Tour Review – Sri Lanka in Australia 2010

Sri Lanka ended their triumphant tour of Australia at the Brisbane Gabba today.

On a pitch that offered the best pace and bounce of the series, Sri Lanka’s so far impressive batting crumbled to be embarrassingly bowled out for 115. It was most concerning to see Sri Lanka’s lack of intensity in today’s game.

Yes, Sri Lanka won the series but to beat the Australians 3-0 in Australia and leave their shores unbeaten should have been enough incentive for the team, especially because the chance does not present itself very often. If Sri Lanka are to become the next dominant force in ODI cricket this type of effort cannot occur very often.

Certainly Sri Lanka has the bowling attack that can dismantle any batting side in any type of pitch.It’s the batting that needs to become stronger.

If we look at this tour very objectively as a Sri Lanka fan I will not get carried away. Why did Sri Lanka win, is it because the superior skills of the Lankans or because of the declining fortunes of the Aussies. I believe if was a combination of both. As history shows better Sri Lankan sides have toured down under and have been soundly beaten.

In an Ashes year, Australia’s focus is invariably on England and dismantling them. The history and the rivalry of the ashes is very famous and every Australian player wants to play in the Ashes and become the next Ashes hero. So Australia were caught unaware of the young Sri Lankan talents like Thisara Perera, Randiv, and Matthews. And they underestimated the Sri Lankans who have been continually improving in all areas in the past year.

In the first T20 Thisara Perera smashed the Aussie spinner because he bowled length, in the matches that followed he was given a healthy amount of short balls which is his weakness.

They did not know about the extra bounce that Randiv gets and lost a few wickets.

The Aussies did not identify Matthews as the Sri Lankan sides finisher, because they were not prepared, they suffered. One of the best aspects of the previous Aussie sides was their planning for every player and executing the plans to perfection.

Sri Lankan’s best batsman in Australia was always’s going to be Sangakkara because his record against Australia and his batting style suites the Australian conditions.

This was another disappointing tour for Mahela, for such a talented player it’s inexcusable how many times he fails. I’ve conceded the fact that he’ll never become the ODI player we want him to become.

Another failure for Chamara Silva as well, Sri Lanka seem to be pushing him for a middle order batting slot, but I would have loved to see young Chandimal given a go in at least the final match.

Kapugedara was not given a run does this mean the door is closing for him unless he performs? Kapu, I think is a great team player but he really needs to rack up some numbers on the score sheets. If Sri Lanka decide to play Thisara Perera at 7 he really should apply himself more purposefully if not he becomes a easy target for the opposition especially with the short ball.

In the end it was a very successful tour for Sri Lanka because they planned well and executed the plan with precision. I’m very happy for Murali because he gets to say goodbye to a place where he’s had some of the worst memories of his cricket life with a victory that matters.

Looking forward Sri Lanka’s batting is still not right it plays some great cricket one day and fails the next “consistency” is the key for any batsmen. If Sri Lanka sorts out the batting we’ll probably make a good run in the world cup and beyond.So as a Sri Lankan fan I’m optimistic about the future.

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