Sri Lanka in England, Anderson to Sangakkara, ball swinging under a grey sky or a green tinge. Anderson bowls and Sangakkara is gone for 15, a small deflection to the keeper. This was what happened in the first Test in Cardiff. Sri Lanka all at sea against the moving ball, and so we thought this will be all over and won’t happen again its déjà vu both at the Oval and also Trent Bridge.
We can say that England are not up to it when they play in flat tracks, but Sri Lanka can’t even think about surviving if the ball starts to swing.
This is the biggest problem SL have when they play in cool climate countries. Their feet movement and shot selection fails them miserably.
In Cardiff, where it was quite similar to a flat deck, Sri Lanka folded for 70 odd runs to give England their series victory. This is mostly about the mindset created among players, that they become fooled by a swinging leather ball and they continue to struggle is a serious concern.
Mahela Jayawardene, SL’s main batsman, who has had a successful career in all formats of the game, seems be very tentative whilst the ball keeps swinging or dipping. That just shows the vulnerability in the Sri Lankan batting.
Coming to the ODIs, SL managed only 120 runs in the first, with four main batsman back in the shed for just 14 runs. Anderson, yet again, bagged four wickets, with England crushing Sri Lanka for a 110-run victory.
The second ODI at Headingley , Sri Lanka amassed 309 runs and won by 69 runs. Yet again, on a flat wicket.
A return to Lords on a very sunny day, Sri Lanka restricted England for a par score of 246 and chased it down with ease with Chandimal fighting for his second century.
In the fourth ODI , Sri Lanka had to win the match to bag the series, but same old problems came back to haunt them. And they found themselves at 20-4, but it was heartnening to see Sangakkra, along with young Mathews, trying to mend the wounds suffered from the early wickets.
Dilshan, captaining Sri Lanka, has failed miserably – not even managing a double digit score. Here again, Anderson haunted Sri Lanka with his feared weapon – swing.
Only two days to go fo the last ODI , Sri Lanka will have to formulate a strategy to breakthrough in swinging, seaming situations or else they might just continue to be haunted against a swinging leather ball – Marvan Attapattu and Co this is up to you.