Australia v Sri Lanka 2010-11 October 20, 2010

Captaincy criticism par for the course - Sangakkara


Criticism from outside the camp doesn't ruffle Kumar Sangakkara. He's used to it. But in Australia it usually takes something seriously wrong for an ex-player to break the code of support for the country's captain.

During Australia's series loss in India Shane Warne targeted Ricky Ponting's fields and Geoff Lawson has called for him to become a specialist batsman. Ponting has been unhappy with some of the coverage and it adds to the intrigue for the limited-overs contest against Sri Lanka, which acts as Australia's last international item before the Ashes.

Sangakkara has been captain of Sri Lanka for more than a year and has developed a relaxed attitude to criticism. "We come from a slightly different cricket-playing scene [than in Australia] where we get to see that almost every day," he said before laughing loudly. "If it does happen it's not the end of the world. It's an opinion expressed and if you're playing at this level you are able to handle it with equanimity."

Warne tweeted about Ponting's fields to Nathan Hauritz and the issue continues to rumble, with the former legspinner writing about it on his website on Tuesday. Sangakkara was not surprised by Warne's comments, but did not think it suggested the Australians were starting to crack.

"Warne has very strong opinions on most things," he said. "He is also a very shrewd and intelligent cricketer, I'm sure he expressed an opinion he thought was relevant. Everyone looks at everything differently, that's what you realise very soon playing cricket. That's the beauty of cricket, it's all put down to interpretation."

One of the reasons for the burst of local complaints is Australia's drop to No.5 in the Test rankings, their worst since the system was introduced. They are still comfortably on top in one-day internationals, 16 points above South Africa, but appear more vulnerable given the slip in five-day status.

Sangakkara doesn't pretend to understand how the ranking system works but is certain the hosts won't be a pushover. "Playing the Aussies in Australia is a completely different story," he said. "How they will look at it in between an Ashes series is something left for them. For us, it's a great challenge to play Australia anytime."

The Sri Lankans open their tour with a one-dayer against Queensland at the Gabba on Friday and have two more warm-ups before the Twenty20 international in Perth on October 31. Three ODIs follow as the teams start to focus seriously on next year's World Cup.

"We're trying a few new guys, but we're settled to a great extent," Sangakkara said. "There are still a few places up for grabs and we need to have guys ready and able to take up that spot. We have a lot of younger players who have come in, and a lot of experienced players who do not feature in our squad. It's an interesting time for us."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    @Ravi Chandra - Very Good point you made....Sri Lanka got test status in 1982 and they won test their first match in 1985(70's Lankan side is said to be better than the this side.).And that too against the world champions at that time(your Indian side).How about that.And they won that series 1-0.Come up with more questions man.We are happy to answer.We don't hide behind lame excuses.Because we don't have to.Our cricketers have done us proud.

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    @Aussie_Mike - Hope you are not afraid of loosing mate....he he...just kidding...Hopefully its gonna be a cracker of a series...May the best side win...

    @cricket_fan_1 - You are a typical Indian...don't know a thing about whats happening and comes and comments on cricket articles.And add to that even calls you a cricket fan.India is the one and only country who is running away from UDRS.The whole world knows it, but you don't.Tell me,how can you be a cricket fan???:O:O

  • Shehan on October 25, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    @ cricket_fan_1: Sri Lanka did not get to use UDRS because India did not want it. I see you conveniently forget your facts when it suits you

  • Stud on October 23, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    @Sanjaya Weerakkody. why didn't SL use UDRS for their last home test series? Remember the 2nd league match of the tri-series in SL between India and SL, whose umpire gave 3/4 Indian batsmen out (when actually not-out) so that the home team could qualify for the final. Don't open can of worms..

  • Aussie on October 23, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    @Kanchana Udugama. So you don't mind SL losing all the matches, as long as you get to watch good cricket. Hope you really mean it.

  • Stud on October 23, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    @Sanjaya Weerakkody. why didn't SL use UDRS for their last home test series? Remember the 2nd league match of the tri-series in SL between India and SL, whose umpire gave 3/4 Indian batsmen out (when actually not-out) so that the home team could qualify for the final. Don't open can of worms..

  • Aussie on October 23, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    Will be an intresting series for Srilankans and Indians, while all the Aussie interest is saved for the Ashes. Peace

  • Stud on October 23, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    @Sanjaya Weerakkody, you only watch your team's cricket !! India has won test series in Eng (capt. Dravid), in NZ (capt. Dhoni), in WI (Capt. Dravid), and won all the test series against Ban. Out of the 5 countries only SA is yet to be conquered bu indian cricket team. Why is cricinfo even showing such comments that are wrong. BCCI is the richest Board only for the past < 10 years. Dhoni is neither a batsman, nor a tennis player, he is just a lucky and smart guy.

  • Sajitha on October 22, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    Comments in Sri Lankan articles goes lke this. Before the tournaments - 60% indians If Sri Lanka loose a match - 80% indians If Sri Lanka won a match - 5% indians If Sri Lanka loose a tournament - 90% indians If Sri Lanka win a tornament - 0% indians

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    @Trishcric well you are too immature to talk with, anyways it's india who back off when they hear the term UDRS. because then they wont be able to do what thay did to oppositions with their good old umpires. Other teams have nothing to do when Indian cricket board say "We dont have the technology to have UDRS" all your laxmans Dhoni (who isn't a cricketer but a tennis player) etc only score in INDIA...

    the whole world laughs at you wannabe situation

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