Viewing 9 comments - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Thank you for all your
    Thank you for all your comments.

    Stormy – The South African pace bowling line-up is, as you put it, scary. They can dismantle any batting line up. We just don’t have the personnel to put up a decent fight anymore. Our batters would need to step up and grind the opposition down. It’ll be ugly but that’s the only way we can compete against the South Africans in Tests. As for the bowlers, I really don’t think we have bowlers good enough to bowl SA out twice but we can start with playing four fast bowlers for a change, even if one of them happens to be an all-rounder. But, like the batsmen stepping up, I can’t see ths happening.

    Sunny – idiotic I may be for being slightly pessimistic you’re simply deluded. A few days after I posted my article our batting collapsed against the West Indies in a 50 over game. I was horrified to learn that we couldn’t deal with the Windies pace bowlers on a Harare deck. Also, can I know the logic behind your conclusion that we stand a good chance of competing against the South Africans? That’s what I inferred from your comments and I’d be interested to know. Also, if you’d understood my last paragraph you would’ve realised that I was being sarcastic. But then again I don’t expect you to get sarcasm.

  • Interesting read, and I
    Interesting read, and I couldn’t help smiling after reading your last line.

    I think our success in the LOI formats had a lot to do with the players we had and also the way we played our cricket. It won’t be an exaggeration to say we revolutionised ODI batting in 1996. Sanath led the way with scintillating knocks at the top and he was followed by fine batsmen like Marvan, Aravinda, Arjuna and then later Sanga and Mahela.

    As for our bowlers we had Murali and Malinga to leave the opposition floundering. In addition, steady bowlers like Vaas, Zoysa (anyone remember him?) and Kulasekara brought some control to our bowling line up. We were also blessed with batsmen who could bowl. Sanath, Aravinda and Dilshan all fell into this category.

    Not all these players played at the same time but when the core of our LOI team was built on such fine players winning was something we did regularly.

    Anyway, I highly doubt we would develop a world-beating Test team and flop in the limited over formats. We just don’t have the world class players required to be a world beating Test side.

    I also think you’re confusing T20s with 50 over games. Although the gap has closed in the last few years there are still considerable differences between the formats. You need to have reasonably good technique in order to succeed in 50 over games. As a bowler, you can’t be bowling filth for your allotted 10 overs hoping someone would make a mistake and you get a bucketload of wickets. This can happen in T20s but not in ODIs. In a slap bang 50 over game where both teams have posted 350+ perhaps, but you still have games where the winning score is only 250 and you need to get the basics right to win.

    Of the current players Amla, De Villiers, Kohli, Root and Angelo Mathews have managed to marry tight technique with fast scoring, something not everyone can do.

    As silly as it may sound we need more players like Angelo Mathews and Chandimal. Expecting a Kusal Perera or Kapugedara to fill in the ranks is asking for trouble.

  • Thank you for all your
    Thank you for all your comments. I can see that opinion is divided amongst us Sri Lankan fans. But as adults we can all agree to disagree, can’t we?

    Sunny, I have to respectfully disagree with what you said. I still maintain that Australia does not have the necessary skills to survive on the subcontinent. They were thrashed 4-0 by India not too long ago despite being one of the stop sides going around. In the 80s or even 90s none of the top ranked teams suffered humiliating whitewashes away from home. So it just goes to show that, barring Steven Smith, no one in the current Australian side can deal with the vagaries of spin bowling. The reason Australia had us at 26-5 was because of some poor batting from us on a somewhat benign pitch. No Test team should find itself at 26-5, that’s just a village cricket score. The reason the Aussies then raced to 267-1 was because our bowlers couldn’t find a breakthrough on the benign SSC pitch. If I’m honest, most Test teams don’t find themselves at the receiving end of such a score either, especially at home. So, if not for the salvaging performances of some of our newer players we’d have received a thrashing in the Tests too.

    This leads me to my next point. Yes, some of our younger players definitely stepped up but unlike you, Sunny, I wouldn’t hastily proclaim them to be the next great batsman or bowler. Remember Ajantha Mendis and how he fizzed out. All our greats took time to settle at international level. So I’ll be more reassured when someone takes time to slowly but surely find his feet. Like they say one swallow does not a summer make.

    You also kindly gave us stats from the most recent domestic season. A cut-off of 250 balls faced is a rather arbitrary (and low-ish) figure. Infact, by international standards where most batsmen have a strike rate of only 40-50% this would only translate to an innings of 100-125 runs, hardly a big hundred. And therein lies my point, even if we go by your arbitrary 250 ball cut-off score there were only 12 innings that lasted 250 balls or more. If batsmen cannot make big hundreds in domestic cricket regularly how can they be expected to score big hundreds in international cricket. It’s not fair on them.

    Also, grinding out a big hundred in a raging turner bunsen burner against an army of spinners is very different to grinding out big innings’ against four relentless fast bowlers on a pitch with pace and bounce, something our local batsmen are unaccustomed to. Facing four menacing pacemen on a good bowling pitch is a completely different ball game Sunny, the skills are not as transferable as you think, and its akin to expecting a maths teacher to do a good job teaching English. My point here being, the only way to properly prepare future players for the rigors of international cricket is to try and emulate it in domestic cricket in the first place. If that means we prepare pitches with pace and bounce or sometimes raging turners or even benign highways then so be it. To me that’s the best way forward to produce a decent set of fast bowlers and batsmen who can deal with both pace and spin so they would know what to expect at international level and the transition will not be as prolonged, or as painful.

    NMM, you called me pessimistic but expecting a “draw to be the best thing to hope” shows how pessimistic you are. I would not settle for a draw. I would not settle for mediocrity. I need more from this current Sri Lankan team. I know what we were capable of as a team with Murali, Vaas, Aravinda, Arjuna, Sanga and Mahela around and I want the current crop to rise to the challenge. I wouldn’t expect a Sri Lankan team to be No.1 in all three formats, that’ll be delusional. But a third place ranking in all 3 formats is something we are capable of achieving and something we should aiming for.

    Suren, that’s because the gulf between our domestic and international cricket is massive.

    Stormy, entertaining cricket yes, and I did enjoy the series greatly but I’m concerned about our future.

  • Just a quick note to let you
    Just a quick note to let you guys know that clicking on the 3 links in the article above will now include stats for Test matches which were played after I wrote my article and, therefore, the values don’t correspond anymore. However, the points that I made about our poor fast bowling still stand.

    On the flip side, the links that I provided could be used to keep track of our fast bowling.

    Admins – can you please make this post a sticky?

  • Thanks Sakala Bujang and
    Thanks Sakala Bujang and Delan82 for your comments. I do agree with both of your comments. As the recently concluded Test matches against Pakistan show we have a few talented youngsters and we need to get the best out of them. Of course, change needs to happen at the grassroots as well. The SLC can start by encouraging the clubs to have pitches with something in it for the pacemen.

  • @ Stormy – thank you for the
    @ Stormy – thank you for the wonderful comment. Much appreciated.

    I guess with India there are better facilities available. They have the MRF pace academy and whole army of coaches to guide young fast bowlers. We in Sri Lanka lack that infrastructure.

    Ramanayake is long gone. Vaas is our current fast bowling coach and, as he has shown over the years, is working hard with our current crop of fast bowlers, leaving aside one man who has grown too big for his boots.

    Philander has got a near perfect wrist position and he has immaculate control over his line and length. Apparently, this is enough to take wickets at an astonishing rate at Test level.

  • Anonymous – thanks for your
    Anonymous – thanks for your contribution.

    You have mentioned enough players to start building a fast bowling pool. They may not be the finished product quite yet but can be developed into decent fast bowlers.

    To me, Kasun Madushanka seems the best out of the lot in terms of stats. However, from what I’ve heard, Charith Jayampathi and Imran Khan are good prospects as well.

    We did have several fast bowlers plying their trade in FC cricket in the 90s. But due to a lack of oppurtunities and non-selection we saw them fade away.

    The current trend of preparing spinning tracks has discouraged budding kids to become pacemen.

Viewing 9 comments - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)