Cricket That Quintessential
Game Of Glorious Uncertainties ~ In Between Tests!
© Top Spin By Suni
for LankaWeb Cricket
Cricket that quintessential game of glorious uncertainties! Ah but
it is so entertaining.
That was all that happened in Galle, not a debacle Ad Infinitum! An
No cause for alarm, no worries and let's continue to down those 'Mendis
Specials'! they will surely take on a meaningful flavour to signify
SL cricket down the road.
The Sri Lankan cricketing dilemmas however seem multi-faceted and to
a degree have to be directly linked to the absence of strike bowlers
of the calibre of Ishant Sharma while taking into consideration how
he was pummelled in the first Test~ by no means a Typhoon Tyson or a
Brett Lee but did get a lot of bounce on the Galle strip! The non availability
of Malinga and Dilhara also seemed painfully obvious towards a greater
measure of success in the Galle Test, Fervez Maharoof's presence would
have been a plus but speculation nonetheless where the only realistic
sigh has to be some wishful thinking about the presence of a Sanath
Jayasuriya who would in probabilities have collared the Indian attack
It has to be acknowledged beyond speculation that the Lankans still
need to come to terms with how to play the truly quick bowlers on their
merits and stop nibbling outside the off stump ~a technique better served
towards swatting flies!
Aravinda de Silva eat your heart out! You swatted them over the ropes!
While they don't as yet seem to have learned lessons after Lee, Tait,
Bracken and Clarke in Australia and the skills of how to play the real
quickies consistently it is a grey area which need to be re-furbished
as something the Lankans seem lacking in.Point for the bowling coach
to ponder upon!
In the Galle Test however it was the spin of Harbajan Singh and Anil
Kumble that did them in and have only themselves to blame being reputed
players of spin.but also reputed for their famous 'ex manual' vertical
drives and the proximity of Kandy in a manner of speaking where there
is that famous occurrence known as a procession( Perahera) which somehow
at times seems to influence their batting trend rather uncannily!!
Mahela Jayawardena's overprotection of Nuwan Kulasekera seemed overkill
towards the loss of at least 20 runs in singles and a consideration
towards the ultimate result! Protecting a batsman from the strike seems
a ludicrous means to secure a win in a case where the batsman in question
is a very straight and confident bat and ultimately it was Jayawardena
who was dismissed to a stroke totally unbecoming of his calibre and
it was Kulasekera who carried out his bat where the Indian lead of 37
runs proved to be an all important psychological advantage which paid
dividends for the boys of Maha Bharatha!!
Indeed it has to be acknowledged that the Indian batting repertoire
is one of the most experienced albeit undeserving of the title when
one considers the batting might of the Australians.India being presently
the best as some seem to think is a misconception.
Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman the big guns seem to have lost much of their
former sparkle towards consistent performance, a few young 'uns such
as Gambhir and Utappah are indeed knocking at the door although Shewag
and his explosive bat weilding is a completely different story towards
India's batting strength but an individual does not a continuous winning
team make! Brian Lara proved this theory beyond a doubt where even Shewag
cannot hold a candle to the mastery of Lara or win a test singlehanded
beyond the team effort! This Indian team's effort at Galle was however
Sri Lanka's batting line up on the other hand despite being formidable
on paper appeared circumspect this day when facing real aggression out
in the middle. There seems to be a hint that the Lankans also seems
to be in the throes of selection woes what with interfering politicians
and a somewhat butterfingered selection committee by-passing some of
the more deserving players whether deliberatedy or inadvertently but
in each case unvorgivable on the basis of merit.
Chamara Silva predictably a budding Aravinda de Silva seems indispensable
for the team and Upul Tharanga ( not even in the squad sadly) a better
choice perhaps than Michael Vandort who is resting on past laurels,
has had his chances, will probably not be axed for the Third Test but
will have to perform or be struck out on the" Three Strikes You're
Out!" basis come the next test wherever! There is indeed a sword
of Damocles hanging over his head one would think!
Having said all this the Lankans still have the magic of Murali and
the mysterious guile and deception of Mendis which will be key factors
in the Colombo Test combined with a re-vamped batting lineup hopefully
and regardless of all the rhetoric about decoding and countering of
Mendis there was not a single Indian Player with the exception of Shewag
despite their win who really stood upto Mendis confidently as most of
the time they appeared to be farming and nonplussed at the mendis varieations.
Vaas and Kulasekera it has to be said however did not generate that
extra bounce and swerve which was reminiscent of Sharma towards rattling
the top order so there is talk of including the young speedster Prasad
( at whose expense it is not known yet?) whose prowess was seen in the
not too distant past, towards cranking up the Lankan speed attack and
good thinking perhaps in the absence of Lasith Malinga, Ferevz Maharoof
and Dilhara Fernando!
And finally there is the issue of the veritable toss!
Given the consideration that any game is a toss up between who performs
better and who doesn't, the toss if one views it pragmatically has to
be deemed insignificant towards an assured victory( simple logic) and
the first lease of the wicket merely relative to conditions albeit geared
more importantly to performance where some of the greatest innings as
well as bowling feats were recorded on bad and good surfaces respectively
regardless of who won the toss.
On an overall performance rating It must also be remembered that in
the Galle Test Sri Lanka missed a few vital chances which came back
to haunt them and the fielding of the Indians was simply brilliant!
Missed catches lose matches!
Come Friday, it is expected that Sri Lanka's prestige of the crushing
First Test win lost as a result of the ignominy of the Galle loss should
be restored despite all the Indian Hoopla and Hype where regardless
of everything that might be eloquently dispensed towards this, cricket
still remains a game of glorious uncertainties where mitigating factors
only suggest that the balance will swing in Sri Lanka's favour regardless
of who wins the toss!
This then will be a battle royal between Lions and Tigers it is hoped!
© Top Spin By Suni
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