Lahiru Thirimanne is a man who should be very busy over the next few days. Not just practicing hard for the England Test tour for which he has been selected. But also because he should be visiting all the major places of worship and be giving thanks to all Gods! Some of these stops might include Gods of cricket too! Like some of the former batting legends of Sri Lanka. Perhaps he should visit some Gods with connections to Ragama Sports Club too!
Thirimanne no doubt is a brilliant batsman, when he is in form! When he is in form, there is no better prospect in Sri Lanka to fill the void of Kumar Sangakkara. However, when he is struggling, he is unfortunately brilliant at failing too!
Brilliantly failing, if there is no such thing, then he invented it, is exactly what he has been doing in Test cricket over the past couple of years. Since scoring 155* against Bangladesh in 2013, he has only passed 50 twice in the next 14 tests! During the last Sri Lankan tour of England, he scored 2,2 and 0,0 in the two tests he played.
Thirimanne’s ODI form however has been acceptable. He’s looked a much more comfortable player in ODI’s and his way back to the test team would ideally have come from the next string of good scores in ODI’s and perhaps through success with the A team. However, the cricketing God’s acting in his favor saw it differently and picked Thirimanne to perform a miracle in the T20 world cup. One would imagine that Thirimanne’s horrendous failures during the T20 world cup were bad enough that even the God’s would be humbled. However, before his wounds could heal and scars could be erased, the cricketing God’s acting in his favor have plotted their next miracle!
This latest miracle would have Thirimanne going back to the two venues where he registered 2,2 and 0,0 during his last tour to England. This time he will attempt to help Sri Lanka address one of the biggest voids, the number three batting position! This latest miracle is backed by some serious sacrifices. Roshen Silva, who has been performing ever so consistently in domestic cricket as well as on A tours has been sacrificed. Tharanga Paranavitana’s hard work, determination, and perseverance, Upul Tharanga’s plea for mercy and one last chance to get an extended run, all have been sacrificed!
The educated cricket fan in Sri Lanka continues to believe in Thirimanne. His talent, potential, and temperament for Test cricket is undeniable! When he is in form, he comes across as a player exceptionally matured for his age. What the educated fan expected was to see Thirimanne made to work hard to reclaim his test place. They wanted to see him go back to A-team cricket and score runs. In the process, rebuilding his confidence, mental toughness and come back a stronger player!
However, no educated fan can ever match the wisdom of Gods! We’ve all surely missed something in not seeing that Thirimanne is indeed ready! I mean, seriously, Gods cannot be crazy, right? All well-meaning and well-wishing Sri Lankan cricket fans would be hoping that Thirimanne will capitalize on this generous opportunity of a life time! If he does not, Gods surely would look very very very crazy!