More questions after limited overs drubbing


Thisara Perera is bowled

by Rex Clementine


Sri Lankan cricket is in a deep hole and unless corrective measures are taken to address some of these urgent matters, more humiliation awaits the national cricket team. The 3-0 whitewash in the Test series gave the hosts a false sense of security that everything was hale and hearty with our cricket. The reality, however, is far from that.

West Indies’ decline was alarming 20 years after they were world champions and the same fate awaits Sri Lankan cricket two decades after they won the World Cup. Some may argue that with the likes of Kual Mendis in the ranks, we won’t be so bad. However, don’t forget that during the height of West Indies’ downfall they had one Brian Charles Lara.

In the seven limited over games between Sri Lanka and Australia, the tourists won six. They claimed the ODI series 4-1 and were hardly tested in the T-20s which they won 2-0.

To make things worse, what follows next for Sri Lanka is a tour of Zimbabwe where they will play two Tests and a tri-nation competition also involving West Indies.

Wins there will again give you the assurance that all is well with our cricket until we are exposed to harsher realities by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on the green tops of Jo’burg and Cape Town later this year.

In ICC ODI and T-20 Rankings, no current Sri Lankan is featured in the top ten – bowling or batting. Tillekeratne Dilshan ranked tenth in ODI batting is jut retried.

The lack of a strong domestic structure is said to be the salient point why our young players struggle to adapt to the demands of international cricket. But we could do better showing more discipline in fielding.

During the second T-20 International, the Australians pulled off some stunning catches and were excellent on the field. The home team on the other hand came up with a disastrous effort and fielding made a huge difference during the game.

Most Sri Lankan players’ attitude for fielding practice is that of a man who is dragged to a shower at the Baker’s Fall at World’s End. The day before the T-20 at RPS, a famous all-rounder was spotted discussing a land deal with a net bowler during fielding drills. With that kind of attitude we are doomed.

Some of the selections for the series looked bizarre too. Thisara Perera should have never featured in the series.

Prior to being selected for the series, Perera had represented Sri Lanka ‘A’ in England and during a one-day game conceded more than 100 runs as England ‘A’ posted a mammoth 425 for one in 50 overs!

With such form behind him, it defies logic how he got into the side. He should have been at least dropped for the second T-20 International after conceding 58 run at Pallekele during the Maxwell carnage.

His second ball dismissal for a duck at RPS and horrible bowling should convince the selectors that it’s time to move on. Perera remains the fiercest striker of the ball around, but poor attitude is taking him and Sri Lanka no where.

Sachithra Senanayake after remodeling his action has become a one dimensional bowler. Chamara Kapugedera has been around for far too long and has contributed a little. Often it’s said that as he bats lower down the order and doesn’t get much opportunity to showcase what he is capable of. Well, on Friday there was an opportunity for him to make it count. There were 11 overs left when he came out to bat and he couldn’t do much.

Sri Lanka’s field placings for Glenn Maxwell on Friday suggested that they had not learned much after the Pallekele game. Maxwell played the reverse sweep effectively at Pallekele and for the second T-20, they failed to have a fielder to cut off boundaries from the reverse sweep.

Many felt that the fans wouldn’t turn up for Friday’s game after Sri Lanka’s meek surrender in the first game where they conceded a World Record 263 runs. Fans turned up in their numbers mainly due to it being Dilshan’s last game. It wasn’t a fitting farewell to one of Sri Lanka’s greatest, but he still went out on a high. You always know that if Dilshan weren’t able to score runs, he will contribute with the ball. He made the run chase interesting picking up two wickets with his off-spin.

He retired as the best fielder of the national cricket team despite being 39. Dilhan will be missed.

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