Sri Lankans coming into the 5th and final ODI at Manchester are no doubt under pressure after England’s thrashing in the 4th ODI, which they were totally outplayed in all departments. Nevertheless have they learned anything from the two concerning defeats in the series so far. The important aspect of their game they need assisted is how to handle the new ball in swing-seam conditions, this I believe will play a key part in Sri Lanka’s quest of victory in the 5th ODI.
Sri Lanka batted very well on docile pitches, but it is bemusing to see them performing badly not only with the bat but even the bowling in conditions which are very helpful for swing bowling. Overall Sri Lanka was poor in executing their plans not recognising what is stored and how to be prepared to face the inevitable.
Performance wise Sri Lankan captain has a way of words but not so with his bat, only time will tell whether he will make up for having failures continuesly, also the so called Vice captain hasn’t done anything close to impress anyone, so Sri Lanka will have to make difficult decisions in order to gain a morale-boosting victory ahead of their series against the once mighty Australians. It is time to bring back Thisara Perera who can be very impressive in his day, having bagged 2 five wicket hauls in his short career so far. Also important to bring back the mystery from Ajantha Mendis , who can spin the team to victory on his own
It is important to have these two back who have performed their best in previous ODI matches probably in place of Suranga Lakmal and Suraj Randiv. Fielding needs to be brushed up as well as we all know catches win matches.
As in the batting order I feel Dilshan should watch the ball more take his time to settle like Mahela and do what his instincts tells him to do ‘’attack’’.While Mahela should take measure of the Sri Lankan innings to take them to a big enough total.Chandimal either occupy no 3 or can drop down to no 4 to give Sangakkara a chance to play a long innings.
I feel 5th should go to Anjelo Mathews because I don’t feel the need of a ‘plodder’ in the form of Kandamby, which I feel a waste of a young upcoming cricketer’s opportunity.Jeevan Mendis at 7 is a good option but he needs to show what he can do with the bat, so far he was impressive getting Pietersen thrice, but nothing more impressive.
Toss factor will be crucial, as last time a ODI was played here England chose to field, Aussies scored only 212 runs, England managed to win it by 1 wicket, in that scenario it is safe rather than sorry, if Sri Lanka hopefully win the toss elect to bowl first, without doubt.
Weather wise not good news as scattered showers are expected,but in a do or die game Sri Lanka will go for the Kill. Sri Lankan fans will hope everything goes the Sri Lankan way and somehow earn the Nat-West Cup.