Cricket: Sri Lanka and the world cup 2015
Posted on January 25th, 2015

By Mario Perera, Kadawata

What we are witnessing in New Zealand is a sad spectacle of Sri Lankan cricket. To put it succinctly, the national team is in shambles. If we look at the classification table, it is Australia and South Africa that head the list. Then come New Zealand, India. After them comes Pakistan. Then only would Sri Lanka and the West Indies find their spot.
 
What went wrong with the team? Practically everything. We do not have an opening batting combination. Dimuth Karunaratne has been dismal failure. Of the ancient Trinity composed of Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene, only the first two could be considered as being stable. Sanga is a class by himself. Jayawardene is a temperamental character. Just watch the way he got himself out today, the 25th. He holed out a dolly catch to mid-off, a stroke totally devoid of discernment. Counting on Jayawardene is like placing reliance on astrologers.
 
As matters stand the team can only count on Dilshan and Sanga to display their batting prowess. Mathews has been out of action for the last two games. There are no other batting stars down the line. If at all, they are good only on paper but not on the turf. This means that once these two and Mathews are gone, the backbone of the Srilankan batting line up crumbles. This further means that when the forth wicket goes down, the rest tumbles like nine-pins.
 
Today’s one day cricket is a game won or lost on the big hitting ability of the batsmen. The New Zealanders have big hitters right down the line to their No.11. So have most other leading teams. As for the Sri Lankans, they only have one proven big hitter in Tissara Perera. But Tissara has blown a fuse. Nothing comes out of his bat. He has done nothing for the team with bat or with ball.
 
Now let us consider the bowling. Sadly it is in tatters. Our fast bowlers are lacking not only in pace, but also in line and length. Kulasekera has already lived out his day and is hardly worth the mention. Lakmal has no venom. He is just a trundler. Prasad has some pace but sprays the ball like an insecticide device. Tissara Perera is very hittable, so hittable that when he gets batsmen caught, it is only in the crowd!
 
As for the spinners, they produce no turn and no terrors. They are easy prey for the big hitters. Furthermore considering that the world cup pitches are not amenable to spin, they only make up the numbers.
 
Lastly what about the fielding? Looking at the catches that were dropped the only thing our fielders appear capable of holding on to would be their plates of rice.
 
All in all this is a very sad and humbling assessment of our team. Very soon the old triad of Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela will be gone with absolutely no back-up prospects. Cricket being the only game that could keep our spirits high, we still hope for miracles at the World Cup. Indeed hope springs eternal in the cricket fan’s breast. However that hope must necessarily be a hope against hope. Nothing in the team’s performance in New Zealand justifies such hope, but luckily hope is a free commodity. So undeterred the Srilankan segment of the crowd will continue to play their drums and shout themselves hoarse, fully living up to the slogan: newa gilunath ban choon.
 
I am watching the last ODI. Sanga has run out his second batting partner. Big hitter Tissara is already heading for the calm and quiet of the pavilion. We are on the verge of a total wash out, and that on the eve of the World Cup.

17 Responses to “Cricket: Sri Lanka and the world cup 2015”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Team Sri Lanka is heading for an inglorious exit this time. Our bowling is in total tatters. In 2007 and 2011 we made it to the Final. Certainly not this time. It will also have political implications for the General Election.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Dear Mario,
    Thank you for bringing this up. I too was watching and stopped after Tisara Perera got out.

    There is no way we even proceed beyond first stage with this team. Only strange positive thing I noticed was in this match I saw Dhammika Prassd bowling consistently around 145 with great effort. He bowled his heart out to restrict NZ to 300+ unlike previous game it went 360+, with bowlers bowling full tosses to the bat , even I could hit those for sixes because of short boundaries. Kulasekara was terrible with 120 kPh full tosses exactly to the batsman’s bat.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/new-zealand-v-sri-lanka-2014-15/content/story/823677.html

    I believe politics are ruining our cricket. We had a good team until we went to India unnecessarily, with the objection of main players.
    There was a story in a news paper that ONE PACE BOWLER HELPED THE MINSTER TO BY 7/11 in US and this bowler , even though he is out of the team that time, will be expected to joint the team again. This may be a case of corrupt minister by property in a name of someone a relative of the bowler

    I did not know who was this bowler but I noticed Kulasekara crept in slowly again. That started the terrible form of the team, as I noticed. However I cannot blame the bowler alone, normally he bowles well in the first few overs and get some good batters out. But I strongly believed this bowler destroyed out last world cup chances and should not be allowed near the team.

    We need bowlers who are able to bowl above 140 kPh in Australian pitches. We cannot get away with Kulasekara (120 kPh) and Mathews, Perera alone, they can bowl few overs but also can bring destruction because 1 bad over can ruin the whole match. At the moment only Dhammika Prassad , Nuwan Pradeep and the new bowler Dushmantha Chameera.

    Even India made the mistake of having Buvanashwar Kumar, who is a very good swing bowler but speeds around 130 kPh. I am aware of the fact that Kulasekara alone got Australia out for 65 two years ago in Brisbane but to eventhink of using this bowler inAustralia /NZ is a big mistake.

    Even if Malinga comes back , his speed is lost now and we need two of these bowlers in the team.

    Coming back to batting, I believe Mahela should not play in the world cup if he fails one or more times in following matches. Perera will come back OK in AUstralia but we need hard hitting players to open, like Kusal Perera, who did well in Australia previous time he visited. He could have been included in current tour and tried, despite is recent failures.

  3. Nanda Says:

    Dear Mario,
    Thank you for bringing this up. I too was watching and stopped after Tisara Perera got out.

    There is no way we even proceed beyond first stage with this team. Only strange positive thing I noticed was in this match I saw Dhammika Prassd bowling consistently around 145 with great effort. He bowled his heart out to restrict NZ to 300+ unlike previous game it went 360+, with bowlers bowling full tosses to the bat , even I could hit those for sixes because of short boundaries. Kulasekara was terrible with 120 kPh full tosses exactly to the batsman’s bat.

    I believe politics are ruining our cricket. We had a good team until we went to India unnecessarily, with the objection of main players.
    There was a story in a news paper that ONE PACE BOWLER HELPED THE MINSTER TO BY 7/11 in US and this bowler , even though he is out of the team that time, will be expected to joint the team again. This may be a case of corrupt minister by property in a name of someone a relative of the bowler

    I did not know who was this bowler but I noticed Kulasekara crept in slowly again. That started the terrible form of the team, as I noticed. However I cannot blame the bowler alone, normally he bowles well in the first few overs and get some good batters out. But I strongly believed this bowler destroyed out last world cup chances and should not be allowed near the team.

    We need bowlers who are able to bowl above 140 kPh in Australian pitches. We cannot get away with Kulasekara (120 kPh) and Mathews, Perera alone, they can bowl few overs but also can bring destruction because 1 bad over can ruin the whole match. At the moment only Dhammika Prassad , Nuwan Pradeep and the new bowler Dushmantha Chameera.

    Even India made the mistake of having Buvanashwar Kumar, who is a very good swing bowler but speeds around 130 kPh. I am aware of the fact that Kulasekara alone got Australia out for 65 two years ago in Brisbane but to eventhink of using this bowler inAustralia /NZ is a big mistake.

    Even if Malinga comes back , his speed is lost now and we need two of these bowlers in the team.

    Coming back to batting, I believe Mahela should not play in the world cup if he fails one or more times in following matches. Perera will come back OK in AUstralia but we need hard hitting players to open, like Kusal Perera, who did well in Australia previous time he visited. He could have been included in current tour and tried, despite is recent failures.

  4. mario_perera Says:

    Dilrook,

    It would be very good should you write an article on this subject. Such an article will do good not only for interested readers but also and more especially for cricket administrators.

    Cricket is the only activity that lifts us our of this hum-drum monotonous and colourless day to day life. Indeed taking away this legitimate pleasure out of our hearts and minds should be considered an important political issue.

    Thank you.

    Mario

  5. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Nanda,

    Thank you for your valuable insights.

    Mario

  6. ranjit Says:

    If you need to watch some big hitting they must take back Kusal and Upul Tharanga atleast.They should drop Tissara perera because he is useless in both batting and bowling.He never uses his brains just bowl like a child and give unnecessary runs. Kusal is very interesting to watch whether he score runs or not. Same goes with Upul. Dilshan is the best and also Sanga. I hope Senanayake will do a better job for us and Herath too. In fast bowling only Lasith can do a difference not anyone else.

    We must give our fullest support to the team and encourage them to do the best. Three cheers for Sri Lankan team.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Not to worry. SL is experimenting with various OPENING combinations and BALLING combinations.

    Who will want to display their STRENGTHS to opponents just before the world cup. Gamini Disanayaka’s son is in charge of cricket. As his father he will do what is best for cricket.

    SL will definitely be in the final 8. Then it is one game at a time.

    SL will play quarter final against SOUTH AFRICA. If we beat them, against Australia in the semis. If we beat them we meet WI or Endia in the final.

  8. Nanda Says:

    Take my word. If we use Kulasekara as opening bowler, we will have difficulty beating even Afghanistan or Bangladesh.

    We will sure to loose to England and Australia looking at the current series in Australia at the moment ( even India having trouble to beat both Australlia and England)
    If we get through we will be out in the first round.

    We will need Kusal Perera urgently, for batting. We must use one of the faster bowlers Dhammika Prassad , Nuwan Pradeep or Dushmantha Chameera. But Jayasuriya is insisting on Kulasekara.

  9. Sarath W Says:

    It is sad our batsmen do not know their capabilities and their limitations. When chasing 360 runs, after loosing the top four cheaply, Karunaratne, Chandimal and the others should have use the match to gain some valuable match practice and bat out the 50 overs instead throwing their bats like idiots. In the last three games the team could not bat for 50 overs and it is sad the coaches could not notice that. Our bowlers are a sad lot too. They will be slaughtered by most batsmen at the world cup. I was happy when Sri Lankans were appointed as head coach, bowling and fielding coach. But it is obvious that they have failed in all departments miserably.

  10. Nanda Says:

    Kulasekara and Mathews are similar bowlers, but Mathews has more bounce. Therefore if Mathews is fit there is no reason whatsoever to take Kulasekara too.
    I watched him blowing in the 360 runs match. He got Brendon Maccullum out and bowled OK initially. But he was so scared and did not have any confidence when bowling to set batsmen. He just kept on bowling to their bats. It was the same with Suranga Lakmal (although he has more pace).
    Without pace above 140 kPh bowlers, there is no point playing in Australia.

    Jayasuriya is a greedy man. He does not care about the country ( remember he was hanging on to his place scoring average of 3 for a series).

  11. Nanda Says:

    Suranga Lakmal is a very good test bowler but bowls horribly for ODIs. It is a coaching or tactical fault.

  12. douglas Says:

    Did you hear how Sanga was directing the bowlers? Here what I heard the “Best”:

    1. “Kedara Venna Epa” – Don’t be “Greedy.

    2. “Danna Epa Peththata. Eyata gahanna Puluwan Oya Paththe. Issrahata Danna”- Don’t put it to the side. That is where he can hit. Put it to his front.

    3. “Ekama Vidiyata Danna Epa. Venas Kara Kara Danna” – Don’t put it the same way. Change it and vary it.

    GOOD ADVICE to our bowlers who failed, in my opinion. In the same way I want “excuse” Sanga for getting run outs to two promising batsmen. As things are seeing in the field, I too doubt our getting near even “quarter final”. Anyway this “comment” is not in any way to discourage our team. I hope they will get encouraged and steer forward. Good Luck.

    PS: Sanga once said: However much a person could be trained , it all matters what you face in the field and how you are capable of making the decision to “hit” or “bowel”. That speaks volumes, not only in “sports” but also in all matters of life’s activity.

  13. Marco Says:

    I must say I’m disappointed with the Sri Lankan Teams performance in the last few months. They appear to have lost that fighting spirit they have shown in the past when up against the wall. But all is not lost, these ODI’s must be used as good experience to acclimatise with weather and pitch conditions which will benefit them at the WC.

    Bowling Dept is more of a worry than the Batting Dept. Prior to the Indian ODI’s Sri Lanka was able to curtail their opponents at a run rate of 5 per over. (240 -270 runs) with regular wickets taken to thwart a run feast.
    I would have thought the swing and seam conditions would have suited the likes Kulasekera who has shown to be in the past an agile and canny operator. Kulasekera is possibly at the same speed as Vass in his prime depending on “nous” than sheer speed. I guess he has lost the knack and confidence in putting it in the right areas.
    Hopefully Malinga is back at his best (even 85% would do). This could be his last WC too.

    On paper Sri Lankan batting line up is one of the best. I’m confident the three big guns will produce something special in their last WC.

    The defeats by the Kiwis is a good wake-up call and lessons should be learnt.

    Blaming the selectors and coaches is no excuse. The back room staff have to get the best out of the players. Professional players have to perform on the field.

  14. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    It looks like we have a collection of critics whose on paper expertise alone could qualify them for an alternate WC squad.! Just kidding! but their points need to be taken seriously!
    Realistically however based on recent performances alone this is not a WC winning combination ! far from it and the reasons for this being the ineptitude for the top order batsmen to face upto quicks who bowl over 140k moving the ball in abandon and the bowling mediocre against hard hitting juggernauts like McCallum and Williamson who seem to have worked out the SL permutations with deadly effect aided by wretched field setting which is mostly defensive rather than attacking! Then there are the runouts! which seem to reflect upon reflexes and motor senses that seem impaired at best suggesting apathy!
    Seriously ! the Lankans approach to ODIs surely needs switching from Test Mode to limited overs where concerted attacking needs to be formulated as opposed to the dot ball syndrome of prodding poking and flailing outside the off stump! and the affinity for vertical drives that often go down the throats of waiting fieldsmen.
    Having said this it seems noteworthy that India too seem to have similar dilemmas against Australia and England in the Tri Series where their bowling is lacklustre and the batting dismal against the quicks who today are real quick..
    Perhaps recalling Tharanga and Kusal might make some amends alongside Malinga but then come World cup day there may be a few surprises in store and the real Lankans may just surface!

  15. RohanJay Says:

    I like the Sri Lankan team a lot so I wish them all the success in the world in the coming world cup hopefully go one better and win it which they failed to do being bridesmaids in the last two editions.
    People here shouldn’t be so negative about SL’s prospects in the world cup around the corner. First of all on paper at least. Sri Lanka has certainly have the talent, experience and skillful players to go all the way to the final. Plus, the format is not a round robin which is tougher rather Quarter finals on..So if they win their last 3 games then they win the WC.
    It all depends if Sri Lanka can get winning momentum going from the first matches. Which they should be able to do as they will be facing moderate opposition in the opening matches. Once the momentum builds then the talent,skill and experience and confidence gained could see the Sri Lankan bandwagon go all the way.
    I wouldn’t discount a Sri Lankan cricket team containing the names of Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan from going all the way to the finals. I admit though they need to get Lasith Malinga fit asap. They need to add more firepower to their bowling department.
    That said people shouldn’t get sad if they don’t make it. Imran Khan once said that one day cricket is a lottery. Same goes for this world cup. With a bit of luck they could go all the way. Equally some bad luck like South Africa has faced can mean they get knocked early.
    People shouldn’t get sad if they don’t make it. Its the nature of the game.
    That said I was very puzzled for a number of years. That the Sri lankan cricket board knowing full well that big names like Sangakkara, Jayawardena and Dilshan Lasith Malinga will retire one day. Didn’t put a lot of money in finding their next big stars. But instead relied on the Sangakkara-Jayawardena-Malinga show to go on forever. Almost like they were a cult or something. Unsurprisingly we are seeing SL performances in NZ. That said they could still do very well at the World Cup because. Sri Lanka still has a fantastic limited overs side on paper. Wether they will come to the world cup party is another matter. Combination of luck and momentum will decide those things. Anyway I wish the Sri Lankan cricket team whatever the result in the next world cup, all the very best!

  16. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Very inspiring insert Rohan Jay, you are quite qualified to make them if you are rthe same RJ who played for Canada and missed out on a permanent berth in the Lankan teams during the Roy Dias, Duleep Mendis days but the fact of the matter is, teams strong on paper alone do not necessarily win World Cups as this isnt quite book cricket! What with the level of competition involved today the spirits seems quite willing but the performances rather weak! Watching tha Lankans’ abysmal performances in New Zealand~ mediocre with both bat and ball bar the odd exception a WC Trophy win would seem wishful thinking unless something remarkable happened. There are no Jayasuriyas, Kaluwitharanas, Aravindas, Vaas’, Mahanamas Muralidarans and Ranatungas in this particular squad and I shudder to think how the present Lankans would face upto the likes of messers Steyn, Philander, Stark, Johnson, in particular (and there are some excellent speedsters in other teams as well ) and the rest of the trundlers who bowl over 140k p h! which is indeed SL’s Achilles heel and the bowlers know this where the NZ quicks are tame by comparison. The SL bowling attack too seems to be one that could easily be taken apart if the NZ performances bear testimony. Lasith Malinga alone will not be a match winner for SL and there’s a lot to be done at the drawing board if the Lankans want to be competitive and perhaps a few adjustments to the original squad where some derserving and very capable players have been left out in a glaring display of myopia on the part of the Selectors- Sanath jayasuriya eat your heart out! It is however nice to be optimistic about the Lankans but my dear friend from Toronto if it is you the Rohan Jay ! this SL team does not look like WC winners by any stretch of the imagination.
    But then there are those “glorious uncertainties of cricket” which could easily prevail if the Gods that beso decide but I sincerely doubt it althought I would love to see it happen!

  17. Nanda Says:

    Current match, dead rubber is shaping up well for us. SL batting well 110/1 in 21 overs.

    Will the others bat well ?

    Will Kulasekara destroy this match too ? are the questions.

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