Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13

'We are not quite ready for the Australians'

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

December 2, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka's captain and coach, Mahela Jayawardene and Graham Ford, have a chat, Galle, March 25, 2012
Graham Ford: "I hope our boys really get their teeth into it and make some history" © Getty Images
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After the defeat in the P Sara Test to New Zealand Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach, has said his team had to improve on their batting against pace ahead of the three-Test series in Australia, which starts December 14 in Hobart.

Sri Lanka have only a three-day warm-up match against a Chairman's XI at Canberra to put right their shortcomings ahead of the Test series.

"I was hoping that we would have a very good Test series against New Zealand which would be a fantastic way of preparing for the Australia series particularly as they have a useful seam outfit," Ford said.

"If we could pass the test against this seam bowling we would know we were in quite a good position to take on Australia. Unfortunately we didn't really pass the test with flying colours although there were quite a few batsmen that showed some decent form.

"I was hoping for a lot better than that but there were signs that we were starting to find our feet against pace, but what we are really gaining out of it (we had a chat about it as well) was that we now realise that we are not quite ready for the Australians. Once we get there the work that we do is going to be very intense. We are going to have to practise outside our comfort zone so that we are ready for what they are going to throw at us."

Ford blamed the poor performances of the batsmen in the New Zealand series on playing too much one-day cricket. "We just slipped off our Test match process when it comes to batting," said Ford. "It is part of international cricket these days having to switch from one format to the other we just had such a lot of instant cricket that Test match batting has been a long way away from their minds. In a very short space of time they had to try and switch that on and they didn't switch it on as well as we had hoped to.

"Quite a number of our batsmen, although we got a few Test match specialists, have played a huge amount of T20 and ODI cricket in recent times and the Test match process hasn't really been in their minds," Ford said.

"Even though we talk about it, the nervous energy takes over and suddenly the body reverts back to the one-day processes. Also this last Test having had long hours on the field, the mind sometimes plays a few tricks and you are not quite as mentally tough as you should be for Test match cricket. Hopefully we were able to learn from all of that and really start to gear ourselves for much bigger scores."

One of the reasons for the batting problems against New Zealand was the injury to senior opener Tillakaratne Dilshan. Ford expected a fully fit Dilshan to provide strong starts on the Australia tour for Sri Lanka's experienced middle-order. "Dilshan had this injury and came back with not a lot of practice. I am hoping that he is going to be back at his best. He knows the Australian conditions well, he knows the players and has such a great temperament. What I see from Dilshan is, the bigger the moment, the better he plays."

Ford had similarly high expectations of Kumar Sangakkara, who in the series against New Zealand averaged below 10 in a Test series for only the second time in his career. "Sanga didn't get a start which doesn't happen too often. Each time he misses out he is closer to a really big score. He got out in a freakish way in the second innings coming off the thigh pad and when he is playing well Sri Lanka tends to get big scores. You can build an innings around him."

Ford said the hallmark of a good team was to bounce back after a poor performance, something he hoped Sri Lanka would be able to do. "The best of teams do have some bad outings and the boys in the dressing room were very open and honest in saying that they know they are capable of a much better performance than they put in in the second Test. That's important that they accept that they can be better and need to do better. They know they can do better which is a sign of confidence, if we can put that all in place once we get there."

Sri Lanka have yet to win a Test in Australia and the current tour affords them the opportunity to erase that record. Ford believes Sri Lanka's best chance of beating Australia lies at Sydney, venue of the third and final Test.

"The one thing that we have chatted a bit about it is winning a Test in Australia. It's an enormous challenge and it's an exciting challenge. The focus of all the cricketing fans in the world is going to be on those Test matches, so it's a huge opportunity. That will serve us as a lot of motivation as well.

"Traditionally Sydney is the one that the spinners have played a big part. With spin being one of our strengths that's an opportunity. But our seam bowlers have worked very hard recently and are really trying to get their skills going. If there is a little bit of sideways movement on the surface at Hobart our seam bowlers could really have an impact on the game. History tells you that Sydney is the ground that we most likely would get a win.

"Coming off a loss to New Zealand at home where the seam bowlers caused problems it makes it look as if we are quite a long way away. Cricket is a funny game and if the boys are really up for the fight and they are able to tighten up a little bit in terms of a few aspects we know we have to work on, who knows what can be achieved.

"Australia are playing really good cricket, very dominant at the moment they have put up good performances in their home conditions. I hope our boys really get their teeth into it and make some history."

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Posted by Sinhaya on (December 5, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

@Narbavi, yes of course NZ suffered from the worse umpiring in India and the whole world knows it. Also we were better and that was why we made it to the CB series finals. Also, Lankan pitches are result oriented and that was why test matches have a result unlike the dead flat Indian beds.

Posted by Solace1 on (December 5, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

@Harmony111: What u said is absolutely true, just look at his comment now, he says india won because of 14 bad decisions, everyone knows it didn't happen, there might have been one or two decisions, but that happens, but this reasoning is ridiculous isn't it? We saw how they found life tough against Ojha and Ashwin!! Actually it was their team who beat pak recently in tests because of lots of wrong decisions, but he didn't mention it at all!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@Htc-Android: You are mentioning about how it behaved during the last test, i mentioned about the traditional lankan pitches over the years, get the difference??

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

@Sinhaya: 14 umpiring errors against NZ? that's the funniest i have ever heard, the whole world knew how they struggled against our spin and succumbed and here you are saying they won because of 14 wrong decisions!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

@lukecannon-ENG: Mate come on, How come lanka knocked us out? We beat them 2-1 in the CB series, it was actually Aus who knocked us out as we lost 1-3 to them!!

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 4, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

@Narbavi please read this article . It says "bouncier P Sara pitch will assist their seam bowlers in the same way it assisted England's in March, when they squared their two-match series with Sri Lanka, after also losing the first match in Galle" . if you have more questions read this article

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 4, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

@Kalpman, did you read my comment properly? I said exactly what Ross Taylor said. NZ have to be good enough if they beat Australia in a test match last year in Australia, which India could not do last year. By the way NZ lost in India in August 2-0 all because there was no DRS and they had 14 or more decisions going against them.

Posted by lukecannon on (December 4, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

@Narbavi- Didn't SL knock india out in the CB series? and they JUST GOT THERE. Your team was playng there for over a month before SL arrived. Yet they knocked you out in ALIEN conditions. I expect SL to lost all test matches (with the current negative mindset and SL government influence on selectors to include big failures like Paranavitana in the squad while match-winners like Perera are not even looked at) But you can't deny that they have a lot of fight in them and when they go down they do so fighting and with honour.I KNOW that they'l drag these matches as far as they can before losing them and who knows some sangakkara or mathews brilliance might steal a win. They beat SA - no 1 team in the world in SA when keppler wessels proclaimed that even SA A team would beat SL comfortably. Yet they surprised everybody. This is what's common in teams like SL,WI AND NZ and even BAN. You can never relax against them. They'l give you a nasty surprise. so I m keeping my fingers crossed. :))

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 4, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@Kalpman: If you are new around here then learn it today that a SL fan WILL NEVER APPRECIATE THE OTHER TEAM. A typical SL fan such as Sinhaya here will always have some ridiculous excuse up their sleeve to somehow dilute the other team's players. I have been seeing them for a long time now. They just never change. In fact, you will find that several Pak fans are very sober and true sportsmen and they do appreciate the other eam when it does well even if Pak team has lost the match. A very large no of Pak fans congratulated India for WC 2011, for Kohli's 183 and labelled him as the next big thing, they admired SRT'and Viru's 200s but the typical SL fan will somehow find some excuse to belittle all of these things. Dealing with such mind-shut fans is futile. Their team has been the most mediocre of all the test playing teams except BD and Zim (and even BD will beat them now) and still they think they are some top level team. The SL fans suffer from Hallucinations & Illusions of Grandeur.

Posted by Solace1 on (December 4, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

@sinhaya: Mate you are giving another excuse here, NZ beat SL because of Vaas? Come on give credit to their players, always you come up with some sort of excuse or the other to defend your team!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 4, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Htc-Android: Look i am not denying my team played poorly in Aus last year, every team lost home series recently but they were also winning whereas your team couldn't win for 3 long years, imagine that!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 4, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

@Htc-Android: You guys prepare sporting wickets? When? Even in this series it was herath who was dictating terms and if you are preparing sporting pitches then how come all the battin world records are made in your country?

Posted by sonu77 on (December 4, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

@Narbavi, India lost to Ausies & innings in Adelaide too.the flattest pitch in Australia.Hobart is the greenish surface in australia at the moment.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 4, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

@narbavi. except SA every team has lost a home series in recent times. Eng,nz and Aus lost to SA at home this year. WI also lost many home series in recent times. so can u explain me what exactly ur point is?

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 4, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

@Praveen Shavindra Muthuthanthri, also the presense of Vaas with the NZ camp greatly helped them. He certainly would have known all of Sanga's and Mahela's weaknesses. That was why Ross Taylor thanked Vaas big time.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 4, 2012, 0:25 GMT)

@narbavi. its funny ur complaining that we got a flat pitch like Hobart. Last year Australia gave u a flat pitch in Adelaide. now can u tell me why did ur team lose by 300 runs. ur team couldn't even score 300 runs in a flat pitch. can u explain me this?

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 4, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

@Narbavi Thats because, we dont prepare flat tracks and turners to save the home team. we always prepare sportive wickets that suits both teams. prepare a pitch that is similar to p.sara stadium. then u will see. ur team will be crushed by any opposition.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 3, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

@joseyesu: Atleast we are winning at home, its been almost 9 years since we lost a series at home, what about your team? They lost even last year

Posted by Narbavi on (December 3, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

@Test-is-the-best: Ok i agree but certainly lucky to be playing in Hobart and not perth!!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

for all the comments, it was not the pace of Southee and Boult than undid our batting, it was brilliant swing bowling

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 3, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Good luck SL from India. Aus could be caught offguard with no Ricky in that middle order, if SL can get past Warner and Watson, then some damage can be done in that middle order, having said that Clarke and Huss are in prime form, but they will be comming of Big Bash and some distractions. For SL, thier strength will be batting with Sanga, Jaya, Samara leading the way. If Dilshan, Mathews can pitch in then a score of 350+ is what they should aim every time.

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (December 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

It is now time to look ahead in relation to wicket keeping. Prasanna may be a good wicket keeper but his batting is temperamental and he lacks the presence of mind to keep an eye on the most wanted appeals. He lacks that astute thinking required. We had an occasion the last time SL played the Aussies. Ponting had a knick and it went unnoticed. The situation happened again against the Kiwis. He is not "locked in". We are depriving a very good batsmen (Chandimal) by hugging on to Prasanna. Without a good pace attack the bowling is much wanting. You never know with the SL team. They did beat the Saffers away so to write them off will be at your own peril. Philip Gnana, Surrey

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (December 3, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@ Narbavi - So SL is lucky to play in Sydney & Melbourne Pitches. Are they the same pitches that India played last year...???????

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

It is hillarious that to the strong realtions with seniors Paranawithana and Prasannaa keep playing instead of Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne when these two are 10 times better !

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Sri Lanka Cricket or Players have NO real interest in this series..This series is no more important than a Ban vs SL or a domestic tournament coz now our main goal is play many ODIs as possible with India(doesnt matter we win or lose,playing against them alone is more than enough) and prepare well for IPL..Players` main aim is to get spot in a ipl team..its more important than World Cup..Only we stupid fans expect so highly in this tour..If SLC had any chance they would cancel this series and play some ODIs or T20s with India (they already cancelled the test series against world no 1 !!)

Posted by TORONTO123456 on (December 3, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

What are you talking FORD ? You had enough time to get ready for this tour ,This tour not come in overnight as a coach this is your total responsibility and evern before start tour you guys in negative this is really bad

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

Realistically very difficult for SL to perform well in Australia. When they fail so absymally in India, their performance in Australia will always be questionable. Their latest debacle to Kiwis in their home conditions only accentuates their misery. The performance of SL teams outside SL, leave aside Asia, has never been put very minutely under the scanner, unlike India and Pakistan. However for them, things get all the more difficult. Their performance in Pakistan is still ok, but their series in India always ends one-sided by the time it is over. On the other hand, India has always been able to win a test in SL. The last time they not only won a test, managed to draw one and overall came back series drawn 1-1.

Posted by Karnain on (December 3, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

If Sri Lanka are to win at Sydney, they have to play 2 spinners, but Suraj Randiv. Herath should have been partnered by a mistery spinner (Mendis or Akila). They must also play Dimuth & Chandimal instead of Paranawithana & Prasanna.

Posted by colombo_SL on (December 3, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

@Narbavi; According to you, we are lucky to have flat tracks in Australia. According to your guys, we are lucky to be in an easy group of T20 WC. What else do you have to tell about us?

Posted by Sugath on (December 3, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

I sincerely am of opinion that the debacle in batting in 2nd test has nothing to do with technical ability or practice, but conditioning of the mind. As I write, the same is happening to Aussies as they chase the huge total. The batters had created the form in mind about how big the chase was, nearly 400 runs and that dominated the mind leading to contraction of sphere of influence and increase of sphere of concern.

After all all things have mind as fore-runner and mind made are they. By putting too much emphasis on how big the chase was, there was inclination to dominate and this led to downfall of most batsmen. So in Aussie land too the need is there to find strategies on how to condition the mind based on differing situations to be succesful

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (December 3, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

@ Sinhaya - the SCG has always been the pitch most suited to sping bowling in Australia and nothing will change for the New Year's Test. Having said that, I hope the Lankans push the Aussies now that they have been given the opportunity to perform on the big stages of Melbourne and Sydney (thanks to the pig headedness of the South Australian Cricket Board who would rather have their players invloved in a game of that abominable T20 in front of a crowd of 1500 than at he MCG in front of 85,000. Having said that, I'm sure Clarke and co will be licking their lips at facing the Lankans rather than Steyn, Morkel, Vilander and co......

Posted by joseyesu on (December 3, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

Both SL and Ind are losing thier control on test matches. Like Aus, there seems no competition for places.

Posted by lananad on (December 3, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

Whatever or whoever give negative comments about Srilanka the bottom l;ine is SriLanka will do better than India in Australia. SL players are gusty players

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

I'm travelling to Oz to see Melb and Syd tests. I just hope SL will lose with honour if not win. A tame and spineless capitulation (like losing by innings within 3 days) is the nightmare which we hope will be kept distant. Mr Graham Ford's too much ODI excuse for poor batting is not convincing. If SL is not ready now to face Oz pace and swing, it is unlikely they will be on 14 Dec. If Oz lose series to SA as seems likely on start of day 4 in third test, they will be desperate to thrash SL for the benefit of the vast numbers of viewers over Xmas and NY. Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Angelo & co have what it takes to upset Oz plans; go SL!

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 3, 2012, 1:45 GMT)

Looking at our high test scores post Vaas and Murali, 2 of the 400 plus totals were at Cardiff and Lords last year. Others were in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah late last year along with SSC last year when Angelo got his maiden test ton and also this year against Pakistan at Galle. So there are signs that we have managed 400 plus totals overseas as most of our tests last year were away and this year mostly at home. Hope that gives us confidence.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 3, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

Have to agree with a number of comms below - NZ beat us in Hobart last year & SL beat SA in a Test in SA in conditions not dissimilar to Oz... I know we wont be taking SL lightly in any of the 3 series we're playing... Hoping for good competitive series & there is always strong support for SL in Oz... With Murali playing for Melbourne in the BBL he might be a handy back-up for the ODI's or T20's...

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 3, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

Pretty negative from a coach. Looks like Sri Lanka have lost the series against Australia before it has started. Sri Lanka are better off without such negative coaches.

Posted by Moppa on (December 3, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

@stormy16, the Hobart wicket will be nothing like the greentops seen recently in the Shield. Someone will make a big century - Sangakkara? Clarke? Warner? I disagree that the MCG and SCG are 'awfully pace friendly'. I would say the MCG is up-and-down and deteriorates, which makes it both hard to score fluently and hard to rip through a batting line-up, whilst the SCG is pretty slow for Tests these days (@jonesy2 is spot on there), but not the raging turner Ford seems to think it is. I would agree with @sonu77 that Melbourne is Sri Lanka's best chance, due to the fact that the Aussies don't typically bat that well there and our bowling attack will not find much assistance either.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 3, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

@lukecannon-ENG, thanks for your advice as I fully agree by all means. Biggest worry here is that Sri Lanka has played their worse test cricket against Australia since we got test status in 1982. We have recorded half a dozen or more test wins against all other test teams if you see. Add to the agony, we have squandered winning test chances too mostly against the Aussies. For example in 2004 when Ponting became Aussie test captain and came to SL, we had a 1st innings lead in all the 3 tests but sadly lost 3-0. Remember still that the last test we played in Australia where Sanga scored 192, Koertzen's howler jeopardized our hopes. If there was DRS, we may have won, who knows as Malinga too clicked that day with the bat.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 3, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

No kidding Mr.Ford. Can you imagine these guys facing Hilfenhaus, Starc, Cummings and Pattionson? If you cant even face Boult and Southee(No offense they are pretty good bowlers, but they are not as pacy as the above 4) then there's no way you can deal with these 4. SL has never won a test in Aus in 30 years of test cricket, and I don't think its gonna change this time around.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

Knock knock. Who's there? Sri Lankan selectors don't realise that the one player feared by Australia (and some others) is Ajantha Mendis and with reason. He can rip through batting line-up like few others. For Sri Lanka to have any chance of beating Australia they need to pick him (and not Randiv). Is there anyone home?

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

big struggle for sri lanka in australia coming up.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (December 2, 2012, 22:25 GMT)

SL batsmen has a history of wasting vital opportunities to win test matches. This batting line up has got 4 batsmens with over 75 test appearances. However noboby takes the responsibility when the team expects to save a test match.If SL need to do so a batmen like Marvan ATTAPATTU required at the top to open the inning with Dilshan. Paranavithana is not good at this. He is not capable of making big hundreds when needed. Mahela too at No 4 could not make any big hundred out side ASIA. He need to work on his weakness against fast bowlers specially when is new to the crease.

Posted by TYJAY on (December 2, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

That is why other teams they have one set of players for test cricket and another for ODI and T20! In SL team team is same all 3 format with exception of Tilan Samaraweera. I also don't understand why we rely on sick players. If they are unfit they cannot play. Simple as that! It was a poor judgement.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 2, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Even if the Sri Lankans batsman adapts to the Conditions, their bowling unit is nowhere near good to take out Hussey, Watson, and Clarke in Aus. Now that Ponting has retired, they will have a relatively inexperienced batting lineup. Kulasekera and Herath will be huge if Sri Lanka even wants a chance at winning. Chandimal should play instead of Prasanna (Chandimal has good record in Aus ODIs) and Eranga and Welegedera should accompany Kula and Herath (at the expense of Randiv)

Posted by yorkslanka on (December 2, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

i think ford should be congratulated for being honest..Anyone who doesnt agree with him is living in cloud cuckoo land..we need to improve our perfomance levels if we are going to compete but we will do well if we dont get whitewashed in the tests... We will hopefully do better in ODI's..As a board, we dont put any effort into test cricket and it shouldnt be allowed..Boards should be made to fulfill their FTP games or face heavy fines/bans fom all other formats..for me, the players that HAVE to play in Aus for us to succeed are Chandimal, Samaraweera , Thisara , Tharanga along with the usual players..

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 2, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

Australia should breeze past SL. Aussies are still good in their backyard. SL need to bat properly if they are to compete in the series. SL's spinners won't get much outta the surfaces there except Adelaide to some extent. I think the Sri Lankans will once again heavily depend on Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan to do the scoring. So the series is Australia's.

Posted by sonu77 on (December 2, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Hope sanga will regain his losing touch in hobart,one of his favourite grounds.toss will be very crucial there.SL should bowl first if they won the toss.I don't think sydney pitch help spinners that much.I believe Boxing day melbourne test is the Sri lanka's best chance of beating aussies & hope they will do it.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 2, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

Also, Mr Ford remember that Sanga score 192 in his last test match in Australia and had DRS been there he could have batted on and who knows we may have won that test match chasing 500. Malinga too clicked that day with the bat as he was stranded at 42 not out. We wont get a parched surface for the tests in Australia like in Durban but we will have mass support which we did not have in South Africa. Please play Dhammika Prasad instead of Randiv and also play Dimuth Karunaratne instead of Paranavithana. Dilshan can come off well as he score 193 at Lords last year. Also, target 400 if batting first as that is a must to ensure we wont lose a test match.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 2, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

Mr Ford, actually Adelaide is Australia's most spin friendly surface. Also remember that any team which gets thrashed inside 3 days in a test match is likely to bounce back hard and that was what NZ did this week. Same happened when Sri Lanka got whacked inside 3 days in the first test in Pretoria and won the 2nd test in Durban last year. Same too happened to West Indies after being hammered inside 3 days in the first test with the Aussies in Brisbane in 2009 but fought superbly and drew the 2nd test in Adelaide in a dominant manner as they could not win cos Aussies were too good.

Posted by shanepe2003 on (December 2, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

S/L gona win there Sydney test by dropping A Mendis & persist with S randive. what a joke! S/L gona loose this test series mainly because poor selection of players. If dilhara going to play for SL he needs to play Aus & S/A tests no point play him on subcontinent pitches. if Australia is concern about SL spin it will be AMendis mistery spin more than any thing else. Lets not waste our time talking paranawithana. Dropping chandimal? Persist with P Jayawardena only selectors know the reason.... But we all know even before test series start what's the result!

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Yeah I am worried for SL at their performance at NZ but they have the players ..they played reasonably ok in the England series and the SA series..

Mahela and Sanga have to make the bulk of the runs for him..Chandimal can have a good series so can Lahiru and you also have Angelo..The talent is there but they will have to apply themselves extremely well

Posted by Narbavi on (December 2, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Wow, talk about confidence!! In all fairness lanka are pretty much lucky when you look at the venues they are playing in, pretty much flat tracks they are!! If they cannot even manage a draw in one of these tests then that will tell you something about them

Posted by tony122 on (December 2, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

This is a very defeatist attitude Sri Lanka is showing. Even before reaching Australia they have already started to explain away their anticipated defeat with superficial and flimsy arguments. Sri Lanka were never good against quality ace. Jayawardena and Sangakarra while exemplary batsman of spin bowling and Asian conditions are not world beaters in Pace and Seam friendly conditions. This has always been so. But there defeat against NZ in home conditions has some barely spoken reasons. Firstly their two champion batsman- Sannga and Jaya are not what they used to be. Second Sri Lanka has never been a big Test fan. Right from the days of Jayasuriya and Aravinds- they prefered shorter form of the game. And with the retirement of Murali, under expected performance from Mendis and retirement of Malings from Tests has made it's bowling look below international standards. These are the real reasons why SL is likely to struggle more than before this series down under.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 2, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

On paper SL are on a hidding to nothing against Aus - not much different to what its been before. The conditions are too alien and the Aus have too many option on all fronts except spin, which usually doesnt matter. Previously SL have played away from the SCG and MCG both of which these days are awfully pace friendly. Hobart is like a bowling green this season. Unless the senior SL batters can put up a decent score I dont expect either test to reach the 5th day. The SL bowling certainly will not make much of an impact on the Aus batting so the only question will be if SL batters can make enough runs.

Posted by bMike on (December 2, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

After seeing head to head fight between Australia and South Africa I feel really sorry for SL. In the end of the Aus vs SL test series we won't be able to see a better result than a series white wash in favor of Aus that India got both in Australia and England.

Posted by kanagsrat on (December 2, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Sri Lanka need to sharpen up their batting and fast. Going by stats sri lanka i pretty even with Australia in the batting department, unfortunately due to too much 20 20 cricket, top batsman like sanga and mahela have struggled against swing. Paranivatana is a complete liability at the top of the order, as an opening batsman your supposed to have a technique to combat swing bowling, of which he lacks completely. Our bowling relies on just herath and traditionally sri lankan spinners have struggled on aussie wickets. Our chances look grim, but hopefully Sri Lanka can put in a fighting performance

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

its good for a team to admit bad performances and improve. its going to be a difficult tour in Australia but this Aussie team is not the Aussie team of the past, they are beatable if we play good cricket. Batsman have to fire. Chandimal should play, as a opener or for PJ. our bowling looks worrying though, Herath is the only world class bowler we have. lets hope for a good tour

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Sangakkara scores 196 and Sri Lanka scores 410 chasing 506 in Hobart 4th innings run chase during their 2007-08 visit to Australia. Hobart in the 1989-90 series was also a missed opportunity. Sri Lanka bowled out Border's Australians for 224 but then got bowled out for 216 themselves and in valiant,but vain,pursuit of a 521 target they got to 348 in 4th innings. Sydney is perhaps better chance for spinners to come into the equation but New Zealand exposed Australia's frailties against the seaming deliveries with their 7 run test match win in Hobart last year so Sri Lanka should be ready for a seam bowler helpful Bellerive Oval pitch.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 2, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

its funny that in general teams seem to have pre conceived ideas before they go places even though past pitches count for nothing and pitches change month in month out let alone over the years. sydney has gone from being a spinning wicket to a green seaming wicket to a flat dull wicket and so on

Posted by lukecannon on (December 2, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Sri lanka will have to do the following if they dont want to get whitewashed this test series. 1-Drop Paranavitana and bring back Dimuth Karunaratne to open the innings.(While dilshan attacks the kid can settle in and provide a respectable if not strong start) 2-Drop Prasanna Jayawardene and bring back Dinesh chandimal. (He's ok with the gloves and a great batter outside the subcontinent) 3-Bring back Thisera Perera and slot him in for Eranga or Kulesekara (Kulesekara specially because the aussies will enjoy his 120ks) because he's a decent pacer and a can hang around with the batters and provide useful runs. I hope Mahela or Graham Ford is reading my comment. You do these and you'l do fine. ( Wont get whitewashed) . If you wanna win you'l need a inform sangakkara and jayawardene which is unlikely. I like Sri lanka. Please don't get whitewashed. Please publish cricinfo

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Could be a good series, especially if Aus now go down to a big defeat against SA, and they have to blood a new number 4. Sri Lanka's batting looks strong at home but will be tested by the extra pace and bounce in Oz. Their weakest area by far is their seam attack. Eranga looks like a good prospect but Kulasekera will have to use all of his nous to avoid being smashed around the park by David Warner, considering the pace at which he bowls. Hopefully Welegedera will get the nod as third seamer. Looking forward to it.

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