The Unimaginable Has Happened By Underestimating Opponents and Excluding Key Players At Pallekele
Posted on July 9th, 2015
Top Spin By Suni- 9th July 2015
If Sri Lanka did not imagine they could lose the match at lunch on day four, as expressed by skipper Angelo Mathews after Pakistan romped to a seven-wicket win in Pallekele, to complete a 2-1 series victory. It was wishful thinking on his part.
When he talks about tactical decisions to exclude Rangana Herath Sri Lanka’s highest rate spinner in place of Kaushal a relatively unknown bowler it seems a bit naive on his part as the calibre of the likes of Herath always seen to deliver when most needed where Kaushal and the rest of the attack was overpowered by the pair of Younis Khan and Shan Masood in one of the most humiliating defeats Sri Lanka has been subjected to in recent times.
It has to be pointed out that depite Sri Lanka’s third-innings score of 313, which set up a lead of 376, Pakistan chased down this target with ease, inside four sessions of batting which points to bad decision making by the selectors and lacklustre captaincy by Mathews who should never have lost his grip on the game with no killer instinct showing but of course sans the weapons to kill with having relinquished them at the point of team selection where the new selection committee seems to be a bunch of greenhorns prone to whimsical choices leaning towards experimentation when for a crucial.rubber Test the team should have been fortified with the best players on offer. In short Sri Lanka should in retrospect have never lost thisTest had they gone with the right combination. apart from the glorious uncertainties of cricket which now seems like an overused cliche.
It seems almost apathetical that match winners like Herath, Kulasekera, and Senanayake were omitted where the choice of Mubarak is questionable although Thranga fully deserves his place but preferably as an opener.
Of course the void left by the absence of Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillekeratne Dilshan was very obviously and painfully visible and the time is perhaps nigh to find worthy successors to these prominent players but as daunting as the task seems there is no need to bungle through the inclusion of passengers when there is ample talent around and as a result of which Sri Lanka has also fallen in the Test rankings to the dismay of the adoring fans who expect much better from their champions.
With the T-20 World Cup looming and the rest of the limited overs schedule with Pakistan to complete, it is hoped that key players will not be haphazardly cut ( once again on the whims of a few selectors) who have already made. the cardinal error of once again excluding Herath which hopefully will not come back to haunt them
Interestingly enough there is also the name of a young spinner – Van Der Saa who troubled the Pakistanis in a warm up game that probably deserves consideration as he bowled brilliantly.
Sadly, the plethora of excuses Mathews has made to the Press is not adequate compensation for this humiliating loss despite his own personal contributions needing applause!
Moral of the story:-
Never underestimate teams like Pakistan or exclude players who may have had a hand in defeating them as has been the case.