This is the last realistic chance for Sri lanka’s three prolific batsmen to achieve a test win in Australian soil.
The three superstars of Sri Lanka- Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawerdene and Tilakratne Dilshan have very few common things, to compare with. Sanga look towards perfection, Mahela prefers every possible way to be succeeded, while Dilshan doesn’t want to change his game, even for a second. But there are one or two similarities as well among them; like they haven’t been the part of a world cup winning team or they haven’t tasted a test victory in Australia yet. Though, the world cup trophy can remain in their dream only, regarding the fact that next time it will be occurred in 2015, they have the last realistic chance to win a test match in Australia, when the team will start the tour in Hobart later this week.
Reason for their team’s failure in Australian soil, has been the same over the years- their batsmen lacked the technique to be succeed on fast, bouncy pitches and their bowlers have been struggled with line and length, and stamina too. There was a ‘Murli’ era, but test win didn’t come. There were Sanath, De’silva, Ranatunga heroics, but a test win remained unfulfilled.
And, all three- Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan, were also part of many unsuccessful tours to Australia. So, they could feel the pain with intensity. Last time, in Hobart, Sanga played one of the best innings in his career of 192 runs, chasing an impossible target of 507. But at the end, even Sanga’s heroics went in vain, as Sri Lanka fell short by 97 runs. Millions of Sri Lankan fans still feel that their team could have been a winner in the match, had Empire Rudi Koertzen not given him LBW out, with an error in his judgment.
Sanga is still plays with same intensity. He is still team’s best batsmen, though he managed only 21 runs in three innings, with a mediocre average of 7. but his reputation of being a run machine in tough conditions is so highly praised, that even his captain and close friend Mahela is happy with his poor performance against New Zealand. ‘I am happy that he went through a lean phase because he’ll be really hungry for runs. That’s the beauty of his game," Jayawardene said, speaking to reporters in Australia’s soil.
And, this tour is not all about Sanga only. Dilshan, too, has shown ample promise during his century in only practice match, Sri Lanka had in Canberra. If he stays in just one or two session, Sri Lanka would surely be in good position. And then, you have the captain Mahela, who surely want to win praise for his team’s performance, in probably in his last Australia’s tour.
Another encouraging scenario for the team, this time around, is that the young players are also raring to go. Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, though he continuously struggles in home pitches, and Dimuth Karunaratne are not the players, who scared against fast bowlers in bouncy pitches. In their careers so far, they have shown that they can cope up with fast pitches.
And then, there is Thilan Samarweera, who has been the main stay of middle order. So, one can expect for good results this time, if not for miracles.
So, there is a dream to fulfill. There is pride to gain. There is too much at stake, on this tour. And whatever would be final result, it’s sure, they will fight hard to achieve their one of the final frontier.