September 3, 2009

Sri Lankan cricket

Reigniting the Samaraweera debate

Kanishkaa Balachandran

It's not Sri Lanka's fault that they don't get to play as much Test cricket as the other leading teams. However, if they have to maintain their No.2 ranking, they have to break their jinx in India later this year, writes Dileep Premachandran in the Guardian. He also reopens the debate on Thilan Samaraweera and whether he can be considered among the 'greats', be it in Sri Lanka or overall.

Waugh Junior may not go down as a "great" because of the manner in which he sometimes frittered away his considerable gifts, but his example should remind us not to use the word lightly. The best test, as it has always been, is to check how the player did against the finest team of his era. Sunil Gavaskar had 13 centuries against West Indies, Sachin Tendulkar has 10 against Australia. Brian Lara had nine. Inzamam-ul-Haq finished with one from 14 Tests. If he's not always mentioned in the same breath, you know why. Numbers in isolation, without analysis, mean nothing. Not every 36-24-36 bimbette can be a Paz Vega.

In the Daily News, Richard Dwight praises Samaraweera for his contributions over the years as a solid middle-order batsman.

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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