July 30, 2008

Express yourself

Sri Lanka's success in recent times has hinged on how they have encouraged players to be themselves
28


If one don't get you, the other will: Murali now has a spinner for a partner and it is good to see © AFP
 

I know Mahela Jayawardene called the last match "the perfect Test", but there is always room for any side to get better. And that's where you have to start: whatever stage you are at in your career or in a series, you can always get better. There are always loose ends that need tidying up. And that's what Sri Lanka have been trying to do. Not to be perfect, because that's impossible, but to be excellent: as good as we possibly can be on the field. If we can do that for five consecutive days, more often than not we will walk away with victory.

Ajantha Mendis' success at the SSC is an indication of where we're headed. When you bowl or bat it is always in partnerships. Muttiah Muralitharan had Chaminda Vaas all these years, and it's great to see that he now has a spinning partner. We have had Rangana Herath in the past, who has been brilliant, but now in Ajantha we have someone who is accurate and yet has so much variation that batsmen are under as much pressure against him as they are against Murali.

Because they are watching the variation and looking out for it, sometimes playing the ball becomes secondary. That has worked in our favour. If we have those two bowling in tandem, applying pressure, cutting the runs down, bowling the good balls in the right areas, they will get wickets and Sri Lanka will be in situations from where Tests can be dominated. That's exactly what we are asking of them, and they've been great in answering the call. Let's hope that they keep doing just that in the next Test and the next and so on.

Ajantha's improvement in the next few years will depend on how successful he is in thinking the way a batsman does when facing him. When he bowls he will have to think how batsmen will come at him, what plans they have to try and counteract him. When he has that, plus the positive intent and a good work ethic, he will be difficult to face.

The first year is going to be easy for him, but the more he plays, the harder he will find it. He'll have to come up with new things, and hopefully we will have an environment that will foster that kind of growth and thinking. That's what Sri Lanka work hard at. To make sure everyone fits in where he wants to, so he can give his best.

In India's case at the SSC, it was clearly not about technique. It usually is not. Just look at the quality and depth they have as a team. It was just excellent bowling backed up by very good fielding that put the pressure on.

Also, we had another bowler at the other end who dried up the runs. That pressure builds up, and you only have to make one mistake as a batsman. You might be the best player in the world, but it only takes one good delivery. It doesn't matter what record you have if questions are being asked continually from both ends. We had two bowlers from either side making it tough almost every single delivery. Some batsmen can counterattack successfully for a while, but sustaining that is very tough.

One of the good things about our dressing room is that everyone's opinion has equal weight, irrespective of whether you've played 100 Tests or one. We appreciate individuality, and that's been the best thing to have happened to Sri Lanka in the past few years. People understand that who they are is very important in a team environment. If someone comes into the side and becomes just another player, one among the many, it doesn't do anything for us. For them to remain who they are as individuals as well as develop their cricket - that is what our team is all about. We have had great examples in Murali, Vaas, and Sanath Jayasuriya.

 
 
The key to Ajantha and his improvement in the next few years will be how successful he is in thinking the way a batsman does when facing him. The first year is going to be easy for him, but the more he plays, the harder he will find it
 

Take someone more recent, like Lasith Malinga: everything about his personality, even his hair, is great for us. It gives us new energy and vibrancy, and that is so positive. So are players like Chamara Kapugedera. Just having the likes of him and Chamara Silva keeps competition alive and makes others hungry.

So far, well and good, but to go to the next step Sri Lanka need to play more Test matches. We played just eight last year, compared to some other teams who played 12 or 14. That is not enough; we are hungry for more. My personal opinion is that Test cricket is the ultimate because it tests you the most. It has so many variations and depth. We have batsmen who are not getting an opportunity to try and go for records because we play less Test cricket than other teams. That's sad.

You have rivalries such as the traditional Ashes, or India against Pakistan, or more recently India versus Australia. I would love to see Sri Lanka being included in such battles. It comes down to the men who matter sitting down and strategising about how to give Sri Lanka more Tests, but crucially it is up to the players to bring in that flair, that charisma, that will turn Sri Lanka versus India, for example, into a marquee event. We all play cricket, but it's our job as sportsmen to give it our best, to make people want to come and watch us. For that, Sri Lanka definitely need to play more Tests.

The recent innuendo about next year's tour to England hasn't affected the team in any way. It is sad that such an issue cropped up in the middle of an intense series, but we have just got to focus on the cricket and on winning the next match.

Looking to Galle, we're upbeat. Everything is in order. Personally, I would like some runs! Most of the time between Tests has gone in looking after day-to-day stuff - domestic responsibilities, mainly, as well as catching up with friends and relatives after our success in Colombo. You can bet that the other players have spent time catching up on world sport. We've got a bunch of fanatics in the dressing room. Cricket, football, rugby, tennis, F1 - you name it, they'll be watching it. The bottom line is: we're all sportsmen and it's our passion. You can't get it out of us.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • back_foot_punch on July 31, 2008, 10:22 GMT

    Thank Mr. Sangakkara for such another well-written, balanced article. I'm sure you could turn to sports writing on a full-time basis at any point. I would love to see more people of the likes of Ajantha Mendis and the others you describe coming into international cricket.

    It is one of the more unique elements in cricket that other sports just don't have, the promotion of individual technique that can allow you to prosper, not hinder you. Even as an Indian cricket fan had no anger at Sri Lanka team (only my own); only admiration for spin bowling at its best. Not everyone has to spin a ball at right angles to be successful!

  • mikespider007 on July 31, 2008, 10:12 GMT

    Last time i read the comments for his article which said, Kumar sanga stays neutral unlike other commentators. But this is bit disappointing. All he is doing is praising his own team and getting over hyped by the thumping win Srilankans had in the previous test. Hope you will get what you expect in your team. Future will decide who stands where.!!1

  • UmpireKumar on July 31, 2008, 9:18 GMT

    Well written Sanga , another one of your best articles and also I agree with TISSA who posted a comment @ 1.37am GMT which is 100/: true . I like this thing called ''The Asian Blog'' .OK we all know English invented the game of cricket and used to be run and fully controlled by them now they can't do anything about this Asian Blog, they and some other western countries moaning about this. Michael Holding who thinks he is Western resigned over the decision by ICC to give a draw to Pakistan vs England match. Commentators supposed to be neutral as possible but watch Eng vs SA series and Mr.M.H crying over England's loss. So called ex players now commentating on cricket matches 'come on' be gentle and treat the umpires fairly as they only make decisions as they see/hear in split seconds but as audience we can see you guys watch this over and over again and you still have different opinion among 2 or 3 of you and to see the other side of the coin why don't you guys have a go on umpiring.

  • GabruGrewal on July 31, 2008, 7:05 GMT

    you are the BEST..nothing more i can say. cricket is such a beautiful game ..having people like you makes it even nicer..Thank you

  • KK4Cricket on July 31, 2008, 4:18 GMT

    Well done Kumara! Hope you will get the kind of hype you are looking for by the end of this series. India Vs Sri Lanka will be seen as big as India Vs Pakistan. Thanks to the competitive spirit from Lankans.

  • Ramesh.JJ on July 31, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    Thank you sanga for all what you and the guys have done for Srilankan cricket. You're articles are just superb. I have been a "Die Hard" fan of Lankan cricket and infact I share very close friendship with a number of players. I read some comments by our dearest friends across the border, they have pointed out about our fragile middle order. But I would like to ask them to first look at the whole Indian batting order doesnt it look fragile? With due respect to Tendulkars, Gangulys, Dravids who have been wonderful players but where are the rest? I hope they understand that cricket is a game and players do have good and bad times. All we need to do is stand by our cricketers and side them no matter what. So my friends look at your teams batting order rather than concentrating on our Lankan line up.

  • aravikumar08 on July 31, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    Nice article Sanga..First of all congrats to your team for winning the test emphatically. Also I dont see how quickly the Indian team can find answers quickly specially with the reckless batting of the opening batsmen. I definitely think T20 had the impact on 50 overs Asia cup and now the tests. One aspect about some Indian players like ganguly and sehwag who treat spinners with so much disdain also appals me even if they show some more respect they will maul the spinners...However its the M factor which we need to wow for a while. The true test will however be when batsmen fail to respond which has a more likelihood with only you and Mahela showing some class. Playing and watching quality test cricket is still the connosieurs choice, so best of luck for the future...Die hard Indian fan:))...

  • TISSA on July 31, 2008, 1:37 GMT

    Kumar, Well written article again. It is great to see Sri Lankan Criicket is mosing forward. It is high time for other things to follow ( Health,journalism ,public and private sector etc). Go Sri Lanka! We had enough of preaching from West,about human rights etc. Complete crap. Sri Lankans know heaps better than west, we can look after our own destiniy. Go Sri Lanka!

  • Agnar on July 30, 2008, 18:17 GMT

    Unlike before now Sri Lanka has enough international players. One has to fight to stay in the team. I hope the competition gets harder. Keep up the good work guys. PS. Sanga, I live in USA. I watch you guys play as much as I can. I have a lot of respect for all in our team. But when I went home I saw the Coca-Cola adds with Mahela and Sanga. It looked very cheap. I think it could be better for your image (as role models especially for young Sri Lankans) if you stay away from commercials. To be fair I should mention that you guys do a lot of charity work. That is wonderful.

  • Rakee on July 30, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    very true Sanga..Eventhough we are performing wonderfully well in Tests recent times still some extrimits believes that we have another long way to go in Test cricket. Sri Lanka is the only Test playing country except Bangladesh which haven't played a 4 or 5-match Test series yet. According to Charie, SL haven't got enough quality players. It's ridiculous. We have the world's best bowler and batsman. To add more Mahela, Ajantha, Vaasy all are class acts. If we rated teams according to the number of high quality players, SL should be in the top 3. I think England is the only team which depends on only 1 player named Kevin Pieterson. But ridiculously they are playing more than 10 Test matches per year. So Charie please be broad-minded. And also no-one is having any pre-Test discussions before a SL Test Series. If it is India,Australia,England or New Zealand, all critics are ready to fill their blogs and papers months before the Test series started. It's very unfair.

  • back_foot_punch on July 31, 2008, 10:22 GMT

    Thank Mr. Sangakkara for such another well-written, balanced article. I'm sure you could turn to sports writing on a full-time basis at any point. I would love to see more people of the likes of Ajantha Mendis and the others you describe coming into international cricket.

    It is one of the more unique elements in cricket that other sports just don't have, the promotion of individual technique that can allow you to prosper, not hinder you. Even as an Indian cricket fan had no anger at Sri Lanka team (only my own); only admiration for spin bowling at its best. Not everyone has to spin a ball at right angles to be successful!

  • mikespider007 on July 31, 2008, 10:12 GMT

    Last time i read the comments for his article which said, Kumar sanga stays neutral unlike other commentators. But this is bit disappointing. All he is doing is praising his own team and getting over hyped by the thumping win Srilankans had in the previous test. Hope you will get what you expect in your team. Future will decide who stands where.!!1

  • UmpireKumar on July 31, 2008, 9:18 GMT

    Well written Sanga , another one of your best articles and also I agree with TISSA who posted a comment @ 1.37am GMT which is 100/: true . I like this thing called ''The Asian Blog'' .OK we all know English invented the game of cricket and used to be run and fully controlled by them now they can't do anything about this Asian Blog, they and some other western countries moaning about this. Michael Holding who thinks he is Western resigned over the decision by ICC to give a draw to Pakistan vs England match. Commentators supposed to be neutral as possible but watch Eng vs SA series and Mr.M.H crying over England's loss. So called ex players now commentating on cricket matches 'come on' be gentle and treat the umpires fairly as they only make decisions as they see/hear in split seconds but as audience we can see you guys watch this over and over again and you still have different opinion among 2 or 3 of you and to see the other side of the coin why don't you guys have a go on umpiring.

  • GabruGrewal on July 31, 2008, 7:05 GMT

    you are the BEST..nothing more i can say. cricket is such a beautiful game ..having people like you makes it even nicer..Thank you

  • KK4Cricket on July 31, 2008, 4:18 GMT

    Well done Kumara! Hope you will get the kind of hype you are looking for by the end of this series. India Vs Sri Lanka will be seen as big as India Vs Pakistan. Thanks to the competitive spirit from Lankans.

  • Ramesh.JJ on July 31, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    Thank you sanga for all what you and the guys have done for Srilankan cricket. You're articles are just superb. I have been a "Die Hard" fan of Lankan cricket and infact I share very close friendship with a number of players. I read some comments by our dearest friends across the border, they have pointed out about our fragile middle order. But I would like to ask them to first look at the whole Indian batting order doesnt it look fragile? With due respect to Tendulkars, Gangulys, Dravids who have been wonderful players but where are the rest? I hope they understand that cricket is a game and players do have good and bad times. All we need to do is stand by our cricketers and side them no matter what. So my friends look at your teams batting order rather than concentrating on our Lankan line up.

  • aravikumar08 on July 31, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    Nice article Sanga..First of all congrats to your team for winning the test emphatically. Also I dont see how quickly the Indian team can find answers quickly specially with the reckless batting of the opening batsmen. I definitely think T20 had the impact on 50 overs Asia cup and now the tests. One aspect about some Indian players like ganguly and sehwag who treat spinners with so much disdain also appals me even if they show some more respect they will maul the spinners...However its the M factor which we need to wow for a while. The true test will however be when batsmen fail to respond which has a more likelihood with only you and Mahela showing some class. Playing and watching quality test cricket is still the connosieurs choice, so best of luck for the future...Die hard Indian fan:))...

  • TISSA on July 31, 2008, 1:37 GMT

    Kumar, Well written article again. It is great to see Sri Lankan Criicket is mosing forward. It is high time for other things to follow ( Health,journalism ,public and private sector etc). Go Sri Lanka! We had enough of preaching from West,about human rights etc. Complete crap. Sri Lankans know heaps better than west, we can look after our own destiniy. Go Sri Lanka!

  • Agnar on July 30, 2008, 18:17 GMT

    Unlike before now Sri Lanka has enough international players. One has to fight to stay in the team. I hope the competition gets harder. Keep up the good work guys. PS. Sanga, I live in USA. I watch you guys play as much as I can. I have a lot of respect for all in our team. But when I went home I saw the Coca-Cola adds with Mahela and Sanga. It looked very cheap. I think it could be better for your image (as role models especially for young Sri Lankans) if you stay away from commercials. To be fair I should mention that you guys do a lot of charity work. That is wonderful.

  • Rakee on July 30, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    very true Sanga..Eventhough we are performing wonderfully well in Tests recent times still some extrimits believes that we have another long way to go in Test cricket. Sri Lanka is the only Test playing country except Bangladesh which haven't played a 4 or 5-match Test series yet. According to Charie, SL haven't got enough quality players. It's ridiculous. We have the world's best bowler and batsman. To add more Mahela, Ajantha, Vaasy all are class acts. If we rated teams according to the number of high quality players, SL should be in the top 3. I think England is the only team which depends on only 1 player named Kevin Pieterson. But ridiculously they are playing more than 10 Test matches per year. So Charie please be broad-minded. And also no-one is having any pre-Test discussions before a SL Test Series. If it is India,Australia,England or New Zealand, all critics are ready to fill their blogs and papers months before the Test series started. It's very unfair.

  • Kunal-Talgeri on July 30, 2008, 12:20 GMT

    Kumar, I'd say an India-Lanka series is now far more engrossing than India-Pakistan. Sri Lanka is a mean team, which has historically upset many an Indian applecart. I recall reading about young Ranatunga and Lanka's senior cricketers proving Kapil Dev's team by beating them in a Test match. Sadly, the media coverage was nowhere close to what it is today.

    This is the best Lankan team an Indian side has played -- you have documented the reasons in your past couple of columns. If you thrash us 3-0, you'll see Indians craving for another battle. And, a reveled rivalry will be born :-) ... It's a treat to watch Mendis and Murali bowl to this classic batting line-up. May this live long!

  • Charlie2011 on July 30, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    Ellis, you're spot on mate. The lankan middle order is so fragile and it's so amazing to see Kumar, Mahela & one or two more batters doing 90% of the work everytime. It just shows how good those few are, and how badly the team will suffer if/when they didn't play. Kudos to you Kumar, you are very much under-rated! But, Sri Lanka needs a few more better players if they are to be a serious threat in the test arena consistenly.

  • Ellis on July 30, 2008, 8:04 GMT

    Kumar, your articles are always interesting and well written. However, I think that in the overall context of performance and consistency, they contain too much happy talk and viewing the achievements through rose coloured glasses. The recent victory over India was great. However, the opening batting partnership again failed. The opening bowlers are well below Test standard. Sadly, Vaas is on the decline and while Kulasekera gives it his all, he will not consistently trouble top class batsmen.Malinga, Fernando and Maharoof are in the wings, but have yet to establish consistent performances at Test level. For once, the middle order batting clicked, but we need to see how it performs over a series or two.Consistency across the board is still lacking, especially when the heat is on.

    I find it difficult to accept that the IPL issue, England tour and Ranatunga's shenanigans do not affect the team. You live in a remarkable cocoon if they do not. More success to the team, and you.

  • DONSILVA on July 30, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    Another great version from Sanggakkara, the seasons are justified for the fact that he is one of the most influential and intelligent cricketers in the arena. As I observed each and every article written by Sangakkara there is a hidden them that we should respect and still have lot to learn from our seniors. It is really shows the character of the great man and the matter is mostly admirable as he give respect to them being the no 1 batter in the world. I can still remember a comment made by Mr Ian Chappel during his commentaries in one series between Sri Lanka and Australia. He says " I have spoken with all the Sri Lanken players but found only two players who believe that Ausi could be beaten in their home territory, one is great Ranatunga other one is easier to guess" who is our writer. Unfortunately Kumar has the captain with weaker character in many ways comparatively, as he evaluates seniors as (negative) trend. He kept greats like Maven in the bench throughout the world cup,

  • sgov1 on July 30, 2008, 7:40 GMT

    An excellant article Kumar. It provides an interesting insight into the Sri Lankan team dynamic which you only see fleetingly on the tv. Ajantha and Murali in tandem was a wonderous sight to behold. Lots of cricket fans the world over still appreciate a great test match atmosphere and contest. All the best for the rest of the series with India and I do hope that the ICC can schedule more test matches for you guys. It has been a pleasure to watch great test match cricket. Thank you.

  • solangaarachchi on July 30, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    I think the great test for Ajantha Mendis is how does he bowl against great Aussie batsman's like Hayden, Ponting . Especially in Australia. If he could win the battle then definitely he will be the master. I am eagerly waiting playing both both Murali and Mendis against Aussies.

  • oasis on July 30, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    Well written Kumar aiyya!! it's nice to see another passionate articale about Cricket sanga!!.I agree on some points that you have written on specilay about our newest spin sensation Mendis and his unorthodox spin bowling it reminds me how I was admireing great Wasim Akram and his pace attack which he almost destroyed great batting line up's with his 06 diffrent deliveries!! the point is Mendis has lot to learn and as long as he keeps on improving his game he will survive in this great battle between the bat & the ball.I would allso agree on that playing test cricket is the ultimate challange and I belive Srilanka will do well as long as they are in the right track!!.I always have this great thurst to see Srilnaka beating the Aussis and I hope it will come true some day!! and for that you have work to do and as long as we Srilnakns play with the right spirits we will achive our moments. My wishes go out for both teams and Hope we can see another fascinating gmage of Criket in Gall!!

  • Vinod_Elan on July 30, 2008, 6:52 GMT

    Sanga is one of my favourite cricketer outside the Indian team. He is so positive in what ever he does, on the field or off it. Just by reading his articles one can find out how disciplined and committed he his. Kumar you rock!! Really enjoyed watching your knock against the Aussies late last year. Waiting to watch another big knock of yours.

  • don69 on July 30, 2008, 6:52 GMT

    What I love about Sri Lanka cricket - and is clearly apparent from this article - is that they not only tolerate but actually encourage innovative thinking about the game. Well done. In many ways Sri Lanka cricket of the last decade is the real challenge to Aussie dominance. To be honest, Sri Lanka is never likely to challenge Australia in athletics or in classical athletes. However, by producing cricketers who think "outside the box" it lets them create sportspeople who can be very effective in their own fields. It may not be "orthodox" but no one can deny they add much colour to the game (no pun intended).

  • solangaarachchi on July 30, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    Kumar is arguably the best test batsman ever produced in SL (Someone may have idea that he should be Aravinda). He plays the game not only with the bat but also by mind. Who can forget 192 against Aussies

  • guptavipulv on July 30, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    For me Test Match as a spectacle was never so engrossing as the recent one between India and SL. I thoroughly enjoyed the "tussle" between the "strongest batting line - up" in the world and a rookie spinner. Add to that a master class wizard in Murali and I could not ask for anything more. I must admit that I was one of those people who believed that seniors like Rahul Sachin Saurav would have fared much better in the Asia Cup Final had they been playing compared to the youngsters. As a diehard Indian Cricket Fan I genuinely hope that my heroes will stand up and prove to the world that we truly have the "strongest batting line -up" in the world. And if that happens who knows maybe in the future even an Indo - SL series would be elevated to marquee status.

  • DONSILVA on July 30, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    Another great version from Sanggakkara, the seasons are justified for the fact that he is one of the most influential and intelligent cricketers in the arena. As I observed each and every article written by Sangakkara there is a hidden them that we should respect and still have lot to learn from our seniors. It is really shows the character of the great man and the matter is mostly admirable as he give respect to them being the no 1 batter in the world. I can still remember a comment made by Mr Ian Chappel during his commentaries in one series between Sri Lanka and Australia. He says " I have spoken with all the Sri Lanken players but found only two players who believe that Ausi could be beaten in their home territory, one is great Ranatunga other one is easier to guess" who is our writer. Unfortunately Kummar has the captain with weak inh is character in many ways comparatively, as he evaluates seniors as (negative) trend. He kept greats like Maven in the bench throughout the world cu

  • ashanthaasl on July 30, 2008, 5:04 GMT

    It's your time to shine Sanga. Show India what you got with the bat.

    Go Lions!

  • rajithwijepura on July 30, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    Well done SANGA. Keep doing your goods. I love to see you in 100s. I hope you will reach it in Galle.

  • El-Mucho-Grande on July 30, 2008, 4:41 GMT

    As per usual nice thought provoking article Kumar. Great stuff! I agree, Sri Lanka's greatest strenght right now is diversity in the form of unorthodoxy.

  • Sekhar_S on July 30, 2008, 4:37 GMT

    Kumar,We wish you play the IPL next year.It was great watching you bat with Marsh this season and we are looking forward to you next year as well.After all the IPL is a once-in-a-year affair.

  • Sumiya on July 30, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    A nicely written article.Sri lanka gained Test status in the 80's with zimbabwe & Bangladesh been the Newbees. Though the side is playing well the cricket world has not been able to remove the Newbee label from the Sri Lankan side. Its up to the SL team to prove that they deserve better.

  • A.Shah on July 30, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Very good article, Kumarji. I have to say, as a die-hard India fan, that I was spellbound and delighted with the spin bowling that I witnessed at the SSC last week. Mendis and Murali bowled with such accuracy and guile, that I got up and went outside to practice my spin-bowling. Ofcourse, as a India fan, I would love to see an Indian victory, but I have to admit that the competition between the two greatest spinners of all time (Murali and Anil Kumble) is extremely exciting. And Mendis and Harbhajan are just adding to the spin-fest. I have a much higher level of respect for the Sri-Lankan team now, and I hope that the Indian team can cume with that fire into next week's test. God bless.

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  • A.Shah on July 30, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    Very good article, Kumarji. I have to say, as a die-hard India fan, that I was spellbound and delighted with the spin bowling that I witnessed at the SSC last week. Mendis and Murali bowled with such accuracy and guile, that I got up and went outside to practice my spin-bowling. Ofcourse, as a India fan, I would love to see an Indian victory, but I have to admit that the competition between the two greatest spinners of all time (Murali and Anil Kumble) is extremely exciting. And Mendis and Harbhajan are just adding to the spin-fest. I have a much higher level of respect for the Sri-Lankan team now, and I hope that the Indian team can cume with that fire into next week's test. God bless.

  • Sumiya on July 30, 2008, 4:23 GMT

    A nicely written article.Sri lanka gained Test status in the 80's with zimbabwe & Bangladesh been the Newbees. Though the side is playing well the cricket world has not been able to remove the Newbee label from the Sri Lankan side. Its up to the SL team to prove that they deserve better.

  • Sekhar_S on July 30, 2008, 4:37 GMT

    Kumar,We wish you play the IPL next year.It was great watching you bat with Marsh this season and we are looking forward to you next year as well.After all the IPL is a once-in-a-year affair.

  • El-Mucho-Grande on July 30, 2008, 4:41 GMT

    As per usual nice thought provoking article Kumar. Great stuff! I agree, Sri Lanka's greatest strenght right now is diversity in the form of unorthodoxy.

  • rajithwijepura on July 30, 2008, 4:44 GMT

    Well done SANGA. Keep doing your goods. I love to see you in 100s. I hope you will reach it in Galle.

  • ashanthaasl on July 30, 2008, 5:04 GMT

    It's your time to shine Sanga. Show India what you got with the bat.

    Go Lions!

  • DONSILVA on July 30, 2008, 5:23 GMT

    Another great version from Sanggakkara, the seasons are justified for the fact that he is one of the most influential and intelligent cricketers in the arena. As I observed each and every article written by Sangakkara there is a hidden them that we should respect and still have lot to learn from our seniors. It is really shows the character of the great man and the matter is mostly admirable as he give respect to them being the no 1 batter in the world. I can still remember a comment made by Mr Ian Chappel during his commentaries in one series between Sri Lanka and Australia. He says " I have spoken with all the Sri Lanken players but found only two players who believe that Ausi could be beaten in their home territory, one is great Ranatunga other one is easier to guess" who is our writer. Unfortunately Kummar has the captain with weak inh is character in many ways comparatively, as he evaluates seniors as (negative) trend. He kept greats like Maven in the bench throughout the world cu

  • guptavipulv on July 30, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    For me Test Match as a spectacle was never so engrossing as the recent one between India and SL. I thoroughly enjoyed the "tussle" between the "strongest batting line - up" in the world and a rookie spinner. Add to that a master class wizard in Murali and I could not ask for anything more. I must admit that I was one of those people who believed that seniors like Rahul Sachin Saurav would have fared much better in the Asia Cup Final had they been playing compared to the youngsters. As a diehard Indian Cricket Fan I genuinely hope that my heroes will stand up and prove to the world that we truly have the "strongest batting line -up" in the world. And if that happens who knows maybe in the future even an Indo - SL series would be elevated to marquee status.

  • solangaarachchi on July 30, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    Kumar is arguably the best test batsman ever produced in SL (Someone may have idea that he should be Aravinda). He plays the game not only with the bat but also by mind. Who can forget 192 against Aussies

  • don69 on July 30, 2008, 6:52 GMT

    What I love about Sri Lanka cricket - and is clearly apparent from this article - is that they not only tolerate but actually encourage innovative thinking about the game. Well done. In many ways Sri Lanka cricket of the last decade is the real challenge to Aussie dominance. To be honest, Sri Lanka is never likely to challenge Australia in athletics or in classical athletes. However, by producing cricketers who think "outside the box" it lets them create sportspeople who can be very effective in their own fields. It may not be "orthodox" but no one can deny they add much colour to the game (no pun intended).