Where Did The Lankan’s Squander The Game Against India And What Are Their Options ?
Posted on February 28th, 2012

Top Spin By Suni

February 29th 2012

They squandered the game in all probabilities by being overly confident in the first place after their surge to the top of the points table against all odds, taking the Indians for granted and almost clinically wasting the two fine performances by Sangakkara and Dilshan and handed the game on a platter to India. who should have by rights been making return reservations to go home prematurely at the end of it but revelled in the Sri Lankan Faux Pas, inconsequential as some may be inclined to think in the run off to the next game against Australia on March 2nd and it could be them lining up at the reservations counter at the airport rather than the Indians who seem to have been given a new lease of life – at least for now!.

 Many probably wondered if it was indeed Mahela Jayawardene that captained the Lankans in this game as there were unforeseeable blunders which were quite uncharacteristic of Sri Lanka’s illustrious player captain and what followed was a combination of a comedy of errors and a lambs to the slaughter scenario in the end where the Lankans looked quite ordinary and pedestrian like in their approach to the attacking cricket needed to pull this one out of the fire and cruising to what could have been a comfortable win over the Indians who did the attacking as the Lankans were left dumbfounded.

 What was painfully visible to anyone with some cricket sense was the absence of a second spinner which could have in all probabilities contained the Indians and their onslaught on the Lankan bowlers on a flat track where only Rangana Herath curbed them to a degree ~ his figures surely indicate this and high time the selectors became aware of the importance of playing two spinners rather than opting for the somewhat lopsided decision to go with one only, despite the two new balls. In Senanayaka and Randive there are two fine spinners at least one of whom surely deserves inclusion to accompany Herath or it could be a regrettable decision in the game against the Aussies which will make or break Sri Lanka’s bid for a berth in the finals’.

 The Indian run chase of 321 was made to look phenomenal and record breaking mostly because the Sri Lankans faltered where the target was reached in 36.4 overs and the fastest accomplished in a 300-plus total in 50 over cricket. While not taking away Indian glory for their gutsy performance this was a game where Sri Lanka made apathetic blunders and the role could have been reversed had some of the decisions and choices made at the helm been slightly different, more focused and assertive rather than rash, brash and impulsive.

Despite Jayawardene’s reputation of being a knowledgeable and shrewd captain, this time around some fallibilities showed up in the form of bad choices in bowling changes, the field setting and the timing of his power plays when India were attacking with Gambir, Kohli and Raina where the Indians made merry and capitalised on the lapses with a near unprecedented chase which netted them the win with a bonus point and this was the back breaker which has left the Lankans reeling as it was a single point that caused the Sri Lankan heartache and has left the fans in wonderment and some despair. To compound all this the team effort which saw them through in the previous games seem to have taken a back burner and gone was the enthusiasm to pitch into the opponents and unsettle them and knock them into disarray where the role was surely reversed! and they seemed a tad disoriented.

 The Sri Lankan bowling figures probably says it all where the flaying at the hands of the Indians is reflected visibly against every bowler perhaps with the exception of Rangana Herath where the rest of them ~ Matthews, Kulasekera, Malinga and Maharoof were despatched to all parts of the field. Malinga in particular the strike bowler who was mercilessly struck and was a disaster that should never have been permitted as he bled runs regardless of what he delivered and imagination lacking on the part of Mahela who might have tried a few other options including Dilshan who of course was nursing a couple of broken fingers and had done enough with the bat yet in desperate situations something might have worked where obviously it did not as it was never applied.The partnership breaking technique of tossing the ball to an unlikely source (Sangakkara and Jayawardene do have bowling skills attached to their resume Thirimanne and Chandimal notwithstanding albeit unknown ) never seems to occur to the Lankans and perhaps another add on to their repertoire short of imaginative application should the situation demand it which sometimes jump starts unexpected results!

 It appeared to be painfully visible that another spinner combined with a few better choices by Mahela refered to earlier might have saved at least the bonus point and the place in the final instead of which they will have to slog it out with the Aussies who probably sense Sri Lanka’s susceptibilities to wrong decision making by the skipper and will be ready to capitalise although its not quite over for the Lankans yet but its surely back to the drawing board for them if they want to overpower their opponents on Wednsday which just might turn out to be a tough ask in the aftermath of the leather hunt at Tasmania where the options probably need careful insight and the approach aggressive and carefully measured !

 Thilan Samaraweera as a surprise inclusion too just might come in handy and be fortuitous towards a favorlable Sri Lankan outcome and by the way he can bowl too!!

15 Responses to “Where Did The Lankan’s Squander The Game Against India And What Are Their Options ?”

  1. Rohan8 Says:

    The Lankan’s didn’t squander anything. From what I heard Kohli played an absolute blinder. As a result India won the match fair and square. Suni you need to give credit where credit is due. The Indian players especially Kohli played superbly. That Suni is why the Lankans lost. Suni this is just a case where though you played well the opposition played better than you. Suni I don’t how long you have watched cricket but you might find this hard to believe but these kind of things do happen in cricket from to time. Well played India. Especially Kohli!

  2. geoff Says:

    Lankan bowlers squandered. There is no doubt about it. Especially after thrashing Australia repeatedly.

    Otherwise there is no way they could have played 321 in 37 overs. It was not just Kohli. Other batsmen too played Lankan bowlers easily.

    Bowling was all over the place and not on the wicket. Very few attacking balls. Actually in SL cricket forums fans argued before the match against including Malinga because he wouldn’t be very effective.

    Why wasn’t Rangana given a few more overs?

    Lankans gave away the match than India won anything.

  3. Kit Athul Says:

    I do not know any thing about ODI cricket but as geoff saya, SL bowlers were way below par. Like the Indian commentator, I like to say, “Captain Jayawardana took a day off” After a execellent start by Dilshan and Sangakkara, could not take the advantage.

  4. wasantha Says:

    There are many things in the SL tesm that puzzles me not only in this game but in all games played lately. Most intriguing question for me is why this talented player Angelo Mathews always sent after the bowlers. We all know he is a first class batsman. Doesn’t he deserve to score a century? Why don’t we rotate our players both for a place in the team and for the batting positions. Do we have to send these established senior players earier and give thaem all the time in the world to build an innings wasting many balls to score their century.
    About the present team and the debacle of yesterday, is this the best team that SL can produce? Is Rangana Herath the oldest person and who is very leathargic on the field the best spinner we have.
    We are lucky with all the political interferece, miappropriation of funds, with unpaid players and many other maladies typical of SLkns, we reach this stage in Australia

  5. cassandra Says:

    Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? Haven’t we all thought back, when the outcome was not in our favour, on what we could have done, what we should have done and what we should not have done? Of course, we have all gone through this sort of post mortem examination.

    And of course, we all make mistakes as SL did yesterday when India was batting.

    But let us be realistic and objective about all this. SL did brilliantly when it batted. A score of 320 with 105 from Sangakkara and 160 from Dilshan attest to that. But against a rampant Indian side, SL’s bowling and fielding could not match the excellence of its batting effort.

    We must keep in mind also that India had nothing to lose but everything to gain from going for the runs in the way it did. And luckily for India that approach paid off.

    Cricket is a game played by two teams. One team cannot win a game only on the basis of how it plays. How the other team plays also matters. We need to recognise that not everything is within the capacity of one team to control.

    Much as we lament the loss of the game to India yesterday, let us be sporting enough to applaud its audacious and brilliant batting, especially by Kohli, which won the game for India.

    In the meantime, there is still a game for SL to play on Friday and if SL is good enough to prevail at the MCG, it will be in the Finals.

    Good Luck to Mahela and the boys!

  6. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Interesting debates from the forum of responses here. Appears that mention of Thisara Perera as part of the bowling attack has been inadvetently missed. It will be interesting to see how Australia will play against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.They have the choice to go flat out to try and beat Sri Lanka so that India will be their opponents in the Finals’ or lose to Sri Lanka through unforeseen misadventure in which case they will be pitted against them instead of India. Australia’s prefered choice of opponents in the finals’seems to be within their control where their approach to Tuesdays game will be consequential and watched closely by many and the barrage of post mortems in the aftermath will be very interesting!

  7. geoff Says:

    Excuses, excuses, excuses.

    Always we lose to India in crucial matches after the introduction of IPL. Always.

    Is it that difficult to see why?

    Then come up with excuses.

    This is not the first time.

    If you give a cricketer a million dollars or even 50,000 dollars what else would you expect? Especially when their own team does not pay for months. You can’t play for more than 15 years but have to earn for 50 years.

    I will not be surprised if we lose to Australia on Friday so that IPL masters favourites can go and play in the final. That is what Australia too wants to thrash India and pack them home with a big message that India loses in all forms of the game may be except T20 but they are better gentlemen than IPL Indians.

  8. geoff Says:

    If you have played cricket for school or club as a bowler you know if a bowler gives 100% or not. Just look for the signs. Does he learn from previous deliveries? Are most balls right on the money? Does the bowler use batsman’s weaknesses? Does the bowler bowl to batsman’s strength? Body language? Are they genuinely concerned when batsmen score too many runs in an over like Aussi bowlers do?

    You can clearly see our bowlers didn’t hide their underperformance.

  9. cassandra Says:

    I am afraid I am not a great fan of conspiracy theories and find it difficult to believe the SL team or one or some of the SL bowlers deliberately underperformed. I think it was one of those days when the opposition batted in extraordinarily brilliant fashion. And we should be realistic enough and sensible enough to acknowledge the talent of the Indian batsmen who achieved that remarkable win. Tendulkar is a cricketing great, Sehwag is a well known punishing batsman and Virat Kohli is now a seasoned one day player. OK, our boys let us down, but for goodness’ sake, let us not be sore losers. Let us not be as ungracious as to not acknowledge the talent of the Indian batsmen who helped to secure that win. Their records tell their own story.

    To chase down 320 in under 40 overs was unquestionably great but if you look at the records you will find that this is what SL also did at Headingly in England in July 2006, in the fifth and final ODI game in that series. SL was chasing an England total of 321/7 and scored 324 for the loss of only two wickets, in just 37.3 overs – and they were not even chasing bonus points ( SL had also won all the preceding games in the series.) Jayasuriya scored 152, off 99 balls and Tharanga scored a century as well. The pair racked up 133 runs from the first 10 overs and put on a partnership of 286. Malinga took 4 for 44.

    So, India’s win last Tuesday only mirrors what SL did six years ago. And if SL could have done it, why should we question India being able to perform just as well?

  10. NAK Says:

    Mahela must explain why he bowled Herat for only four overs especially when his economy rate is just 5.0. He could have and should have bowled herat in tandem with Dilshan to curb the overflow of runs. Atleast that is the formal way of doing things. And there was no reason at all to take the bowling powerplay in a hurry. But taking nothing away Indians batted superbly!

  11. wasantha Says:

    Mahila must explain many things.Why he kept fielders always within the ring?He persisted with the most expensive bowlers. Why Angelo always sent after bowlers?

  12. geoff Says:

    Conspiracy theory?

    What conspiracy? It is obvious. I bet Mahela will get out cheap today. Don’t have much hope for other top IPL cricketers either. Call it this or that. Difficult ball, pitch or what you will that’s how it is.

    As with everything in Sri Lanka nobody takes responsibility. There are excuses for everything.

    Cassandra in that series Sri Lanka had won 4-0 when they came to game 5. It was expected. India was thrashed and trashed repeatedly by Australia in tests 4-0 and ODIs where they lost most matches and then suddenly came good in the crucial match.

    Have you played serious cricket at least for school? If you have you know what I was talking about body language. It is difficult to hide. Our bowlers gave the match away. On Friday our batsmen will give away. It is so predictable after IPL. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to say this.

  13. cassandra Says:


    I still don’t buy the conspiracy theory – that the SL team deliberately gave the game away on Tuesday. As for body language, it is difficult to expect the fielding side to show positive body language when the side is being hammered as ruthlessly as it was. Having said that, you have been spot on with your prediction that Mahela would be out cheaply today. And it seems they are well on the way to proving you right on the second count as well!

  14. cassandra Says:

    Sorry, geoff, but your second prediction has just been proved wrong. Well Done Sri Lanka!

  15. cassandra Says:

    The SL team went into the game against Australia at the MCG on Friday, still smarting from the thrashing it had received from India only three days before, and batting first, it had to defend a meagre total of 239. So, many of us will have been agreeably surprised (some, given the dire predictions they made, may even have been a little disappointed!) when the team managed to beat Australia and secure a place in the Finals.

    The manner in which the team was beaten by India must have gutted the SL players. So, it is a great credit to them that they were able to put that game behind them and bounce back as successfully as they did in Melbourne.

    But while we can rejoice in all this, we need to be aware that the Finals are going to be a tough proposition. The team is already affected by injuries to Maharoof, Tissara Perera and Mathews. It has played two high pressure games within just a few days, between Melbourne and Brisbane it will have no real break, nor will it have time for a decent net before the first Final.

    We should of course look on the bright side but if the team fails on Sunday at the ‘Gabba, we ought not to be too harsh on the players. And if that happens – and I hope like most supporters of the SL team that it does not – I hope we don’t get comments about the alleged sinister influence of the IPL or what the body language of the players conveyed about the level of their commitment.

    In the meantime, Good Luck to the SL team. All the best for Sunday.

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