By Osanda Gunaratna
As Sri Lanka tends to put behind their off the field issues, it is very clear that their on-field issues remains the same as Sri Lanka yet again lost at a start of a series, which has been their biggest mistake going back since the tour of England in 2011, as any expert would analyse and suggest for Sri Lanka to get wins early in the series they have left them, yet again staring down the barrel in a probability of having forced to play catch up cricket after the loss today in their first CB Series clash against the wounded Indians.
To start with Sri Lanka were in a good position to launch when they were 72-1, however Sangakkara’s (26) wicket brought a panic like situation and in the 15-20 bowling power play they managed only 11 runs gifting India the much needed advantage and fully pressurizing themselves resulting the well set Dilshan getting really bogged down and gifting his wicket to the Indians putting Sri Lanka on the back foot at 100-3. (156 dot balls, now that’s a crime).
Well really after that almost everything went haywire except for the valuable contributions from Chandimal (62) and vice captain Angelo Mathews (33) the score would have been less than 200.
Much was expected from Mahela and Sangakkara, but they only scored just above 20s which is a concern when their contributions are vital along with Upul Tharanga, hopefully this major issue with the batting will be addressed ahead of the next match on Friday. Lack of substantial partnerships and experimenting with the batting order resulted Sri Lanka’s innings to a below-par score at the WACA.
Many would be surprised Sri Lanka fielding a batting heavy XI, with 7 batsmen and only 4 bowlers without a main spinner compared to the XI they played in South Africa which was 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers which is the ideal mix to play against India considering the fact, Indian strong batting line up but it totally backfired as runs were leaked easily either side of the wicket as no pressure really was there on India as a specialist spinner wasn’t present to contain them. Terrible mistake by the selectors to leave Sri Lanka’s bowling without a main-spinner, in the end it all counted.
Against Australia on Friday it is wise to play Sachithra Senanayake for the expense of Thisara Perera or Lahiru Thirimanne, as a world class cricket team can’t keep on making elementary mistakes like these. It is like Sri Lanka are repeating same old mistakes again and again and it has become a bit of a habit.
It is a must win game for SL on Friday against Aus, if they want to reach the final, otherwise they will fail playing catch up!!! Make sure you somehow win it Sri Lanka. The team strategy is important so is the team XI.
Clearly unbalanced side played today against India, Mahela, the players and the coaching staff this is up to you, to rectify the mistakes you guys made and comeback hard into the Commonwealth Bank Series!