Sri Lanka Still Floundering! Close Finishes, Acollades For Individual Brilliance Etc. Are Not Good Enough, They Must Produce Wins!
Posted on February 11th, 2012

Howzat By Doosra Sammy

February 11th 2012 
Sure! the  Lankans look peppier and on their toes, sharp in the field and committed towards  applying themselves but if the last two games they played in the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia are anything to judge by, they are still floundering and no amount of fancy jargon can equate to the wins they need to produce towards justifying it. In fact the Lankans are still floundering with two heartbreaking  pips at the post and the rest of their schedule looming so hopefully the return to captaincy by Mahela Jayawardena will be the catalyst towards better returns as the tournament progresses.
The game against India cannot be classified as one which the Lankans could have wrested from India as they could not capitalise on winning the toss which Mahela seems to have a penchant for although even speculatively the two won might have been reversed according to some cricketing minds. In the first game, the fair progress they made in the middle order batting until the  rot set in seemed heartening, yet they crumbled for a gettable total for India. Needless to say also that they still look mediocre and weak kneed against good swing and spin as the likes of  Khan and Ashwin et al proved,  restricting them to  a rather nominal first tally which the Indians accounted for in the end albeit lackadaisically but surely!
The effort of the Lankans against Australia in the second game despite the promise shown, resulted in the same woeful loss which some obviously call a close encounter but realistically a loss is a loss  which no amount huffing or puffing could alter and there seemsed to be a bit of that in some post game interviews!!
It was mostly a one man Angelo Matthews show which almost pulled off the game for Sri Lanka but failed again, this time by a closer margin than the four wicket loss to India and conceded a five run win for the unbeaten Aussies despite also the efforts of Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Tillekeratne Dilshan and Nuwan Kulasekera although  by no means valiant ( where was Thisara?) so what seems to be wrong?
Perhaps this is some vindication in the form of an  uncanny poetic justice for the Geoff Marsh sacking and the somewhat unfair treatment of Tillekeratne Dilshan who was not permitted  to continue his contract until expiration  innasmuch as Geoff Marsh was  and rudely removed  where the pros and cons of Mahela’s appointment can be argued till the cows come home but the decorum of it  all wrong  where a bit of class could have prevailed! For the record, in Marsh’s own words he maintains that Dilshan’s efforts were supreme and dedicated all along and that the momentum had indeed changed for Sri Lanka in South Africa  through his fighting spirit and resilience where had he remained there seems no doubt that he too might have acquited himself equitably to the task but that is speculation so lets pass on it as it’s Mahela’s turn now to produce and lift Sri Lanka out of the mire. not only as the skipper but in his role as a batsman where the flow of runs seems to have all but deserted him!
Speaking of the new captaincy which of course is the recall of  one of Lanka’s best and nothing new about it, the signs do seem positive towards future performances of the team under his guidance.There were al least some flashes of it in the two ganes concluded thus far. The fielding  was  brilliant and complimented by how Mahela set his field and handled the bowlers, something which he has built a reputation for over the years undeniably. There were some spectacular catches and boundary saves but all in all the top order batting once again failed and all the fuss and bother, the oohs and ahs, ifs and buts   etc. were only because Australia did not put up a larger total, the successive, over three hundred succesful run chases in South Africa notwithstanding as the Lankans once again showed their weaknesses against  quality  spin and fast bowling where only Matthews seemed to be able to deal with them effectively and the big guns at the top flattered and failed. 
It also brings to bear the issue of ludicrous run outs, one today which in all probabilities had a hand in  the final outcome of this game  and heck! when will the Lankans learn to run between the wickets without embarassing the precepts which govern it without letting the side down which aren’t that mind boggling and merely based on a clean pair of heels along a straight path when safe to show them with a bat as a rudder and  no likelihood of being short of one’s ground if the brain capacity and vision weren’t impaired that is as it sometimes seems to be !
Finally one needs to ponder upon team selection once again as the squad does include proven performers as opposed to  minnows and greenhorns  who somehow gain a berth heaven knows on what rationale other than their club performances back home and did someone say a bit of  favouritism? nah! impossible  where today the presence of Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath might have made a world of difference in both the bowling and batting and the task for Sri Lanka perhaps that much easier. Something to chew on for the games forthcoming and there is also the recall of Pervez Maharoof to the squad who surely merits a spot amongst some of the other notable players who could make a difference, fitness permitting not forgeting Thilan Samaraweera who is also a standby and could make a difference to the outcome of future games.
Well ! to put it mildly, the  cricketing world is still waiting for the sunrise of a first Lankan win in the Commonwealth Bank Series but it’s still raining defeats! !

One Response to “Sri Lanka Still Floundering! Close Finishes, Acollades For Individual Brilliance Etc. Are Not Good Enough, They Must Produce Wins!”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Dilshan is better off without captaincy. He is a free man and plays as such.

    Tharanga has been extremely inconsistent at the top jeopardising any plan the team has. He needs to be replaced. His limited successes aren’t enough to guarantee him a place at the top. Even India and Australia (better teams than ours at the moment) rotate their openers. As things are now it is certainly a good idea to give Tissara Perera a chance to open batting. A radical change as with Romesh Kaluwitharana in 1995.

    Angelo is a good captain in the making. The only all rounder in the last game.

    Next World Cup will be in Australia/New Zealand. So the performance of this series should roughly indicate how we will play in 3 years time under same conditions. Those who cannot do well in these pitches need to be replaced now, not later.

    Frank Karunaratna and Bhanuka Rajapaksha would have been added to the pool. They show potential and will be way better than Tharanga and Thirimanna if allowed to play ODIs.

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