We knew it was going to be hard. We knew weather is not going to make favours to our team. We knew our guys were nervous. We knew our guys were the underdogs. We knew our guys will lose. BUT above all, yet as we see on popular Bollywood movies, we were hoping that Sri Lankan team will do well in England!!! There was a tiny hope in the corner of every Sri Lankans heart even though we said “Ape UnAdath Kai Neda!!!” during our office lunch pre-match discussions. Cricket is in our blood, cricket is in our DNA, cricket is one moment where the whole Sri Lanka get united as one nation!!!
Every great person in this world has gone through rough patches or failures. Hence it is certainly ok to fail as it carves the road for success. The important thing is to learn from failures. The major difference between an average person and a great person is that latter looks at signs of positives even he is drowned in deep shit. It is the same with every team, every organization and throughout the world. In the same way as ardent fans of Sri Lanka Cricket let’s look at some of the positives we can see from the England tour which I would like to Abbreviate it as “ BOOT”.
BOOT stands for Batting Line Up, Opening Pair, One- Down and Two-Down respectively.
- Batting Line Up – Sri Lanka was shuffling the batting line up a lot in recent history, not only the fans but even the players did not have an idea about what exactly needed from them. However during the ODI series with England, the top 5 positions of the batting line up were solid and looks like it will remain the same for some time.
- Opening Pair – We have tried several combinations of openers and with Mr. Dilscoop AKA Dilshan coming in to end of his tenure, it was quite CRITICAL for Sri Lanka to find the right pair. Though both Kusal Janith and Danushka Gunatilake were not able to create something significant consistently, they made us feel that with the time both will start to perform as a team.
- One-Down – May be the best thing we found in the whole tournament, young Kusal Mendis showed glimpse of what he is capable of and what is to come in the future. It is not easy to play for a position which was previously played by Asanka Gurusinghe or Kumar Sangakkara, but he showed that he has the right temperament needed in the modern cricket world. As fans we have to make sure one thing, he is not Kumar Sangakkara nor he is Mehala Jayawardane, He is Kusal Mendis.
- Two-Down – The batten was given to Aravinda De Silva from Dulip Mendis, who ran the best lap in Sri Lanka history. Then it was passed to Mahela Jayawardane, whose lap was elegant but yet disruptive. Dinesh Chandimal, the holder of batten at the moment is given with an enormous task of fitting in to the shoes of some of the greats of Sri Lankan Cricket History. During the England tour he proved why selectors have kept faith on him. He was under tremendous pressure to perform from every angle and he delivered.
It was evident that he has now clearly understood his role and what he needs to deliver.We had negatives, we had failures but as the fans from Island Nation to look at the positives and motivate our team. This is the time they needs us mostly than ever before.