I hope Sangakkara, his men, and the team management are paying close attention to Australia’s 2010 tour to India. Ricky Ponting’s men have lost the Test series 2-0 and look pretty demoralised. With Sri Lanka touring there later this month, the Lankans have every chance of recording their first successful tour there.
Historically, Sri Lanka have struggled in Australia. But if they take a leaf out of India’s book and play aggressively, there is a good chance that the Lankans can kick the Aussies while there down.
After the loss to India, Australia have now slipped down to number five in the Test rankings and Ponting is under serious pressure amid heavy criticism. Shane Warne has said that he should step down ahead of this year’s Ashes.
Warne took it a step further by criticising Ponting on Twitter,
One of those players, the oft-maligned Hauritz, found himself caught in the middle of a storm on day five of the second Test in India after Warne went on Twitter to criticise Ponting’s field placings.
The former leg-spinner asked how Hauritz was supposed to bowl to the fields his captain was supposedly setting, criticising Ponting’s negative tactics. The skipper later explained Hauritz had set his own fields and revealed he had aired his grievances with Warne.
‘We’ve exchanged a few messages and I’m not hiding the fact I was a little bit disappointed with the Tweets that I read,’ Ponting said. ‘What he had to say was very unfair. It was pretty ill-informed comments.
‘I’ve never been one to run away or be too big or too good for criticism. I take criticism on the chin and try and become better for it. I’ve got to put it behind me and move on.’
Ponting added Warne ‘didn’t apologise’ but things between the former team-mates were ‘pretty amicable’.
Meanwhile, Geoff Lawson too had a thing or two to say about Ponting’s captaincy after the embarrassing loss to India.
"I mean he’s now lost five series, it may be time to say, ‘Look mate, we’ve got Michael Clarke ready to go with a nice fresh young mind. He can be the captain and you focus on your batting and try to restore yourself to the level we know you’re capable’," Lawson told ABC Radio.
Even though Australia still have an ODI series left against India to redeem themselves, the Test series loss has jolted the current World Cup champions. And if Sri Lanka throw their cute and cuddly attitudes aside, forgetting the Spirit of Cricket award, and play like tough men, giving it back to the Aussies both verbally as well as with the bat and ball, there is a good chance that they can crush Australia in their own backyard.
Although Mendis has been discarded in a manner only customary to Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga have what it takes to trouble the Aussie batting line up. It is left to see if their batsmen are able to learn from previous tours to the southern hemisphere and take on the challenge.