Sri Lanka find themselves in an all too familiar situation. They now find themselves with their backs to the wall, and facing a series defeat to India at home. The second since loosing to the Indians in August of 2008.
Under Mahela’s captaincy Sri Lanka has lost the prestige it once held which was it’s impeccable home record. That’s now a thing of the past and the Lankans are playing a game that reflects well on it’s low 7th place ranking in the ICC ODI team rankings.
None of it’s batsman appear in the top ten list of the ICC ODI batting rankings. As a team Sri Lanka has struggled to find a strong playing eleven to present a consistent team since World Cup 2007. Many changes have taken place since the last World Cup – many players have come and gone. Sri Lanka is constantly a team in transition and all this looks bleak for the 2011 World Cup.
The 2nd ODI at the RPS was crucial in context of this current series for Sri Lanka. Mahela lost the toss, can this man not call tails for once? The bowlers looked aimless. Kulasekara’s first over to Sehwag was short and wide. He persisted with a line wide outside off-stump and decided to unleash his stock ball in-swinger on off-stump, which eventually ended up flicked on the on-side.
Nuwan has an incredible ability to bowl an in-swinger virtually on call. His natural wrist position aides him and allows him to swing the ball into the right handed batsman. Instead of using this ability as a potent weapon it is wasted. Nuwan should be concentrating on bowling out swingers, or even a ball that holds its line, and unleash the in-swinger as a surprise weapon.
The youngster is faced with restrictive field placings and no direction. Mahela should leave the slips now and then and come over to mid on. He should encourage dialogue with his bowlers on what the plan is.
At the moment the Sri Lankan seamers are bowling without an over all team plan. Going in to matches against teams like India, South Africa, or Australia with no proper direction will always mean that our success rate will be equal to gambling odds.
It didn’t help when Mahela dropped Yuvraj Singh in Mendis’ very first over. Mistakes like that by the skipper and dropped chances from the first game has left Sri Lanka looking down the barrel – the series stands at 2-0 India. That’s right – India hasn’t out played Sri Lanka in either game – Lanka just sucked big time. Sri Lanka did not look a polished outfit.
They have lacked that professional touch for awhile now. It took an innings of 33 from lower order batsman Murali to win matches against Bangladesh. What hope does the 7th rank team have against a team like India?
Sri Lanka Cricket has been plagued by various issue which has let to this over all down fall. The standard of umpiring has been appalling by the two Sri Lankan officials on duty in this series. It appears that with a cricket board which lacks proper administration, and a governing body that’s constantly changing hands, all areas of Sri Lanka’s cricket is on the decline.
The ICC recently had a board meeting in Perth. The meeting was to address important issues such as the raw deal Sri Lanka gets in the ICC’s Future Tours Program and the ICL issue. Instead of sending Sri Lankan representatives capable of noteworthy representation at the meeting, SLC sends two virtual unknowns. One a non entity in the cricket world. A lawyer by profession and a man with close ties to neo sports.
Sri Lanka is on the path to the bottom and I do not foresee change in the near future.