Posted on January 15th, 2014


The commitment of the Sri Lankan Team to beat Pakistan in a foreign tour  convincingly was largely due to unity.   Politics has played its game for many years in Sri Lankan Cricket.  Today we witness Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillekeratne, Chaminda Vaas  with Sanath Jayasuriya on the same bench managing the future leaders of Sri Lankan Cricket.   It is an eye opener for everyone determined to make success in any field.   Sri Lanka’s astonishing victory against Pakistan cannot be attributed to a single person, but to  unity of cricketing legends and the determination of youngsters.

The Management Team  comprising the Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya ought to be given more flexibility and authority to make decisions.  Sanath has proved that he is a consultative decision maker.   Marvan Atapattu and Hashan Tillekeratne are as good as Gold.   We expect within next two years, Sri Lanka will have one of its own  products with an illustrious and  colourful Marvan Atapattu as our Head Coach.

Having won the match,  Sri Lankan Cricket Management must use the potential of the current squad in UAE as a platform  for future.  Going into the third test, we should not get ahead of ourselves.  As Russel Arnold correctly pointed out maintaining short targets per session, will prevent over- confidence.  Rameez Raja  as a commentator was shocked by the defeat, as  most Pakis  expected that beating Sri Lanka was a walk in the park.

Judging by both  first and the second tests, it is evident that Pakistan has more work to do to win the third test and square the series than Sri Lanka to win the series.  Pakistan relied heavily on Saeed Ajmal but Sri Lanka did not rely heavily on any of its bowlers.  Pakistan is continuing to have poor performance in wicket keeping whereas Sri Lanka has a world class wicket keeper Prassana Jayawardena.  Pakistan had two slow bowers, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.  Sri Lanka had Rangana Herath without a second spinner.  Pakistan had Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali and Bilawal Batti for its pace attack.   Sri Lanka had Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep and expected Angelow Mathews  to support the fast bowing team.  Angelow Mathew was restrained by a nagging injury.  Therefore on the balance, Pakistan should have won the match  with their experienced bowling attack.  But Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne had other ideas to negotiate with a world class team such as Pakistan to play genuine first class Test Cricket.  Mahela, in spite of his injury, has supported the youngsters and win the match and man of the match award.

The commentators are arguing that Sri Lanka need  to drop Nuwan Pradeep and bring in either Dilruwan Perera or Vishwa Fernando.  This strategy  is valid if this is a five test match series.  Having only one more match,  the risks of changing the winning combination as against going back to cut and chop policy, ought to be mitigated.  Russel Arnold himself was a past victim of the cut and chop policy.  If Angelow Mathews is unable to bowl in the third test, that is distinctly an impediment to win but he has proved his leadership skills in using the available stock in trade to generate results. Assuming Mahela Jayawardene not fully recovered to bowl, Karunaratne, Sangakkara and Chandimal could be positioned  in between to provide time and space for full time bowling team.

Sri Lanka has largely worked out how to play Saeed Ajmal, which is a great plus. Sri Lanka’s strengths far outweigh  its weaknesses compared with Pakistan.  Sri Lankan Test Team is stronger than Pakistan Test Team in terms of batting, fielding and wicket keeping.  If there is any imbalance in the bowling department, the Sri Lankan batting should lift its game instead of making ad-hoc changes to the winning team.  This may be the best chemistry for sometime in Sri Lankan Test Cricket.


  1. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    I guess this was written before the Third Test played out.So much for the acollades!Agree that Sri lanka definitely is the stronger team but missed out on striking home the advantage.
    We know now that Sri Lanka squandered a series win by playing for a draw from ball one which was blatantly visible .Pakistan never deserved to win with all the catches they dropped but took on an offer presented to them on a platter due mostly to the naivety on Mathews’ part and the negative approach towards batting and deliberately slowing down the game when they should have attacked from the word go! Also the persistence with Rangana Herath was costly as he conceded over 100 runs when Dilruwan Perera would probably have done much better if brought on earlier. Angelo Mathews has a lot of rough edges to be ironed out despite his talent and personality.He has not as yet matured as a top notch test captain as his field setting at times is quite wanting and his bowling changes quite questionable.
    Your sentiments about Sanath Jayasuriya aren’t shared by all as he is viewed mostly as authoritative, leans on political clout and often messes up the selection.
    Regardless of all the criticism on my part, in general Sri Lanka have done well to contain Pakistan although they could have overwhelmed them with the right approach which Mathews as well as the senior members of the team Sangakkara and Jayawardena seeme to have missed.


    Dear Mr Sunil Mahattaya

    I write my articles with my name, but on many occasions this Mr Sunil Mahattaya reply with a pseudonym. Is he scared of someone to write his own name? If you criticise Sanath Jayasuriya every time, please come out with your name unless you are scared. Why hide behind a curtain and attack. Why call yourself Mahattaya. This is a grace Mr Mahattaya.

  3. Nanda Says:

    I agree with Mr. Sunil Mahattaya to a certain extent but let me add my bit.

    What do you think about these few points.

    1. Prasanna Jayawardena could get his fifty with an easy run but out of unnecessary FEAR that Eranga getting out he did not take it. Next ball he got out.

    2. We build a huge reputation as a fiery bowling attach after the 2nd match. Negative fielding setting leaking 1 and 2s for entire 55 overs we let them score 300+ for 4 wickets, ruining that reputation instantly. What a demoralising let down of our young fast bowlers! We could have easily restricted them ( probably even wining) by setting a proper field and bowling accordingly WITHOUT THE FEAR OF LEAKING 4s. We didn’t bowl to take wickets at all.

    3. Worst still, after the match, Mathews arrogantly and hypocritically said we could have batted for another 1/2 hour and saved the match ( he is the one got out by repeating the same shot wrongly and consecutively ! He proved he was a FOOL. FOOLs will never learn from mistakes.

    FEAR OF FAILURE is letting down our country not only at cricket but also at the highest level.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    For today’s match against Bangladesh, Mahela and Sanga should not have been included. Instead two youngsters should have been included. Mahela and Sanga are after their personal records. Winning or losing against Bangladesh is less important than inducting youngsters with an easier opponent than Australia or South Africa.

    Matthews is a very talented player but a poor captain. Numbers show he is the worst captain for the past 15 years in tests and ODIs. He rarely encourages bowlers and younger batsmen to perform better, a vital requirement of a captain. Sri Lanka is not going anywhere with him as captain in World Cup just 12 months away.

  5. Nanda Says:

    I agree. He doesn’t even know how to set a filed to minimize scoring. Probably he was taking bad advice from Sanga.
    I suppose no team has allowed scoring 302 in such a short time in a test match, let alone having a talented set of bowlers and fieldsmen.

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