Sri Lanka is ranked number seven in the ICC ODI rankings, and there is not a fan who disagrees with that ranking. We are ranked above West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Kenya.
If there is a reason why Sanath Jayasuriya has played beyond his 40th birthday, it’s because the 7th ranked team in the ICC ODI rankings needed him.
"All our guys accept the fact that you got to perform to stay in the side," Kumar Sangakkara told the media when asked about leaving Jayasuriya out.
One then wonders why on earth Mahela Jayawardene is still playing! Sangakkara’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Fellow Island cricket blogger, Merlin, pointed out that Sanath has performed better in 2009 than Mahela. Albeit slightly better.
Following is a quote from Merlin’s post,
The only thing that keeps pushing Sanath Jayasuriya out of the Sri Lankan squad is the blatant age discrimination being displayed by both the former skipper Jayawardena and the current skipper Sangakkara.
In 2006, with the inclusion of Tom Moody as coach, Sri Lanka was on a drive to introduce "young blood" in to the squad and drive out the seniors. Jayawardena and Sangakakra both were mislead into thinking this is a progressive move which would set them apart from other Asian teams.
Unfortunately in both Marvan Atapattu’s case and now Jayasuriya’s, it is a case of ageism, also known as age discrimination.
Meanwhile, Trevor Chesterfield has written a hard hitting piece, after Sri Lanka’s dismal performance in the 3rd ODI, which really needs to be given a thorough look at.
Sri Lanka has one of the largest groups – if not the largest group – of support staff going around. This is what Chesterfield thinks about some of them,
Tendulkar’s innings of 96 off 104 balls shows how well it was paced as the pitch was on the slow side, with variable bounce and the target of 240 was always well in reach after Sri Lanka coaching system was exposed yet again. Instead of being in touch with the techniques required to win games in India, so-called shadow coaches, Chandika Harturusinghe and Manoj Abeywickrama, along with former Australian Stuart Law, have that cardboard cutout look. Names without the credentials to support their places in a coaching system and the roles they are supposed to perform.
In fact, the way Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for 23 with the score at 169 was typical of a batsman following the flawed Harturusinge theory of batting technique. This is after yet another abysmal and seriously defective batting display by Sri Lanka. Get rid of Dilshan early and wait for the implosion as only Sri Lanka can perform. Nine wickets for 74 runs left the tourists with another gaping black hole in their gameplan.
Chesterfield also called out two of Sri Lanka’s middle order batsman,
Thilina Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedara, which the Colombo media continue to trumpet as talented stylists, are the team’s future. If this is the best available, there is something seriously wrong the way these two rotund clown princes and excuses for international batsmen were dismissed. They have again been found wanting with the Kapugedara dismissal, where he dragged the Jadeja delivery into his stumps, explains all that is wrong with the team’s middle-order. It is in serious need of skilled technique.
Mahela was a great skipper, we see now how Sangakkara has struggled to take over the helm. This is enough proof that Mahela did an admirable job as the captain of Sri Lanka. But he can no longer hide in the Sri Lankan batting line up. He can no longer be given a free run.
Sangakkara must keep to his word and drop the non performers. We all recall how quickly Sri Lanka discarded Tharanga and Dilshan when they lost form? The same principle has never been applied to Mahela Jayawardena. When mahela lost form, he quit his job as captain. We are yet to see any positive results since that move.
Indeed, not enough has been said about that liability, Mahela Jayawardene. When he does come good, it’s on a mediocre batting track where the rest of the batsman too have cashed in. Mahela performs when his services are not really needed. Not when the team needs his experience.
Sri Lanka has carried around many batsman over the years just based on reputation and not results. If the new skipper doesn’t want to look like a complete joke, he must act on his words and replace those who are not performing.