Although Sri Lanka were favorites against Australia, some blunders caused the defeat.
Time keeps changing fast. Before Wednesday, Tillakratne Dilshan, in his first home assignment as country’s captain, was a happy man. After all, his time won fabulously by 2-0 margin in twenty-20 against Australia. But that’s the beauty of the game, that now he is a man dealing with firing questions. The unexpected defeat against aussies in first odi in pallakele leaves many unanswered questions in front of dilshan and team management as well.
After all, after a 2-0 victory in twenty-20, everyone was hoping for a much better result than this. As we saw the trend in twenty-20, it was quite clear that if you win the toss, elect to bat, winning chances increases automatically, especially against a team, who doesn’t prefers to play against quality spin bowling.
But before shattered aussies batsman, team needs good score to defend. And that’s where, Lankan’s failed, and failed quite miserably. They got a great start, over 50 runs in just 9 overs, but still collapsed well before 200. From that point, they had needed another mendis special, but mind you, wonders not happens everyday.
So what’s the problem? Well, cricket lovers can say anything- overconfidence, half baked planning against a four time world cup winner team, etc-etc.
But, haven’t one feels that problem was within strategy itself. Dilshan did everything right in first hour- he won an all important toss, gave a great opening start with Tharanga. But after that, he made a blunder- why he sent Kumar Sangakkara at no. three, instead of Dinesh chandimal? One can argues that sanga has been undisputed no. 3 batsman for Sri Lanka over the years. Yes, no doubt about it. But don’t forget, time keeps changing. Just recently, young chandimal had batted like a mature man against England, with a century and a half century in four matches. So, when team sent him at no. 3 in testing English conditions, what the logic to send him at no. 5 in home conditions. If sanga is ultimate no. 3, he should have been bated in his normal position against England as well.
Cricket has a simple rule- don’t mess up with combinations. Look, how badly mighty Indians were struggled against England in first two test matches, because of in balanced batting line of. in the absence of destructive Virender Sehwag, team India was bound to make changes in batting order. They made rahul dravid an opener, thus batting order got affected right from the start. Result, they are 2 down in a four match series now.
Another notable failure in strategy is to include suranga lakmal, instead of a extra spinner. Against Australia, in home pitches, you need just six or seven from fast bowlers. So, with kulasekera, dilshan could give ball to Mathews, just for 2 or 3 over.But team management included lakmal and paid the price.
As a result of those blunders, now, suddenly, series is looking in Australia’s grasp. Fortunes changes dramatically and now dilshan and company need a great effort to win the series. No doubt about it, actually.