Mahela the captain: wise or poor?

He is one of the finest captain, when his team on field, but he lacks tactics, when team chases a score.

On Sunday, during the pre match coverage of the final between Sri Lanka and West Indies, England’s star batsman Kevin Pietersen was saying that Mahela is a too smart captain, that he didn’t show any emotion even after loosing the toss on a batting first pitch. KP was absolutely right. Mahela is indeed a smart captain, he knows how to build pressure on opponents, and he knows how to restrict opponent’s best batsman, as well. But, whenever Sri Lanka chases a score, suddenly mahela seems to loose his smartness as a caption.

Sunday’s match was a classic example of that. Apart from the malinga’s expensive death over, he never allowed West Indies batsmen to feel free. Batsmen’s like Pollard, Bravo were helpless against his smart and quick changes.

But, when Sri Lanka came to bat, there were no proper planning’s for those 137 runs, which West Indies had posted. TM Dilshan came and gone, as he always does in finals, but Mahela choose the same old path, as his friend Kumar Sangakkara walked. Against West Indies, who had quality spinners like Sunil Nariane and Samuels Badree, quick runs during power plays were badly needed. But regardless the situation, Sanga and mahela murdered the run rate. Then, when Sanga and mathews got out, he preferred Jeevan
Mendis, instead of Thisara Perera.

And, this was not a lone match, where Mahela choose the old path of batting order. During his captaincy, actually, he never tried something shocking, unexpected with his team’s batting order. India’s captain MS Dhoni made Irfan Pathan an opener, during the same world cup. Pakistani captain Mohammad Haffez promoted Shahid Afridi against India. Sri Lanka also have some big six hitters- like Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, but Mahela had never tried them as pinch hitters. Even against South Africa, where match was reduced to seven over due to rain, he didn’t send his power hitters, ahead of proper classic batsmen’s.

That’s where, Mahela lacks skill and that’s where Sri Lanka suffers, whenever they chase.

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