Crawling To The Top Of The Rankings First By Contentious Means And Next By Scratching, Scraping And Stonewalling Does Not Make South Africa Top Dog!
Posted on July 30th, 2014

Top Spin By Suni

July 30th 2014

The Cricketing World  in the aftermath of the drawn Test in Colombo are probably quizzically reading all the acollades the South Africans are being bestowed with, that they have regained No1. asTest cricketers but how they got there is another story in the minds of the observant and discerning followers of the game some of whom appear quite incensed at the injustice of it all.

 To call it a fair and square means would sound Gothamic Wisdom when considering the desperations shown by South Africa towards how they would secure their drop in the ratings which by itself seems a joke as the ICC in its manipulative best need to be described as partisan and biased where favoured teams get more Tests than others and Sri Lanka had fairness prevailed should by rights not only have walked off with wins in both Tests but should have been in a position to eventually reach for the top of the rankings which will surely follow given their present form.

And  If poetic justice is done and the Proteas are  crushed by the Aussies in their forthcoming meeting it would be a deserving vindication for Sri Lanka.

 In the Galle Test which should have been declared null and void if any sense towards rationality had prevailed as Vernon Philander was caught on camera tampering eith the ball yet getting past the adjudicators where a vicious reverse swing in ite aftermath appeared to change the outcome of the game with one of the world’s best ~ Steyn then doing the needful to skittle out the Lankans, something acknowledgecd albeit inadvertently by Sri Lanka skipper Matthews and visible to the plain eye also.

Sadly cricket appears to be dealing with the bourgeoisie ICC here whose cronyism and jingoism is becoming a sickening recurrence in the cricketing world of today where five Test Series seem to be reserved for the favoured few, four test series a thing of the past and Sri Lanka would have probably settled for a third although academic at the close of the second Test as the curators of the wicket as well as the blockhead selectors had already messed it up real good for the Lankans.

There are vociferous  criticisms for the failure to include a second pacie in the Colombo Test for whatever it was worth according to some critics who may not be that far wrong as Prasad or Welagedera have often proved their mettle even on dead wickets through sheer line and length and Ajantha Mendis’ inclusion somewhat questionable through his incapacity to penetrate the dour batting.Perhaps the injured Lakmal too could have been a factor despite being water under the bridge.

 In Colombo the wicket prepared was surely done to suit Sri Lanka’s spinners( no one’s admitting it of course!) and the Lankans  who toiled  and almost made it over the finishing line were foiled by the curators touch which seemed to have slowed the wicket down to a snail’s pace as the Saffies dug in where despite the drastic turn and skidding at times, was not enough to scuttle the tail and provided ample time for the batsmen to get behind the ball and play it dead for hours on end which was exactly what happened despite Sri Lanka having them on the ropes and eventually running out of time.

Perhaps one is inclined to observe that all the hoopla and hype going on about the South Africans regaining first place in the Test Rankings seems somewhat of a joke given all the pertinent details outlined which make them undeserving but for a measly statistic involving a tampered win and a listless draw for which only the Lankans have themselves realistically to blame with a little help from the Selectors as well as ~

you guessed it !~ the ICC not forgetting the staff responsible for the mealy wicket at the SSC.!  

Despite the loss the Sri Lankans have shown their potential to be world beaters again where they stood up to the firepower of the world’st rated pacies and almost humbled them. Sadly, fortune and some of the umpiring decisions also did not favour them where so called elite panel umpired seemed to bungle not only in broad daylight but also from behind the viewing panel of the third ump and match referee which is somewhat apathetic and unpardonable as these are individuals with skill, training and perfectly functioning faculties it is hoped.

Therefore it seems fair dinkum to say that  : Crawling To The Top Of The Rankings First By Contentious Means And Next By Scratching, Scraping9 all respective puns in place) And Stonewalling Does Not Make South Africa Top Dog but a bunch of opportunists and manipulators to whom a loss was unthinkable!

And to the Sri Lankans a big pat on the back for trying and hopefully better luck against Pakistan who most definitely are a classier lot than some others!!

10 Responses to “Crawling To The Top Of The Rankings First By Contentious Means And Next By Scratching, Scraping And Stonewalling Does Not Make South Africa Top Dog!”

  1. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Anither interesting feature missed in this post is Angelo Mathews not bowling.
    Wonder if spme past injury cautioned ihim as he did bowl pretty well in the Galle Test
    with a fair measure of success!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    SL too has to play BY THE MAXIMUM TOLERABLE LIMIT of rules. We must stretch the rules.

    The SPIRIT OF THE GAME IS DEAD.

    Some actions of Matthews is STRANGE. Particularly bowling changes!! I guess he has his own logic. When other bowlers couldn’t take wickets as fast as required, he should have bowled.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Copy GERMANY in soccer world cup. OPPORTUNISTIC at its BEST. That’s the way to go. BIG NAMES count for nothing. Neymar was injured and BRAZIL collapsed.

    IF I were a SL bowler, I would have bowled BOUNCERS to Styn in the FIRST test. Injure him early and the series is ours!!

    I’m 100% sure this is what Australia plans when Endia tours Australia JUST BEFORE the WC. If Kohli is injured by a JONSON bouncer, Endia is DOOMED in the WC. IF JONHSON is injured and out of action that is a HUGE loss to his team.

  4. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    The last Lankan bowler capable of injuring anyone least of all Steyn was Rumesh Ratnayake who did a number on Clive LLoyds West Indians too and that speaks a lot about how aggressive he was when he sent a few to hospital.
    Lasith Malinga could be coached to deliver thunderbolts at helmets and body armour perhaps but he has opted out of Tests.
    Sri Lanka needs strike bowlers at Test level and hope our Matara mauler pays some attention to the importance of looking for a few Kehelgamuwa, Yatawara type speedsters who could make batsmen cringe!
    Inclined to agree that given tha manner in which Steyn, Philander and co. intimidate batsmen with bouncers they need a tase of their own medicine and they are definitely going to get this from the Aussies.Mitchell Johnson is a tough cookie who will hardly be intimidated by any quickie being a pretty good one himself and should really have a go at scaring the daylights out of the Saffies in the forthcoming series.Would love to see that although I wouldn’t want to see anyone get hurt as that’s not what cricket is all about~ Gone are the days of Larwood, Tyson, Lillee and Thompson and thankfully so! Aravinda needs to get involved with the coaching to teach our batsmen the fine art of handling bouncers remembering his scintillating performances during our World Cuo winning performance!in the 90s. Apparently India is currently getting a hammering at the hands of England!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Sunil,

    Absolutely.

    We need a FAST bowler or two. Our fast bolwers are AGEING and SLOWING.

    But I disagree on the just not cricket part. ANYTHING is cricket as long as its within the RULES. The spirit of the game is long dead. Everyone plays to WIN by whatever legal means. People watch it stayign overnight to see SL WIN.

  6. NAK Says:

    Sri lankan team has to bear the fair share of the blame for the loss of the series. Two most senior players in the team Sanga in the first innings and and Mahela in the second threw their wickets inexplicably. Mathews chose not to bowl when his services were clearly needed.
    Having said that, it is hard for any team to play against fifteen people and win.
    Umpiring was horrible to say the least and Nigel Llong in particular was pathetic. They collectively made a mockery of DRS. Giving all the marginal decisions against Sri Lanka,Sri lanka exhausted their reviews in no time. Mean while Kettleborrough gave an LBW going way down the leg just to show that DRS is functional while being certain that SA was not affected.
    Dickwella was fined for the same offence that Gary Ballance was let off with out any punishment and the SLC is mum on everything. Look how BCCI is taking the case for Jadeja.
    Haysman finally had to give in on the DRS saying that it has to be redone collectively by all parties but I doubt if the big three will allow such a thing. Actually there is not much to be changed in the DRS. It only needs the veto,which they use in a partisan manner,given to the on field umpire removed.
    Finally,Congratulations to South Africa on their being NO1 in test cricket,by hook or crook.

  7. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Excellent analysis NAK.
    Exposing the double standards by the ICC and match referees are spot on.
    The crappy umpiring and the need to re-vamp the DRS are glaring. Maybe there should be more than two reviews per innings and not having to wait till 85 overs have passed. The elite panel of umpires should consist only of the elite like Dharmasena, Dar and a few others certainly not Bowden Kettleborough and LLong who tend to be elite partisans and act like blinkered deaf mutes at times when making decisions .
    And I hate to say this but Angelo M despite his class and talents played too defensive in Colombo and did not strike while the iron was hot and neither did he push hard enough to get restitution for the Philander ball tampering which had it been a Sri Lankan involved might have been another story!!

  8. cassandra Says:

    Philander’s ball tampering took the gloss off South Africa’s first Test win, and SL came within an ace of squaring the series at the SSC. It was a very close series, and the SL players can hold their heads high. Deep down, however, they will not begrudge South Africa taking the series 1-0.

    As for the Test rankings, I am sure those who devised the formula to determine the rankings, have factored in as many relevant considerations as possible, and one cannot quarrel with the SA, Australia and England being listed in the first three positions. I would also say that South Africa and Australia are rightly ranked as the top two. As to which team is No 1 is debateable. I’d say that Australia can claim that honour. In Australia’s most recent series its victories have been quite emphatic and the margins of victory significant. South Africa’s record is less impressive. If SA had lost at the SSC it will have lost its No 1 ranking. To me it seems less than satisfactory that the No 1 position hinged on the outcome of a two game Test series. Indeed, I’d say that every Test series should cover three games, at a minimum.

    The top team rankings should not be a matter of great concern to SL, however. Those concerned need to now learn from what’s happened in the two games, note the good things SL did and the areas where it failed, and act appropriately.

    To me, it did not make much sense to go into the SSC Test with three spinners and only one seamer. That was not very smart. Also, did Ajantha merit selection? It has always been my view that ‘quirky’ or ‘freakish’ bowlers like him who depend on that aspect of their game to get wickets are unlikely to succeed in the longer form. In the One Dayers where the batsmen are compelled to take chances, this sort of bowler may well succeed but in the longer form, if the batsmen are content to play with discipline, this sort of bowler will not do as well. Ajantha may continue to do well in the One Dayers but I have reservations about a continuing Test career for him

    One matter that needs to be addressed is SL’s long tail. When the team was playing in England, some commentators were given to saying that with the SL team you only had to get the first 6 wickets and the rest would just fall. If you look recent Australian victories, for instance, you will find that the lower order players have regularly made a big contribution to the total score; often the last five have managed to more than double the score as it stood when the fifth wicket fell. So well have these players done that Michael Holding refuses to call them tail enders, he prefers to call them lower order batsmen. SL’s lower order players should be able to bat just as well.

    In Australia, for a long time Glen McGrath was considered a batting bunny. Then Steve Waugh took him under his wing and became his batting coach. Soon the runs began to come and he even got a Test half century. Another one time batting bunny was Merv Hughes. He also became quite an accomplished batsman after he set his mind to it. There is no reason why the SL lower order players cannot improve in similar fashion. In fact, if we need examples, we need not even look to Australia. Time was when the SL lower order players could bat. Chaminda Vaas was almost in the all rounder class and bowlers like Asoki de Silva and Kumar Dharmasena were both handy with the bat.

    I remember when SL started playing Tests in England and Australia there were a couple of favourable comments that used to be made of the SL teams – that all the SL players were very ‘correct’ with their batting and the team batted down to No 11. The SL team has to find its way back to that position.

    In the meantime, Good Luck to the SL team as it soon takes on Pakistan.

  9. Marco Says:

    Cassandra- I agree with you except i’m a little puzzled how England sits at the No 3 slot having lost 11 tests until its recent win against India.
    ICC should devise a better system in calculating the rankings. Not sure if points are awarded to a team that came closest to winning a drawn test or a win by innings (or similar margin) should be better than winning a closely fought match. I do know they take account of home and away wins.

  10. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Impressive posting by Cassandra almost in a Sydney Morning Herald cricketing analysis style, very accurate and knowledgeable evaluation of the anomalies, pros and cons surrounding the game in all its mystifying circimstances of the modern day game and makes very interesting reading.
    Thank you.

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