Dananjaya's confidence and arrogance makes him stand out
Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
August 25, 2012
What do you think about Akila Dananjaya? – Hasitha Ranawaka
He is a very interesting kid. When I did have a chat to him, he was quick to tell me that he bowls his variations in his own way and seemed very confident about himself. He does seem to be a special talent. He stands out for me because of his arrogance and confidence. When talking to him, he said he got hit for six because he got the line wrong, and he just does not seem to be fazed by what’s happening around him; it’s almost like an MS Dhoni-type attitude. He seems to know what he is doing and gives me the impression he reads the game. It is however too soon to be getting too excited, but it does look as though there is something there.
Do you think Sri Lanka could have won the last one-day series played against India if Sri Lanka had prepared bowler-friendly wickets? – Praveen Abeyrathne
Bowler friendly wickets could have made the part-time Indian bowlers more dangerous. Whatever the conditions, initially you need to carry out your game plan to perfection – you have to function as a well-oiled unit. But Sri Lanka made far too many mistakes in most areas and thus paid the price. Sri Lanka's fielding for example, which is usually brilliant, was bettered by India. Sri Lanka could have won that series, but were a little below par.
How important is it to have a fixed batting order in T20s? Is it not better to tell each player what their individual role is in the team, and position them to bat at different stages of the game depending on the fall of wickets? For example, clean strikers like Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera can come in during power-plays, while more conventional batsmen can rebuild when wickets fall quickly. What do you think? – Raphael Thattil
Yes, flexibility is important and defining each others' roles is equally important. A total focus on your individual role and the team's goal is what is required. Now, this is however tough because a batsmen always likes to be involved, bat longer and make his runs. In T20 cricket, you are ready to go in next with a certain game-plan, but shortly after you find a few wickets have fallen and things have changed rapidly. This type of scenario can be very demoralising and demanding. Therefore, buying into the team plan is essential to be able to perform when called upon to contribute in any way possible. Further, it's important to get to know your fellow teammates well too, as that helps to iron out issues in the middle which in the end wins most games. For example, knowing your partner's get-away shot and knowing where he will look for a single to get off strike are one of those little elements that go along way. You also have to be careful where you use guys like Thisara Perera, as I'm not yet convinced that he is equipped well enough, like a Sanath Jayasuriya, to take the new ball apart just as he would with the older ball.
Why is Chaminda Vaas not playing in the SLPL? – Ashen Monnankulama
Good question. Vaas was picked up at the draft by Wayamba United, and last played for his county Northamptonshire on the 14th of July. He has unfortunately picked up an injury, which has put him out for the whole season and the SLPL too. He has been injury-plagued of late and it’s tough to put it down to a particular reason.
Is it true that to become a television commentator you need approval from the cricket board? Are there any broadcasters who hire commentators directly without involving the cricket board? – Marlon de Silva
Ten Sports, who currently have broadcast rights for matches played in Sri Lanka, require approval from the board when it comes to picking Sri Lankan commentators. But all other production companies deal directly with the commentator.
Several players over 35 are playing currently in the SLPL; why are you not playing? – Cham J
I retired five years ago, and when I look back I do not regret it. That means I made the right decision, and I am happy where I am at in life at the moment. In the last five years, I also got to know that there is more to life than cricket. It has never crossed my mind to play again.
Arjuna Ranatunga says T20 cricket doesn’t need skill or intelligence, do you agree with him? What’s your take? – Nigel Kumaraswamy
I think the T20 game has changed – it is now a very tactical and skill-based format. The skills required to succeed in T20s are very different to cricket of the past. Of course, the real test is Test cricket because your courage and mental toughness is tested to the utmost. But, in its own way, T20 brings in new challenges. The skills required to succeed in this format may not suit Test cricket, but we have seen the game's best players making the adjustments when required and performing in any format and in any conditions.
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