By Osanda Gunaratna
Sri Lanka have been pushed around like a schoolboy’s cricket team against a professional international side, it is fair to say that Sri Lanka have played both with bat and ball way below par.In the 1st ODI Sri Lanka were in a very attacking mode but in the 2nd ODI they were really in a too defensive mode not even hitting the ball to the gaps to take singles on offer.Sri Lankan batsmen need to learn to balance of aggression and defence in a way that they can dominate the Australian bowlers in the way Ponting and Clarke batted in both the ODIs.
Even big partnerships between the best batsman of the side was extinct,although the openers gave a solid plaform to lauch on it is pity to say that Sangakkara and Mahela threw thier wickets away to shove Sri Lanka in to a deep dark hole where they could never recover.The top order batsmen including Dilshan should know by now what really went wrong and work on it today itself with the consent of the coaches and mentors.The Sri Lankan top order hasn’t really fired and by that the middle-order has come exposed very early that even they find it very hard to deal with the pressure of regular wickets falling.
Sri Lankan team shouldnt make any changes to thier batting line up as both the top and the middle order have falied simultaneously and all the batsmen should realise the error of jugdements they made and comeback strongly to bat for longer periods of time.Chandimal and Mendis though have falied to contribute they needed to be given a few more chances to show what they are capable of doing.Tommorow’s match will be a very important game for Sri Lanka as it is do or die game for them as they have fallen way back with 2 back to back defeats and will have bring their minds, hearts and souls out to win this crucial encounter.
Dilshan said at the 2nd ODI post match presentation ”We didn’t get enough runs. This wicket was a 250 pitch. We have to work things out as a batting unit. Ponting and Clarke batted really well. We have to work really hard as batsmen." This statement made by Dilshan just shows that the Sri Lankan batsmen have been not up to it and needs more fine tuning at the nets, we hope for International Cricket’s sake Sri Lankan batsmen will put up a good competitive total on board in the 3rd ODI or at least chase it down after the Australians bat, restricting them to a low total.
If Sri Lanka is to win they not just have to bat well for long periods, but also bowl and field well with also taking all catches on offer and half chances as catches win matches.It is now or never for Sri Lanka.
Dilshan,Tharanga,Sanga,Mahela,Chandimal,Mathews,Malinga,Mendis and Co this is up to you to bring out your best to give Sri Lanka a much needed win.