In the first place, the Sri Lankans clearly demonstrate consistency in ODI cricket. Come a major tournament, and you can almost guarantee that we will make it to the Semi Finals. That kind of an achievement itself is great, when comparing how late Sri Lankan entered to international cricket with the other nations. Therefore we should be proud of ourselves. However, the sad side of the story is we never improve and take that golden step ahead. That's where all the heartbreak happens, and that's what the cricketing fan is missing in Sri Lanka. Yet, for me, I have hope.
The recently concluded series ended up in a pretty sad note. The final swung from our hands to the Indians, back and forth again and again, only to let MSD perform one of his heroics once again. However the main point of concern raised by the critics is about the younger generation of Sri Lanka cricket, and their below par performance. And for me, it is pretty sad to see all the fans losing faith on the younger brigade this soon, when the best of them is yet to be seen.
Dinesh Chandimal played a bad shot, and Kusal Janith played irresponsibly. And someone might complain Thirimanne played too slow. All these facts maybe true. However, yet, what I believe is that these players aren't getting enough time in the middle to prosper and rise to the occasion. True enough that the final was a good opportunity, but they failed. But the fact is, it's unfair to judge their performance solely based one or two performances. We all know that they have the potential. Remember the Durban test in 2011, remember Adelade 2013, Remember Brisbane 2013. It's not the case that they never deliver when the team wants.
|The Chandimals and the Kusals of today |
will only be the Sangas and Mahelas of tomorrow
if you let them play both today and tomorrow.
The true fact about the 2015WC is that MJ, Sanga and Dilshan will be there in the team. Probably the last major tournament they will be playing in. That is where I like the decision of letting Mahela open the innings. This clearly enables the likes of Thiri, Kusal and Chandi to spend more and more time in the middle in crunch situations, and with time and experience they will be better players by 2015, which should be our target. And then after the 2015WC, the trio would be hopefully able to replace the senior trio. And we must not forget it's only this trio. The likes of Dimuth Karunarathna, Angelo Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella will all enter the scene at one stage. And this is where the national T20 team is really helpful. I have mentioned earlier in this blog regarding the lack of test matches for Sri Lanka. The test matches are being cut off for more and more T20 fixtures. This clearly enables more and more time for the younger brigade to expose themselves in the international arena. For me this will mould the younger players well enough to take responsibility on their own, and play for the country.
There is still a lot to learn for these guys, and improvement will only come with time. As we wait, us fans can only aspire to learn that in both victory and in defeat, a forward step will always be laid towards a brighter future for Sri Lanka's Cricket. .
Until next time,
Maniya and Kumma