Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cusre in Disguise - I

Another great innings by Sangakkara. Another century by Dilshan in Pallekele. Just at the right time you would think? Or is it? For me, from here onwards, each and every good knock Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan scores happen to be a not so good thing for Sri Lanka Cricket. It was one hell of a majestic knock by Sanga in the first ODI that made all the cricket fans forget about the recent ups and downs in the field for the country. This seems to be the tale for Sri Lanka Cricket. Eventhough they are doing badly, an innings in the type of Sanga's 169 comes up and spoils the party. What I mean by spoiling the party is that it's better off if Sri Lanka went much deeper into the hole, so that there is one way around. The more the senior players score, the more Sri Lanka will be reliant on them, and you can't change. The less the opportunities the young guns will get. And the cycle will keep on going forever, and everyone will keep on complaining about the younger brigade.
A Blessing or a Curse?
However, you can't complain when you see innings of that calibre can you?  Yet, I still believe, there is enough room for the team allow more chances for the youngsters. For me, this depends upon a crucial decision, of enabling MJ to open the innings. Yes, Tharanga's position will be at stake, if that's the case, but it will clearly enable the likes of Thirimanne and Chandimal to bat at no.4 and 5, which is much better. We have already seen Thiri grabbing the opportunity whenever he was given a go at the top. The 68 runs he scored in the final ODI demonstrated his capabilities. He just have to fine tune the rotation of the strike, which in my mind he will, and we have got our future No.3 batsman. True enough, if Tharanga keeps on performing he should be given a go, but I honestly doubt how long term will Tharanga's return will be, especially thinking of 2015WC, to be held in Australia and New Zealand. However, I personally thought that Angelo Perera could have come ahead on Sanga on the final ODI. Angelo has had only one chance, and on a pitch where most of the Sri Lankan batsman struggled, he also succumbed to the pressure. Yet, the final ODI could have been used as the ideal platform to enable the youngster some time in the middle. Watching him play in the warm up match, he was really in good shape, and I though deserved a better opportunity.

The bowling and the fielding looked sharp. You tend to be so, when you have 300+ most of the time on the board. I believe that, Shaminda Eranga, despite all the critics he has earned himself, will be the next bowling sensation of Sri Lanka, and become the mainstay for a long time. True that he's quite weak at the death, but with experience and time, he will prove to be a match winner in my opinion. The early wickets of Duminy and ABD clearly provided the edge for Sri Lanka in the matches.. Both of them were in supreme touch but just couldn't fire in the series, eventhough Duminy scored a 97. The loss of wickets in a sequence clearly halted the chases.

The real struggle for the batsmen was against the accuracy of Rangana Herath. This also raise anther important question of why aren't Sri Lanka playing the second or third spinner more often. Maybe the conditions, but still Sri Lanka's strength is spin bowling, and I would say you should back it, even on a green surface. You go with what you are best at. Sachithra Senanayake grabbed the opportunity provided with both hands, and clearly bamboozled the likes of Amla, and the young De Kock.

All in all, it was nice to see Sri Lanka win in an emphatic manner like that. However, as mentioned earlier, the real problems are yet to surface for Sri Lanka, as the 3rd ODI demonstrated. Out go Sanga, Dilshan and Mahela early, Sri Lanka seem to be struggling. Therefore it could easily be seen that eventhough a lot of good things actually happened in the series, a lot of not so good things are hiding underneath the surface, which will surface soon or later. It is up for the youngsters to take their opportunity, just like Thirimanna did, and dig Sri Lanka out of the hole.

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