Tests and ODI Fruitless So Whose Making Excuses This Time?
Posted on November 21st, 2011

Top Spin By Suni

November 21th 2011
The signs of weariness, underperformance and indifference  are definitely showing in the Sri Lankan team beaten comprehensively by Pakistan in the Test Series and now the ODI’ s in Dubai , Sharjah and the Emirates per se  so who’s making excuses this time?  Little wonder that someone has remarked after the latest loss ” Is Sri Lanka cricket on the decline and will people lose interest ? the answers to which can only be best known to the players and Administration and none other, leaving the adoring Sri Lankan fans around the world as well as in Sri Lanka more than perplexed and at times furious !
There been a lot of litanies following the match from various quarters and most interestingly from the captain himself who seems to shrug off the responsibility on others rather than take most of the blame for the motivation and killer instinct he lacks in going for the proverbial jugular each time he takes his men out into the middle but then, he is no Arjuna Ranatunga and there is no winning combination like that of Murali, Vaas and Jayasuriya to substantiate this but heck ! he does have resources in the way of a talented line up both experienced as well as budding young talent but where has it all gone wrong?
Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, has no right to  “criticise his batsmen’s inability to take ownership of a modest chase during the fourth ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah, a defeat that cost them the five-match series. Chasing 201, Sri Lanka were on course to level the series at 155 for 3 before they collapsed, losing seven wickets for 19 runs ‘ as Cricinfo reports and should take the entire blame for the loss and try to make amends for the future at least.Even the previous game was winnable from many perspectives had the captaincy been more assertive and focused where the Pakistanis in the end prevailed due mainly to the lackadaisical approach by Sri lanka who tend to give up rather than fight to the end when things start to look bad.

 Indeed it’s unbelievable to lose seven wickets for 20 odd runs in Dilshan’s words but not something new to the game which sometimes comes up with glorious uncertainties as it’s reputed for but to follow a pattern of consistent losses with just one pathetic win to show does convey a message that it has to be leadership and performance that is to blame and none other despite all the resources available and lack of aclimatisation and proper preparation  a poor excuse !.

 Undoubtedly  the last game was Shahid Afridi’s sole glory which did the Lankans in as he batted and bowled magnificiently  but he has in a sense been Sri Lanka’s nemesis all the way as the Lankans seem to have no answer to playing him correctly inasmuch as they have struggled against the quality spin of the Pakistanis where even Ajmal and Hafeez have spun circles around them despite the often used cliche of ” how well the Lankans play spin” which seems a lot of baloney these days and somewhat borrowed!.

 It is also a well known fact that the quicker bowlers, Umar Gul, Razzak and Sheema  in this case as well as the real quickies on overseas wickets have often overwhelmed the Lankans and steam rolled them on many instances so there is a lot of soul searching and work to do before the next two  games ~ the final ODI and the T- 20 and the South African Tour in December which will prove to be quite daunting unless the selectors pick the right combination, bring in a few players that have been overlooked perhaps due to reasons of patronage and hierarchy egging where the Pakistani Series will look tame by comparison as the South Africans are loaded dynamite currently demolishing another big gun Australia at this very moment.The likes of Malinga, Sangakkara and Jayawardena will be faint compensation towards facing the might of the Proteas on home turf where the Lankans could get demolished totally unless adjustments are made to compensate for the cracks which seem to be appearing in the side which is ranked 2nd in the ODIs and now 6th in Tests by the ICC.

 Dilshan should curb the strong rhetoric he has used to blame his team and buckle down to performing, learn to set a field that does not bleed runs, be assertive and focused in the field and make wise choices or else hand over the reins to someone better equipped for the task of captaincy although in all fairness it needs to be said perhaps too much has been laid on his plate for which he sometimes seems undeserving and ill equipped to digest as it has been thrust on him due to the irresponsible actions of others who shrugged off what they could have held onto and steered Sri Lanka on a clear course towards success! rather than running away and barking from the shadows or at the end of a game .

5 Responses to “Tests and ODI Fruitless So Whose Making Excuses This Time?”

  1. Marco Says:

    Rather harsh if i may say so.
    Agree with most of your sentiments but like most cricketing nations, Sri Lanka have to re-build when cricketing stalwarts leave the centre stage. Most countries go through that stage but SL appears to have lagged behind, a reason/excuse i cannot fathom.
    We were the envy of England, Aus, India only a few years ago producing the best under 19 cricket squads straight out of school with the best technique and skills in cricket.
    Sri Lanka cricket is not on the decline, there is a wealth of talent available at grass root level to nurture and produce world class players like Murali, Vass,Sanga,Mahela,Malinga..

  2. Sarath W Says:

    Sri Lanka cricket has no future as long as we keep on talking about the past greats like Arujuna, Aravinda, Vaas, Murali and Sanath. Those great players are gone forever and we have to think of the up and coming new talent like Banuka Rajapaksa, Dinesh Chandimal and all rounders like Tissara Perera, Kosala Kulasekera, Jeevan Mendis, Young quickies like Nuwan Predeep. So why pick Silva to replace Mahela? Like Kapugedera and Maharoof, Silva has had several chances and is not a youngster anymore.When these talented young players come to the national team and loose their way so quickly one wonders there must be something wrong with the system. Is it over coaching?

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Many ills affect cricket today.

    1. Lack of young (less than 25 years of age) consistent players. They are the future and from the looks of things, the present too.

    Agree with Sarath that Kapu, Maharoof, Silva and even Tharanga are not young anymore. They hold no future and if they don’t perform, they have no present as well; only the past. They should be replaced. Youngsters who have done well including Tisara must be exposed more. There are many youngsters without opportunity. They should be given a chance. Sanga and Mahela are not indispensible. They will be among the oldest cricketers in 2015 and unlike Vaas and Sanath, they never were the fittest. And they are not Aravinda’s replacements either.

    Sourcing cricketers from schools for T20s and ODIs should happen.

    There are no big names in the team today. We have to admit that. Big talkers are not necessarily big players. Some are building a name for themselves in a career in politics and commentary using their place in the team than perform.

    2. No direction in captaincy. We need a captain from now onwards who can take the team to the 2015 WC. Dilshan is not that captain although he has been the best avialable. There is a real dilema over captaincy because talented players were not inducted regularly in the recent past. This was never a problem from 1990 – 2010. We always had good captains to take over. Since Arjuna and Sanath, no captain was able to motivate the team and get the best out of each player. Atapattu, Hashan, Mahela and Sanga failed badly and now Dilshan.

    3. Disoreinted in the 3 versions of the game mainly in batting. Tests, ODIs and T20s have totally different battling strike rates and averages. All batsmen must rise up to the occassion with the fitting strike rate and average for each version.

    4. If cricket is included in 2012 Olympics, Sri Lanka team must gear for that in addition to regular fixures.

  4. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Marco, sometimes the truth hurts and Dilshan is under fire from many quarters today.Pretty soon the new coach Marsh too will get a taste of the same if the tide does not change!
    All the comentators here have pointed to the salient reality that Sri Lanka needs much uplifting, wise choices towards the future and proper leadership.If Australia can rebuild after some of the big names retired where they are doing a fine job right now with very young players in the fold, why can’t Sri Lanka with such a wealth of talented young players who simply need to be given a chance? Hopefully there will be better days when the Lankan Lions will roar again with a little help from the right sources !!

  5. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    The chairman of selectors and the captain have had enough time to prove their net worth and they have failed to do so adequately.They need to be replaced as soon as possible or else Sri Lanka will slip further into difficulties maintaining even their current rankings. That does not pre empt the possibility that the performance of the team could be deliberately orchestrated to protest the dissatisfaction of the players about management and the many legitimate grievances they have justification to feel angry about, as incredible as it sounds as this is a star studded team with superstars who have shone consistently in the past. There is indeed room to think something is seriously wrong and the sooner it is resolved the better.

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