I wanted to highlight a short blog entry from Cricinfo blogs that lightheartedly sets the scene for the upcoming Sri Lanka vs India ODI series (http://blogs.cricinfo.com/tourdiaries). In it, a theme of predictability runs right through the answers given by Jayawardene and Dhoni and the whole pre-match media process. However, I choose to interpret what I see as subtext in some of the answers.
Despite possibly being confident of playing Mendis, I think there will have a been a lot of talk surrounding Mendis and how to tackle him in the Indian camp. Mendis and the Lankans will have to come up with a way to use this to their advantage. For example, Kulasekara and Thushara being utilised and effecting the games in the manner that they did during the 2-1 win over Pakistan when so much pre-match talk surrounded Mendis.
Mahela’s comments about his own form I believe show a lot of honesty. This isn’t a player in denial of his own bad run with the bat in ODIs, what I would call a ‘grey patch’ as opposed to his relatively ‘purple pathc’ with the bat in Tests. I also think that Mahela is somewhat tired of the same questions being asked over and over again. Media representatives should rephrase some of these questions that seem to come up without fail if they seek different information and more detail in the answers given at these pre-match conferences. I am licking my lips in anticipation to see how the series pans out and my heart goes out to Mahela, a proven player who is under so much pressure (from both justified and unjustified elements) to perform well. A player deserving of support in what are clearly tough times for him personally, especially as he has acknowledged his recent slump and stated the positive steps he has taken to improve.
I truly hope he and Sri Lanka are victorious in what will in all liklihood be an intense series.