businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa. The next scenario was to cancel the Dave Wattmore’s contract as a coach. What an ungrateful Sri Lanka cricket board. As a captain A.R also backed the cricket mafia gang. Only Gurusingha defended Dave but then they chopped him too.
    In 2000 world cup, under Arjuna’s captaincy his team knocked out from the tournament’s first stages and Ganguly and Dravid made a world record against Sri Lanka. What happened to his captaincy? This is the era all Ranatunga’s were in the team. Arjuna, Prasanna, Dhammika, Nishantha and Sanjiwa. Only exclusion was Reggie. Is this a good administrator’s quality?
    Roshan Mahanama and Ruwan Kalpage were two talented cricketers had to give up cricket due to personal harassment from A.R. In one test match A.R told Roshan before he go for batting “go and play your last match” This was the match Roshan and Sanath made a world record partnership against India.
    In 2007 world cup he predicted that India and Australia for finals and SL knocked at the first stages. But India knocked from the first stages and SL came for finals. What a cricket administrator. His tail was between legs for few months.
    A.R’s agenda in cricket is two sided. First he and Aravinda doesn’t like any other SL captain win the world cup again. This time we had a balanced team with Sanath and Vaz. Sanath, Dilshan, Tharanga, Kumar, Mahela, Thilan(/Chamara/Kapu), Mattews, Vaz, Lasith, Nuwan(/ Herath), Murali. But he and his mates, Daily mirror, Sunday Leader changed it very tactfully. We may not get such a balance team in future.
    A.R doesn’t want SL to win world cup, as they fear that if world cup wins it can be a political victory for the present government. As a Fonseka /UNP/TNA supporter A.R don’t want to give a credit to Sri Lanka at this moment. A.R and anti SL faction won their agenda without any difficulty. In that concept he is a good administrator.

  8. cassandra Says:

    The brittleness of Sri Lanka’s middle order was only too obvious in the game against Pakistan but the answer to the team’s woes in this area, does not lie in bringing back Sanath Jayasuriya. Sanath has been a great servant of Sri Lankan cricket and will always occupy a special place in the hearts of SL cricket fans. Even the greatest of players cannot go on forever, and however sad it is to acknowledge, we need to recognize that one day they need to step down and make way for younger players. And, as we have seen, Sanath’s performances in recent times do not justify his selection in the SL team.

    Nanda has seen fit to say “Arjuna is a selfish bastard. He is not a lover of Sri Lanka. He betrayed his country. Send him to jail to have fun with Fonseka.” This is most unkind. No doubt we all recall how Arjuna stood up for Murali, when umpire Ross Emerson no-balled him at the MCG in 1999. In doing so, Arjuna put his own cricketing future on the line. Readers can make up their own minds on whether this was the conduct of a “selfish bastard”. Arguably, if Arjuna did not stand up for his bowler that day, Murali’s international cricketing career may well have ended soon after.

    I don’t know in what way Arjuna is supposed to have “betrayed his country”. You may think that choosing to throw in his lot politically with Sarath Fonseka is perhaps not the smartest thing to have done. But that does not amount to treachery nor justify him being sent to “jail to have fun with Fonseka”

    I see that along with Arjuna, Aravinda has also come in for adverse comment. But whatever their detractors may choose to say, their record of service to SL cricket and their performances on the cricket field on behalf of their country will endure. 15 years ago SL won the World Cup. Credit for that is due to a whole lot of people. But let us not forget the very significant contribution made by these two players towards that victory

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