August 6, 2008

No cause for panic

Sri Lanka were less than optimal at Galle, failing to build partnerships in particular, but all's not lost yet
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Jayawardene has been calm as a captain in the face of adversity, and he has been batting well too, which stands Sri Lanka in good stead © AFP

Looking back at the Galle Test, I must say that one of the turning points was when Malinda Warnapura and I were dismissed in relatively quick succession in our first innings. The team needed one of us to go on and get a hundred. Not a particularly big hundred, but one that would have extended the partnership and given Sri Lanka a large total. That would have made it easier for the other guys to bat around. Mahela Jayawardene had to bat with the tail to get 80, and he batted brilliantly, but it would have helped him and the rest to have one of the top three go on to get something bigger. Overall, in our first innings we had a good chance of going on a ways past 300, but we didn't take that opportunity. That's one area where we stuttered.

There seem to have been a few eyebrows raised over how Jayawardene batted with Nuwan Kulasekara, keeping strike and turning down opportunities to score. What Jayawardene was trying to do was shield Nuwan until he was set, and then there would have been more opportunities to score; they could have then taken singles. Unfortunately Jayawardene got out. Had that partnership progressed, there would have been opportunities to rotate singles, especially with Kulasekara set. It was a creditable performance by Kulasekara and a fantastic one by Jayawardene to get us to within 37 runs of India's score.

The crucial part of our second-innings chase of 308 was failing to get a start. We lost three early wickets and there on it was an uphill task. After Jayawardene got out, Thilan Samaraweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan shifted the momentum around a bit until Dilshan got out. That was a blow. It would have been very interesting to see the balance of the match shifting to and fro if he hadn't.

The burst of wickets by Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan was probably the turning point in the second innings. It was not that we were trying to score against the opening bowlers before the two experienced spinners came on. We play the bowling on merit. We knew the first four to six overs were going to be difficult and they proved exactly that.

Ishant bowled very well. The track did offer something for the fast bowlers if they hit the deck hard and hit the seam and bowled in the right channels. At the SSC there was nothing in it for Ishant to exploit other than with the new ball, but in Galle he settled down into a rhythm brilliantly - especially in that channel to right-handers. He kept asking questions and when you do that on a consistent basis, you get results.

 
 
People underestimate pace bowlers on flat wickets, and that helps them get breakthroughs with the new ball. That can then set up the game for the spinners. Over the years Vaas has managed to do that for us day in and day out
 

Pace is always going to be crucial, especially on flat tracks. People underestimate pace bowlers on such wickets, and that helps them get breakthroughs with the new ball. That can then set up the game for the spinners. Over the years Chaminda Vaas has managed to do that for us day in and day out, but it didn't happen in Galle. He did come back really well in his second and third spells. Kulasekara, on the other hand, bowled brilliantly in the first Test. He played a fantastic role up top, and in the first innings in Galle he started really well too, but Virender Sehwag was a big factor. That happens. As bowlers and as a side we must accept that it won't always go our way. That's why we have a varied bowling attack to take up different responsibilities.

Credit to Jayawardene for handling himself so well in the face of Sehwag's attack. Nothing much was going our way, but he was calm and collected - you need to think logically and rationally, which is what he did. That's how he's always been in his approach to his cricket. It's a great asset to have in tough situations and we as a team are very lucky to have it.

Looking to the final Test, I don't think the P Saravanamuttu Stadium is going to be different from any other venue. It will be a good track, great to bat on, with a lot of turn on days four and five. It offers bowlers something if you really bend your back.

It is way too early so say what changes, if any, we will make in the final Test. There is no reason to panic and all we have to do is raise our performance levels and have confidence in each other. We've done so well over the years and we know each other's abilities. That trust works well going into a game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 7, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    Cannuck u seem to be like your captain - self professed smart one. Well without doubt he has scored tons of runs & i m not denying it but as you suggested let's not mix apples & oranges. Well if you separate apples ie his home record from his abroad record( say oranges) then you will be embarrassed. All those records of test scores/partnerships & what not have come at home. He has absolutely nothing to write about in his 'away' matches performances. Rightly said any idiot can pick up stats & make a case but smart ones definitely understand one thing - Stats over a period of 10 years reveals more than they hide. I think he has been in international cricket for over 10 years now. Now you as a die hard fan may ignore these stats but the rest of world doesn't. He's an ordinary cricketer with fantastic record in home. & good that you mention that SL first test victory was against India because it was a classic case of how bad umpiring can get.

  • Cannuck on August 7, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    Here are couple of reasons for Davesh_the_analyst, why Sana is not in the test team. HE RETIRED! That was his decision not anyone else's. Lot of you are quick to make MJ the villain for Marvan & Sana's exit, but hardly aware of the ins & outs of SL Cricket, Selectors, Politics & the Board. You also forget to look into their stats prior to retirement. It wasn't like Sana was on fire (in the test arena) when he retired. As for comparing Sana and Mahela & asking which one's the better batsmen... there comes that apples and mangoes comparison from Davesh. Let me ask you simply who is the better batsman, Sachin or Shewag? Ponting or Gillie? I can go on like this, but to people with a cricketing brain it's a moot point. One is a technically correct batsman while the other is more of attacking style which suites the ODs. Just because people like to see an attacking batsman, doesn't mean he is the better or most technically correct. One to it's own. Stop making stupid judgements and enjoy all.

  • TonySIlva on August 7, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    Well Indian team made Team Srilanka to scare as they did to Australia when they were touring. Best of luck Srilanka.

  • Cannuck on August 7, 2008, 14:53 GMT

    Davesh_the_analyst, you analytical brain seem to have failed to remind you that MJ has been SL Captain only for the past 2 years, not the 20 years you make him responsible for. So if you judge his & the teams performance during that period, you will find that we have been WC finalists, Asia Cup Winners, Test winners (not series) in NZ, England & WI. Yes there were failures in Australia & India. But MJ has also scored the highest test innings for SL, record partnership with Sanga, & highest Test total, while being judged as the ICC captain of the year in 07 by better analysts than you. Any idiot can look up stats & make a case, but the smart ones don't mix apples & mangoes together. You have an issue with MJ's comments in press conferences & interviews, which others see as a positive thing. Lot of us have issues with Pontings comments too, but we don't call him overrated either. I agree MJ and Sanga needs to talk less, but just call a spade what it really is. MJ is a solid cricketer.

  • Ups_rf on August 7, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Most of you criticising SL's Test record are no doubt, die hard, head-in-the-sand Indian fanatics! pen your eyes for just a second. India's Test record in their first 50 years is absolutely dismal! It took them 30 years to win 1 Test match (not a series, that of course took longer), whereas it only took a few (around or less than 5 I think) years for Sri Lanka! Guess who they beat, that's right, it was India!. Even to this day, SL has a better overall win percentage than India (check cricinfo/wikipedia). Sri Lanka's away record is not great so far, but they have won series abroad even if you discount Zim and Ban. Let's not forget, they have only been playing for 25 years or so, therefore, in Test terms, they're stil a young Test team. And their home record is v.v good. For a small population in comparison to Ind, they do v.well. The third Test will be tight. Mendis/Murali will play a big part and if SL get their batting together, they have a good chance of winning again!

  • Wickslk on August 7, 2008, 14:10 GMT

    We were a utterly disappointed by the way our batsman performed in the 2nd test. Our batting was a complete shadow of the first test. The fact that we cannot figure out is, after so many years of experience, why our batting is not consistent. We are also disappointed at your batting performance as you went into the match as a pure batsman. Now we don't have a batsman who can perform under pressure like the days of Aravinda De Silva. If we look at Australia, they take responsibility in their batting and never fails to put up a decent score. If we don't address this situation now, our cricket will be a total failure. As true fans, we want you'll to make our nation proud.

  • Daiya on August 7, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    Jose...may I remind you that it was Geoffrey Boycott who said Sehwag is talented but without brains. Perhaps you should ask Boycott if he examined Sehwag and came up with his opinion. You dont need to meet someone to call him/her or it arrogant, its just an opinion. Why are you "spewing venom" at Ajantha? Getting close to 20 wickets in a matter of 2 tests is an achievement in itself. In your educated opinion how long do you think it will be before "people understands his bowling"? As for being angry about losing at Galle, India is a good team and everyone expected them to fight back. Sri Lanka seem to win the first test and tail off. It happened recently in West Indies too. So I do not think anyone is angry that a good team fought back to make it a brilliant series.

  • evenflow_1990 on August 7, 2008, 10:53 GMT

    Davesh_cricket_analyst ... you claim that "SL hasn't done anything extraordinary in the last 20 years" ... but i'd like to remind you that Sri Lanka scored 6/952, including the worlds then largest test partnership ... and it was against India. Furthermore, i think its only been one year since Mahela and Sangakkara put on a 600+ run partnership against South Africa. Clearly Sri Lanka has pulled out some impeccable performances, but you choose to ignore them. To each his own, 'cricket analyst'. I don't think its fair to compare anybody with Tendulkar, who is in a league of his own, because even comparing Gilchrist with Tendulkar makes Gilly look mediocre, but Gilly's a great batsman in his own right and no one would deny it. The same apply's with Mahela. I feel Sri Lanka should win the next test, because rarely does our batting line up collapse that easily. At the same rate, if India's batting line up finds form, the games on. Should be an interesting match for sure. =D

  • oasis on August 7, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    It's just a matter of time Davesh Sachin Thendulkar may be be the highest run getter during the Aussie tour 2008 but he is sturggeling still with his poor performance.Srilnaknas new thet they had a big task head when they toured to Australian and they did show there charactor in the and Srilnakan fans new the current team has the depth and the will power to match the Aussiz and Srilankasn did try altough they lost. We can talk about stats all day but at the end of the day stats are there because of the these great players are still paying this game.And let me say you were asking about Jayasuriya not being in the test team well it's his personal view!! Jaysuriya retired him self from test and he is now a one day specialist well ask your self who is best Jaysuriya or Jaywarden I'am sure you will say Sanath but these 02 are 02 diffrent stroke players one hit's the ball with power nad with total Diminance where he destroyed Manoj prabahker's carrer in 96 and the other palys with sheer clas

  • Daiya on August 7, 2008, 7:58 GMT

    For those of you who say that Mahela has a poor record abroad look back a little. His side won a test in England and drew the series. Won in Pakistan. Won a test in the West Indies to draw the series. Who knows if Sanga was not given out for 196 when the ball clearly came off the shoulder perhaps he would have had the credit of beating Austrailia too. Oh yea they won in NZ. World Cup finalists, would put them up there in terms of one day cricket. Please also remember that Sri Lanka is playing this series without 3 of their main fast bowlers. Its just that Sri Lanka has a brilliant record at home, which overshadows the good record they have over seas.

    For those of you who said that Mendis will be dealt with by the likes of Dravid and Sachin...I think he answered that with Dravids wicket at the SSC. We all saw how clueless Dravid was.

    For those of you who say Sri Lanka have a poor opening combination. Its obvious the Malinda Warnapura is talented. Vandodt has proved himself with

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 7, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    Cannuck u seem to be like your captain - self professed smart one. Well without doubt he has scored tons of runs & i m not denying it but as you suggested let's not mix apples & oranges. Well if you separate apples ie his home record from his abroad record( say oranges) then you will be embarrassed. All those records of test scores/partnerships & what not have come at home. He has absolutely nothing to write about in his 'away' matches performances. Rightly said any idiot can pick up stats & make a case but smart ones definitely understand one thing - Stats over a period of 10 years reveals more than they hide. I think he has been in international cricket for over 10 years now. Now you as a die hard fan may ignore these stats but the rest of world doesn't. He's an ordinary cricketer with fantastic record in home. & good that you mention that SL first test victory was against India because it was a classic case of how bad umpiring can get.

  • Cannuck on August 7, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    Here are couple of reasons for Davesh_the_analyst, why Sana is not in the test team. HE RETIRED! That was his decision not anyone else's. Lot of you are quick to make MJ the villain for Marvan & Sana's exit, but hardly aware of the ins & outs of SL Cricket, Selectors, Politics & the Board. You also forget to look into their stats prior to retirement. It wasn't like Sana was on fire (in the test arena) when he retired. As for comparing Sana and Mahela & asking which one's the better batsmen... there comes that apples and mangoes comparison from Davesh. Let me ask you simply who is the better batsman, Sachin or Shewag? Ponting or Gillie? I can go on like this, but to people with a cricketing brain it's a moot point. One is a technically correct batsman while the other is more of attacking style which suites the ODs. Just because people like to see an attacking batsman, doesn't mean he is the better or most technically correct. One to it's own. Stop making stupid judgements and enjoy all.

  • TonySIlva on August 7, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    Well Indian team made Team Srilanka to scare as they did to Australia when they were touring. Best of luck Srilanka.

  • Cannuck on August 7, 2008, 14:53 GMT

    Davesh_the_analyst, you analytical brain seem to have failed to remind you that MJ has been SL Captain only for the past 2 years, not the 20 years you make him responsible for. So if you judge his & the teams performance during that period, you will find that we have been WC finalists, Asia Cup Winners, Test winners (not series) in NZ, England & WI. Yes there were failures in Australia & India. But MJ has also scored the highest test innings for SL, record partnership with Sanga, & highest Test total, while being judged as the ICC captain of the year in 07 by better analysts than you. Any idiot can look up stats & make a case, but the smart ones don't mix apples & mangoes together. You have an issue with MJ's comments in press conferences & interviews, which others see as a positive thing. Lot of us have issues with Pontings comments too, but we don't call him overrated either. I agree MJ and Sanga needs to talk less, but just call a spade what it really is. MJ is a solid cricketer.

  • Ups_rf on August 7, 2008, 14:26 GMT

    Most of you criticising SL's Test record are no doubt, die hard, head-in-the-sand Indian fanatics! pen your eyes for just a second. India's Test record in their first 50 years is absolutely dismal! It took them 30 years to win 1 Test match (not a series, that of course took longer), whereas it only took a few (around or less than 5 I think) years for Sri Lanka! Guess who they beat, that's right, it was India!. Even to this day, SL has a better overall win percentage than India (check cricinfo/wikipedia). Sri Lanka's away record is not great so far, but they have won series abroad even if you discount Zim and Ban. Let's not forget, they have only been playing for 25 years or so, therefore, in Test terms, they're stil a young Test team. And their home record is v.v good. For a small population in comparison to Ind, they do v.well. The third Test will be tight. Mendis/Murali will play a big part and if SL get their batting together, they have a good chance of winning again!

  • Wickslk on August 7, 2008, 14:10 GMT

    We were a utterly disappointed by the way our batsman performed in the 2nd test. Our batting was a complete shadow of the first test. The fact that we cannot figure out is, after so many years of experience, why our batting is not consistent. We are also disappointed at your batting performance as you went into the match as a pure batsman. Now we don't have a batsman who can perform under pressure like the days of Aravinda De Silva. If we look at Australia, they take responsibility in their batting and never fails to put up a decent score. If we don't address this situation now, our cricket will be a total failure. As true fans, we want you'll to make our nation proud.

  • Daiya on August 7, 2008, 11:19 GMT

    Jose...may I remind you that it was Geoffrey Boycott who said Sehwag is talented but without brains. Perhaps you should ask Boycott if he examined Sehwag and came up with his opinion. You dont need to meet someone to call him/her or it arrogant, its just an opinion. Why are you "spewing venom" at Ajantha? Getting close to 20 wickets in a matter of 2 tests is an achievement in itself. In your educated opinion how long do you think it will be before "people understands his bowling"? As for being angry about losing at Galle, India is a good team and everyone expected them to fight back. Sri Lanka seem to win the first test and tail off. It happened recently in West Indies too. So I do not think anyone is angry that a good team fought back to make it a brilliant series.

  • evenflow_1990 on August 7, 2008, 10:53 GMT

    Davesh_cricket_analyst ... you claim that "SL hasn't done anything extraordinary in the last 20 years" ... but i'd like to remind you that Sri Lanka scored 6/952, including the worlds then largest test partnership ... and it was against India. Furthermore, i think its only been one year since Mahela and Sangakkara put on a 600+ run partnership against South Africa. Clearly Sri Lanka has pulled out some impeccable performances, but you choose to ignore them. To each his own, 'cricket analyst'. I don't think its fair to compare anybody with Tendulkar, who is in a league of his own, because even comparing Gilchrist with Tendulkar makes Gilly look mediocre, but Gilly's a great batsman in his own right and no one would deny it. The same apply's with Mahela. I feel Sri Lanka should win the next test, because rarely does our batting line up collapse that easily. At the same rate, if India's batting line up finds form, the games on. Should be an interesting match for sure. =D

  • oasis on August 7, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    It's just a matter of time Davesh Sachin Thendulkar may be be the highest run getter during the Aussie tour 2008 but he is sturggeling still with his poor performance.Srilnaknas new thet they had a big task head when they toured to Australian and they did show there charactor in the and Srilnakan fans new the current team has the depth and the will power to match the Aussiz and Srilankasn did try altough they lost. We can talk about stats all day but at the end of the day stats are there because of the these great players are still paying this game.And let me say you were asking about Jayasuriya not being in the test team well it's his personal view!! Jaysuriya retired him self from test and he is now a one day specialist well ask your self who is best Jaysuriya or Jaywarden I'am sure you will say Sanath but these 02 are 02 diffrent stroke players one hit's the ball with power nad with total Diminance where he destroyed Manoj prabahker's carrer in 96 and the other palys with sheer clas

  • Daiya on August 7, 2008, 7:58 GMT

    For those of you who say that Mahela has a poor record abroad look back a little. His side won a test in England and drew the series. Won in Pakistan. Won a test in the West Indies to draw the series. Who knows if Sanga was not given out for 196 when the ball clearly came off the shoulder perhaps he would have had the credit of beating Austrailia too. Oh yea they won in NZ. World Cup finalists, would put them up there in terms of one day cricket. Please also remember that Sri Lanka is playing this series without 3 of their main fast bowlers. Its just that Sri Lanka has a brilliant record at home, which overshadows the good record they have over seas.

    For those of you who said that Mendis will be dealt with by the likes of Dravid and Sachin...I think he answered that with Dravids wicket at the SSC. We all saw how clueless Dravid was.

    For those of you who say Sri Lanka have a poor opening combination. Its obvious the Malinda Warnapura is talented. Vandodt has proved himself with

  • Frank19976 on August 7, 2008, 7:57 GMT

    I am M.Frank from Jaffna and fan of Sri Lankan Team.This is my view: SL team must find an opener instead of M.Vandod.He should be replaced with Kapugedara or Dilshan for the 3rd match.The toss plays important part in the match. If SL win the toss and select to bat it will win the match.All bowlers are doing the jobs well.Other player are ok but some need to concentrate more with their performances.P.Jeyawardna and C.Vass need concentrate in their batting.P.Jeyawardna is brilliant in wicket keeping. Good Luck to Sri Lankan cricket team, I expect and pray a great win. Improvements need from 2nd match:Malinda Warnapura and Sanga must have abjected according to the situation and scored a big hundred-That time pitch is ok to score.M.Jeyawardna and kulasekar-(after set) missed more singles.Vass could have stayed at crease with Kula. The team should listen to the Janath, sanje, kein thoughts between the breaks for the 3rd match I am sure we Sri Lankans can celebrate a great win

  • Jose on August 7, 2008, 7:29 GMT

    I am shocked to see one useless brain (USCANSL) calling Sehwag as a good base-ball player rather than cricketer and also he found Sehwag as an arrogant. Did you ever talk to him or meet him personally to assess his arrogance? What about your Sanath Jayasuriya who must be more eligible for Baseball than Sehwag. With your ridiculous logic, all big-hitters across the globe must stop cricket and play in baseball? What makes someone a great test player? Sehwag averages 54 in Tests and has two triple hundreds in his pocket only after Don Bradman & Brian Lara. May be SL fans are furious about Sehwag since he played Mendis ruthless at Galle!!! Mendis will be a short-time wonder for sure. Once people understands his bowling, I am sure all batsmen including tail-enders love to play him. Indians respect all great SL cricketers, but why SL fans here spewing venom? Is it simply because they lost at their advantageous Galle stadium?

  • Priyantha_Gunaratna on August 7, 2008, 7:05 GMT

    I did not say our top order is as good as Aussies. But it is one of the strngest among test playing countries and fairly well stabilized. It is not fair to make predictions about Ajantha. He has just played 2 tests. The opinion that he is picking wickets becuase batsmen are still not figuring him out and once that happen he will be an ordinray bowler is not correct. Ajantha as he plays will improve further on his variations, he is a different type who does not depend on great amount of turn like Murali or Warne. You cannot talk of "what if Indian top order was in form" as they were made to look ordinary by the two Ms. SL would be having better overseas record if we were granted more tests overseas. For a long time we played only 1 test in Eng tours. Also we should prepare faster wickets to encourage quick bowlers and extra bounce will encourage spinners too. As for Sanga I think he should concentrate on his batting rather than preaching, now that he is relived of wicket keeping duties.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 7, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    Well Oasis it's good that you raised the point of Sachin's performance since England tour. Do you know who was the top scorer in India-Aus test series of 2008 ? Sachin Tendulkar. Well stats don't lie & that's why i emphasize on Mahela's poor record. I haven't created these stats but they are there for everyone to see. I have nothing against SL team & to be honest its creditable that a small country has produced many outstanding cricketers in the past. Jayasurya, Murali being two of them. But my point is that SL hasn't done anything extraordinary in the last 20 years in Test Cricket & yet your captain makes tall claims. When they were in India 2 yrs back they were defeated 2-0 in test series & 6-1 in ODIs. The problem doesn't lie in loosing the series but in not giving a fight at all. In the recent CB series they never looked like winning a single match & yet Mahela kept talking abt how well they played. A bit of soul searching is not a bad idea

  • oasis on August 7, 2008, 5:22 GMT

    Well you talk about all this Srilankan statistiks nad Davesh d analyst why are you questioning the talent of Mahel? yes he is a talanted batsman and the as a caption who won the ICC award for the best captian in 2007 he is with talent if you talk about Sachin so called the greatest ever hes has not performed well since 2006 after the Englad tour!! and please chekc your stats SL has won series abroad. They beat NZ in NZ and beat Pakistan in Pakistan and how much do you wanna talk about the record at home any team plays well at their back yard and and it's just not Srilanka has tailormade pitches if you talk about the subcontinent pitches most of them favours for spin bowling and don't Indians have spiines in their so called Indian team? get a break and have some tea with ginger it will cool you down and stop crying with all your stats'and write some thing that helps the game.Good luck.

  • Ralp on August 7, 2008, 4:53 GMT

    I think Sanga is better off concentrating on his batting. These comments put him under unnecessary pressure. Cricket as we all know is an unpredictable game and Sanga will lose his credibility unless he stops making these arrogant comments and predictions. Also the comment on recent success of the SL team is a joke considering they just won Asia cup and first test at home after series of poor and inconsistent performances lately.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 7, 2008, 2:33 GMT

    Well said DravidBrigade. Just a small correction. Record of Mahela is even worse. He averages 66 at home & 37 abroad. The difference is not of 14 but almost 30. An extremely overrated batsman who has always failed to walk the talk. His team has never won a match in India, Australia or SA (read EVER) & he still talks about the character of the team. They have been playing test cricket for good 20-25 years now & i think they are the only team apart from Zimbabwe & Bangladesh, which has such an ordinary record outside home. With all due respect to Murali, he still struggles in India, Australia & SA. In Australia he averages 75 runs per wicket & in India its 40 runs per wicket. The only person who has won SL so many matches Jayasurya has been treated with contempt by Mahela. Give me 1 good reason why he is not in the test team ? Is Mahela a better batsman than Sanath ?

  • SPGUN on August 7, 2008, 2:25 GMT

    Dear Sanga, Yes of course there is no reason to panick since time and time again our top order has failed agaist genuine quick bowling on surfaces which are still more in favour of batsman,and this has become a far too regular feature Not going back too far in the WI our top order failed against two lively quick bowlers.The only exception being Tilan S. on both occasions.Belive me these were not bowlers of the quality of Walsh and Ambrose and wat was in the middle was not life threatning.I believe the same was the case with Ishant and Zaheer.There definitely is a reason somewhere where you senior pro's and the coach should at least devise a strategy to make a game out of similar situation at least at home where majority of the conditions are in our favour.So I believe it's time to address this problem not the symptoms to at least put up a better show in the future ! So Sanga it's upto you guys to bring your individuality to the party and let your bat do the talking ! BOL ! at P SARA.

  • TeaClub on August 7, 2008, 2:10 GMT

    Why was my comments not included. They are very valid.In fact I see that the Sri lankan selectors have made some changes for the 3rd test.

  • thiagarage on August 7, 2008, 1:26 GMT

    Propercricketfan, is there any purpose to your comment apart from flaming? stick to the issue or don't bother saying anything.

  • DrSunil on August 6, 2008, 22:41 GMT

    There is a cause for panic ? For Sri Lankan Team at home, I can uinderstand. Sanga, Mahela are class players but their is no Sanath. They can not hide behind Artist Mendis and Murli. Thanks you Sri Lankan Team ! Indian are master of spin, they will steam roll. We respect you as a very worthy opponent. You have awaken the cricket pride of Indian team. Indian team is in Sri Lanks to take the Test Cup and and One day cup. This is business as usual for Indian team. Good Luck to Sri Lankan cricket team, we expect a great fight.

  • USCANSL on August 6, 2008, 19:56 GMT

    With all my due respect to Indian fans, Mendis managed and helped to beat India by innings and 200 plus to make it their 3rd biggest defeat in test history. That couldnt be taken away from the history book. Having said that, Murali and Mendis are and will be some of the greatest spiners in the world at the moment. I am sure Sri Lankans will come back in the last test to win the series. About Shewag, he is a very good cricketer but he could be better if he plays base ball. He is aggresive and arrogant player but not a good test player, we have to admit that. Cheers!

  • Cannuck on August 6, 2008, 18:27 GMT

    It show that most of the arm chair critics on both sides of the arguments ( for SL & against) probably have never played cricket at all. Some expect all 11 players to be batsmen who score all the time, or bowlers who take wickets in every game. What they don't realize is every team has front liners who performs, role players who back up when they fail & vise versa. DON & DavidBrigade takes apart MJ's average for scoring 9 centuries at SSC, but forget that he tied Bradman's record of 9 at MCG. Does that make Bradman an overrated one ground wonder? Please... we all know better. If you take any team apart in stats you will find some sort of argument, yes including the mighty Aussies. I agree SL needs to do better out side of their home grounds, but all teams are strong in their back yard. The beauty of cricket is that it's fluid as a battlefield & can change anytime regardless of stats. SL fans should chill a bit & be real as well. We have a good team, but we are not the world's best, YET

  • What_name_do_i_use on August 6, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    Hi Propercricketfan ,

    No team in the world is perfect. So far, there is no team which has won eery single match it played. If anyone needs to learn some humility and grace, it is you. Your statement "If I threw a cricket ball at an average Indian fan he wouldnt catch it,it would smack him in the face and he would probably cry" reeks of contempt for Indians. Please do not generalise.

  • shailendraps on August 6, 2008, 18:06 GMT

    Here is what I think will happen in the final test

    Sehwag will fail to score beyond 30 Gambhir will score atleast one 50 Sachin is due for another century (hell! isn't he always due for a century) Kumble will tak a 5er

    Sanga will score one BIG century Jaywardene will score at least one 50 Both Murali and Mendis will turn in an average performance Dammika Prasad (if included) will have a great test

    As for the match winner, too early to call now. But this will be another good test to watch!

  • Propercricketfan on August 6, 2008, 17:32 GMT

    India are not so great overseas and for that matter India are not so great at home either. In fact India are not very good at all considering a population of over one billion, big financial backing and a clearly unhealthy fanatical obsession with cricket overall. This means overhyped players with overpaid salaries and oversized egos (yes you Karthik) and coupled with the worlds most irritating and ignorant fan base. "nah man we iz got da bestest batters innit" If I threw a cricket ball at an average Indian fan he wouldnt catch it,it would smack him in the face and he would probably cry. Shame on you Indian players learn some humility and Dear Indian fans do the words gracious defeat mean anything. Because you really should have got accustomed to it by now.

  • bajanitin on August 6, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    This is indeed a matter of concern and cause of panic for srilanka as they must remember one thing that fabulous four of india are still not hitting the form and india have sailed through the second test solely on the shoulders of few guys (read sehwag Ishant and harbhajan). Had indians been playing with at full-form (which i presently consider only 40 % as there is no dravid/sachin among the run-getters) the result would have been pretty different and obviously not in the favour of srilankans. I consider that was the vital opportunity for islanders to register a test-series win over indians as they are still not reading mendis and are not at their peak, which i no longer forsee as per present scenario. I am not expecting any good performance from mendis when srilanka will visit india or india come back here again. I am sure indians would like to go after him when they meet him for the one-day series. Srilanka watch out for the one-day series the india lions are roaring !!!!!!

  • LAKINGSFAN on August 6, 2008, 17:02 GMT

    The two inconsistent teams in cricket, India and Sri Lanka. You can never say which they turn out. The series is not over until the fat lady sings.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 6, 2008, 16:45 GMT

    Although i agree that Mendis has been a fantastic bowler for SL in this series but i disagree with the presumption that he ll be as good as Murali or for that matter other good international spinners. My point is that the basic reason why Mendis has been successful till now is bcoz batsmen haven't been able to read him till now. Now tell me how many of 700 wickets that Shane Warne took were bcoz batsmen thought delivery was a leg spinner & it turned out to be a googly. My guess - not more than 5-10%. After a while when batsmen know what you are bowling the art lies in setting up his dismissal. That's when you get batsmen caught in slips & gully. I am not saying that Mendis can't do that but my worry is i haven't seen him getting anyone out in slips because of the flight or turn. Most of the time it's bcoz batsman didn't read which way the ball will go. Some more video recordings of his bowling & he'll be in for a hard time. Honeymoon period ll be soon over.

  • SaliyaW on August 6, 2008, 16:13 GMT

    DON SILVA is continuing his bashing on Mahela J. where were you when SL won the first match and Mahela scored a brilliant ton.How was ur feeling Mr knows all.

    Its good to be a critic but don't be too personal in ur comments. Its shows ur hypocracy.

  • 1958 on August 6, 2008, 15:48 GMT

    What about the appeal against the Dravid after rebound from helmet.I think then and there Mr Mahela and co lost the match morally.

  • aadirag on August 6, 2008, 15:34 GMT

    My goodness give our poor southern neighbours & Kumar Sangakkara a break.He heads the batting charts doesn't he??Theres a reason for that.He's 1 of the best going around in world cricket today.India played well to win the 2nd match & very few teams have the amount of raw cricket skills that india have,infact no1 right now.Lanka has impressed me & don't worry my southern friends your team will win more outside lanka.In lanka,I expect your record to get even better.Just that india is a class team & very rarely fails to win a test in a series.Always win atleast 1.Malinga didn't play too.India is mercurial at times & played hopelessly in the 1st test but credit can't be taken away from the lankans.The new mendis is going to kill a lot of batsman with his leg-cutter.Sangakkara can play for any team in the world.Malinga is great(even with his hair) & murali a legend.the next few years will get better.India in this decade have lost few bilateral series.They should win this as well.

  • world_champion on August 6, 2008, 15:14 GMT

    I think that in order that SL would have a good fast bowlung attack they should put in Ashan Priyanjan(from U-19 squad) instead of Prassana Jayawardene and to sove their problem of lack of a good all-rounder Sathich Pathirana(from U-19 squad)should come in for Thilan Sammaraweera. Those two could have long and fruitful careers and help SL be one of the best teams in the world

  • cktckt on August 6, 2008, 14:47 GMT

    I think, Mahela and Kumar are wonderful players and they shud rather play than talk.Yes its true that Mahela has never acknowledged his opponents strength even after loosing to them, sometimes repeatedly.See, Kumble, whether India is winning or loosing, he keeps cricket a simple game and always says that the opponents played well after the loss.Come on Mahela, its high time you started learning this.

  • Cannuck on August 6, 2008, 14:41 GMT

    I really wonder what DON SILVA has against Mahela, personally. This is the 4th consecutive post he has taken a shot at him, saying we need a leader. We didn't lose the test because of the leadership. Even Sanga who seems DON's choice to replace MJ has specially praised his captain's performance in the second match. It's Sanga who didn't perform on both innings. As Parakum & Opatha mentioned, all SL players (including MJ & Sanga) should keep their mouth's shut, & let their performance do the talking. As much as I enjoy Sanga's excellent columns, it also looks very shrill like, praising one's own team so much. Let's keep the wriitng to a minimum, at least not when Sanga is involved in a series. SL first have to establish their game out side their home, & fans like DON needs to be more realistic about the team, and not carry personal grudges against players. India is a solid team, & as Frederick said one team has o lose. This series is alive & kicking because of it. Just enjoy it!

  • DravidBrigade on August 6, 2008, 14:29 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardene is among the most overrated players in the world of the 23 centuries he's score 17 of them are at home and 9 of those 17 at SSC , 28% of his test runs have come at SSC and his test average at home is 52 and away 38 a staggering difference of 14 , the only world class player Srilanka has is Sangakarra and Murali is in my humble opinion has an unfair advantage.

  • Eradicator on August 6, 2008, 14:23 GMT

    Pryantha_Gunaratna, if you are telling everyone that SL batsmen surpass the class of Hayden, Jacques, Ponting, Hussey, Symonds and Clarke, then I don't know whether you dont want to accept the truth, or you are trying to pull another Mahela on us by not admitting that anyone can be better than SL. Check for averagaes of the 6 playing Aussies that I mention and compare them to the 6 greatest batsmen EVER in SL history... I am sure you will be found wanting. With that being said, games are won and lost on the field and not on paper but your frontline batsmen were found wanting there as well in Australia (presumably a weaker batting line-up than SL accoeding to you). Some reality check here please!

  • Maxima707 on August 6, 2008, 14:15 GMT

    You guys were panic enough to loose the second test.You were such a panic team that you couldn't make it over the world cup 06.It is good to have a self confidence as a team to go for next game so positively and fight back.In many a critical moment, Sanga was so panic. Your facial expressions and the body language clearly prove it.You need to be very confident about yourself.We Sri Lankans still beleive in Sanga and the rest of other guys. You guys are exceptoinal, classy and genius.Sanga, you know how to raw the boat.Just play your natural game.The team need a century or a double century from you.You need to build the foundation for a solid start.Show your strength this time with the bat sensibly.Don't even talk about the word "panic" any more.Get a century.Cheers!

  • tigerlander on August 6, 2008, 14:11 GMT

    Not just Sri Lanka, Indians are not that great either when they play outside their own turf. Considering Indian board's wealth, country's population and the amount of time they were playing cricket, a comparison against a country which is war torn and has a fraction of wealth of Indian board in itself is a triumph. Let's see how many medals India win in the Olympic....a bronze if they are lucky!!

  • kripra on August 6, 2008, 13:56 GMT

    Guys, I think you are being too rough on Sanga; he is a great cricketer and a great observer/writer, a rare combo indeed. He well can't be too critical in a forum like this, about some shortcomings on the part of his teammates, but his article correctly points out a few key instances that could have well altered the outcome of the game. In my opinion, Sri lanka has three world class players (and I think most of their opponents would concur) in Mahela, Sanga and Murali, and a potential one in Mendis, if he continues to flummox batsmen. As for the others like Dilshan, Vandort, Samaraweera, etc, only time will tell. As far as India is concerned, Sachin, Sourav, Rahul, VVS, Anil won't be around in a couple of years and it'snot clear who'll step up. Yuvraj, Raina, may never be test caliber. True Sri Lanka may not have done well on Aussie soil, and they perhaps lack the chutzpah to take the Aussies on, but this is something Saurav showed India could do, and we should thank him for that.

  • back_foot_punch on August 6, 2008, 13:38 GMT

    The teams are much more evenly balanced than it seems people think. Also, there are too many people taking one-sided views on this series.

    In the first test, the SL 1st innings was the factor that broke India's back. Any team would have struggled to top that especially when the track slows down over time. The openers performed well but the indian middle order was a complete shambles.

    In Galle, India's bowlers worked on strategies and the batsman looked more dogged and SL took the worst of the toss. This shows how much the toss can make a difference. Both sides have great bowlers but India's batting (the openers taking most credit) will perhaps inch ahead clinching the series.

    It has nothing to do with captains, stats or the past. It has to do with in Sanga's words, "to think logically and rationally". Emotion should come second to these important qualities, Kumble has shown to be much more resilient and clear-headed in captaincy and that should earn him this series.

  • Raj2000 on August 6, 2008, 12:40 GMT

    One of the main reason SL failed is because they didn't have good opening partnerships in both innings. Unlike Shewag and Gambir, both openers are relatively inexperienced and it showed in the middle. The openers not only have to settle in the middle but also have to get comfortable batting with each other, and that takes time. It was a bad judgement on SL side to let two fresh faces open. In my opinion, Vandort should've been in middle order and Sanga should've opened.

  • Manian.MBS on August 6, 2008, 12:04 GMT

    This SL team is nothing with out Murali and the latest sensation Mendis. It has no fire power. Yes it has two world class batters in Kumar and Mahela. Leave them apart the Chaminda's present form and age, the SL team can not qualify for a weekest club team anywhere.

    Thank god the SL is playing against the old warriers of Indian Team. The Present Indian team has only two batsmen( Schewag and Gambir) and two bowler ( Baji and Ishant). So it is a fight between this four and the SL Four( Kumar Mahela, Murali & Mendis). Nothing to talk about the teams in either case. It is better for Indian cricket to burry the old - non performing fellows, Dravid, tendul,Ganguly ,lakshman and Kumble and give chance to younger sensation. It has been proved in the shoter version of the game 50 ( one day and Twenty 200, the younger lot is much better than the old.

    SO YOUNG INDIAN team Jindabad and OLD non performing team MURGABAD.

  • HatemsWarriors on August 6, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    i still feel whatever the pitch be it you cant win a test match with 2 very slow opening bowlers. Lasith Malinga would have done a lot in that match if around as we saw what ishanth sharma did. its sehwags 201 that won them the match he scored 201 out of 329 which means the entire indian line up failed. if we had a faster bowler with the wet and damp conditions late in the 1st day we may have removed Sehwag early. i think session we played on the 1st day was the make or break.

  • Ellis on August 6, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    Kumar, more happy talk and rose coloured glasses views of the situation. No opening partnership in either innings, middle order batting failed in both innings, opening bowlers way below Test class in both innings. Same old, same old. Mendis and Murali spun their fingers to the bone and I am not sure how long Mendis will be a mystery bowler if he bowls such long spells to the Indian batsmen. I also agree that there is too much chatter from the SL camp before the matches take place. Get the job done first, then talk. Dilshan and Kulasekera must go. Kapugedera and a fast bowler come in. At this stage, Vaas is in on reputation and past performances. Great bowler though he has been, he is now on the other side of the hill. Time for him to call in his chips. Nothing is sadder than to see a bowler of his class reduced to a hack. He may have one or two performances left in him, but, it is time to go. Bowling is one dimensional. Get the shine off, give the ball to the spinners. Let's roll!!

  • yakshaya on August 6, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    Compared to many of the cricketting nations SL cricket cannot be underestimated. The world's highest no. of test wkt holder, highest test inning total, highest one day total, the fastest one day 50, best bowling figures in ODI by a bowler, 4 continuous wickets in an over in ODIs, one world cup win and runners up in another etc. are some of the records and landmarks in Cricket achieved by SL cricket. Yes on paper SL's rate of winning abroad in tests maybe less than some of other countries, but it should be noted that SL plays very less no. of matches abroad compared to a country like India. Further not many countries perform well away from home and it is not something unique only to SL. Further SL cricketers are the least mentioned when it comes to disciplinary issues and bad behaviour. Considering all aspects like talent, behaviour and performance the greatest overall team would be SL.

  • parakum on August 6, 2008, 9:58 GMT

    While Davesh is factually incorrect (Sri Lanka has won series in New Zealand, and the Asian Test Championship in Pakistan), I do agree with him and Priyantha. Sanga and Mahela are doing way too much talking before achieving their top goals. I appreciate Sanga is very articulate, but can you please keep it shut till you win the series at least? And all this talk about character and what not - Sri Lanka was thrashed in Australia by a weak Australian team. So please keep it in context.

  • vswami on August 6, 2008, 8:58 GMT

    No word about Harbhajan who bowled as well as I have seen in the recent past to pick up 10 wickets ? He kept India in the game after a not so formidable first innings total. Sehwag pulled the game away from Sri Lankans while Zaheer and Ishant killed their chances. No side has been consistently successful without effective new ball bowlers. This SL attack has to be one of the least incisive ones in world cricket right now.

  • Gemunu_Nanayakkara on August 6, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    One reason for losing this test match is selectors not having the sense to put Prasad into the team after including him in the squad.I think we should have given Prasad a chance and dropped Nuwan although I have nothing against Nuwan Kulasekera. I have observed Prasad for a long time. Almost in every warm up trial matches with the visiting teams , he scores around 40 to 50 runs and takes about 3 to 4 wickets. I simply can't understand how the selectors ignore this. Even in the current trial match with the Indians this time, he took 4 wickets and scored over 40 runs. He is a genuine all rounder. If we had him in this match we may have given a better fight with his batting and bowling. I was happy when the selectors called him for the Galle test squad but was disappointed when he was not in despite Kulasekera's ordinary performance in the first test. I hope somebody has sense to put him for the next Test which is crucial.

  • MA_Style on August 6, 2008, 7:52 GMT

    common guys....no need to panik...u cant change the team in a middle of a series....vandort can give another chance...he was doing ok up to now...wonder why these guys have short memories...jus be patient...and about fast bowlers....ya feel if we have more venom in that department...but all the guys are injured...we cant put a fresher to the sereies decider n ask him to perform....n regarding what mahela was doing while he was batting on 1st innings...he did the correct thing...that time he had to give some time to kulasekara to settle down...he's not a regular batsman....by that we lost may be 10 runs to the max....i dont think we could have have a such a big lead to put pressure on indians by that time...all went wrong as sanga correctly mentioned when that partneship was broken and 4 wickets fell in the 2nd day...and also it was shewags test...cant do much when a batsmen like him gets it right...same when jayasuriya gets it right...difference between the 2 teams was shewag's inning.

  • Frederick on August 6, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    The famous words "it is not whether you won or lost but how you played the game" are appropriate. In the first test, Indian fans would have lamented the way their batsmen succumbed. In the second test, the Sri Lankan batsmen faltered badly. This is cricket. Forget the emotion. If not for reversals like this who would be interested in cricket? On paper the Indian team is much better, although so far the great Virender has been the difference between the two sides. Sri Lanka has to fight hard. You can lose with your heads held high if you play to the best of your ability. This applies to both teams. After all, one team has to lose (what are 5 days for?). Van Dort is better than other openers Sri Lanka has tried. Have faith in him.

  • oasis on August 6, 2008, 7:36 GMT

    Thanks for the comments Davesh I agree that there's some pressure on for Mahela & Sanga when comes to showing there true talent and it does not tell that others doesn't and they proved in the 1st test match in SSC and I belive it's a matter of hanging there and who knows we could have 04 centuries again in Saravanamuttu!! I agree that India has a better batting line up but look what happened when Murali and Mendis tore them apart in the 1st test match!!.Sri Lanka needs to lift there game up when it comes to playing in abroad and I think they still can win without Murali cause they have found another Murali?!! I still belive Sri Lankans can bounce back all they need to have is a pace partner for Vaasee and even though Sehwag and Gambir looks good handling spin of Mendis they still struggle when it comes to playing spin cause they still have to play Murali and it's 2 times pressure.. I think it was the earlier days when Indians were good at playing spin but now it's different ball game

  • Charles_A_Opatha on August 6, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    Cricket is where you back up your team players and contributing to the team total. Sri Lanka has a problem in their opening stand.I don't think Micheal Vandot is the right opening batsmen for Malinda. Yes we may have tired so many NEW opening batman's but still we can't see improvements of these players. The subject "No cause for Panic" i don't think that Lankans' need to Panic yet they need to get their heads right find the weakness in the team for eg( New opening partner for Malinda would be good) and how the INDIANS handling Mendis. The last test i reckon that the Indian Opening batsman handle Mendis really well. Using their feet to the Mendis was the right idea,(it is the right idea for any spinner in the world using their feet.)We don't know the Mentality of the Lankans sometimes we loose a test match, we loose are mentality and loose are momentum. Mahela needs support from batsman's and bowlers. Without Support you can't win matches. Lastly Sanga you need to perform as well.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 6, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    My simple question to all SL fans is - how many tests SL has won outside SL till date ? They are yet to win a test match in Australia, South Africa or India. 40% of their overall test victories have come against Bangladesh & Zimbabwe (10 each). Their captain is probably the worst captain around. An extremely overrated player who has scored 17 of his 22 centuries are at home. I watched him during the recent australian tour. Not for once did he admit that SL was outplayed or Aus was a better team. In every press conference he talked about the character his team has shown. What character ? - SL lost the first test by an innings & the second test by 100 runs when Australia declared twice in 2 innings & lost only 7 wickets in the match. I think he should be a bit more pragmatic & honest in accepting things. The pitches at home are tailormade for their spinners yet they hve started loosing consistenly on home turf. Abroad SL was anyway never a force.

  • harimenon on August 6, 2008, 6:35 GMT

    I fully endorse the statement made by Arachnodouche on 6th August that SL has nothing to shout about in their success overseas. What Kumar should do is to concentrate on his batting and do less writing about the players. I personally think Mendis is overrated. It is a matter of time before players like Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly learn how to play and I will not be surprised if Mendis is going to get a hiding from these class batsmen. Sachin is already playing well and I have a feeling that he will score a good century in the 3rd test if Kumble wins the toss.

    Mahela and Kumar apart SL's batting is average and if these two fail in the third test, the fate of the test is already known - a comprehensive win for India

  • Priyantha_Gunaratna on August 6, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    Just a reminder to people who write without looking at stats. SL has won series abroad. They beat NZ in NZ and beat Pakistan in Pakistan coming from 1-0 down to win 2-1 under Arjuna in the nineties. They will not only win abroad when Murali is around, now that Ajantha is there expect more wins to come. I totally disagree to label SL as dependent on Mahela and Sanga. They are world class within top 10 in the world but others are not far behind. It is not like Bangladesh who deserves to be banished from test cricket. All other batters have excellent test records. No team even the great Aussies have all frontline batsmen of the same class. Lets not make predictions in this unpredictable game of cricket but wait and see what will happen.

  • Priyantha_Gunaratna on August 6, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    Firstly my advice to Sanga is give up writing and concentrate on your batting. We badly need a big hundred from him, which is very much overdue. As a player it is also not fair for him to comment on his colleagues as colleagues theselves do not have that opportunity. We need to make tough decisions regarding selection. The series is on the line in the next match. Dropping a player does not mean that it is the end of the road for him. Firstly we need a genuine pace bowler to partner Vaas. At least we should go for the quickest available. Vandort should make way for one of the Chamaras. Then at least for this match I suggest a makeshift opener, my choice is Prasanna Jayawardena. We had used Mahesh Gunatilake in that capacity in early eighties with success.

  • chandana1997 on August 6, 2008, 5:35 GMT

    The way mahela prevented scoring oppotunaties while batting with kulasekera proved a point that srilankan captain was not interested in posting an imposing total with a first innings lead which would have been put india under immense pressure.It is not necessary to shield kulasekera from the spinners when one consider how he batted in the first test.What is evident here is that srilanka played well below par to create more competitive envioronment for the bookies' and betting.It is no surprise if srilanka wins the third test after removing their favourits tag as far as betting is concerned.

  • DONSILVA on August 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    As Kumar pointed out earlier the serious is a great challenge. However I would like to remind that if Sri Lanka couldn't flourish in the home territory it is a dream to hope Test Series triumph away I have observed a down turn in Srl Lanka Cricket as a whole, despite same is covered slightly tahnks to Ajantha. Most of them including captain are specialized only in home conditions and they are SSC Specialist.. Imaging one day team without 40 years (young) Jayasooriya. Even the veterans like Kumar could do anything for his liking as no pressure or proper authority. Think the composition when Kumar is keeping could introduce a genuine batman or bowler or quality all-rounder that will immensely assist the balance of the side. Only adjustment he has to do is as in the past bats after his captain. We also have our preference but unfortunately the good management don't allow us to make choices as they seek the best interest of the organization. The time has come to look for a strong leader

  • oasis on August 6, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    It's good to talk about the things that happend in the 2nd Test match Kumar!! I think we didn't fight back as we used to do!! come on guy's have some heart I won't say that you guy's gave that macth away but I was very much disspointed of the performance of our team .As you said partnerships are vitale in these types of situations and it's the key to lift your game and to go for winning!! I would bring up an exampale look the way Gauthum Ghambir lifted his game he failed in the 1st match and he came back on the 2nd match with some strong self confidance and that's the way you have to play .I know it's not too late to bounce back and I hope that Sri lankans will show show some strong ressistance in Saravanamuttu. I am glad that Mahel is in great form and I adnmire the way he looks head and the way he gives his part to the game and most of all it's great to see how he unites his men around him. It's not too late Kumar and I hope you will show your colours in Saravanamuttu .All the best.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 6, 2008, 5:07 GMT

    Apart from that solitary win in England in 1998 in an one-off test match, when was the last time SL won a series abroad ? I think SL hasn't ever won a series abroad (baring Zimbabwe,Bdesh). If that's true (& i m sure that is true) then why Jayawardene keeps talking about character & confidence & all those philosophical words. The captain Jayawardene himself averages 36 outside SL & 66 in SL. Is this what you call a talented batsman ? I think its high time that SL win a series abroad & be counted amongst the top test playing nations in the world. Unfortunately that can happen only till Murali is around. So buck up & improve your record.

  • Arachnodouche on August 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    I think SL's batting is particularly frail and revolves too much around Jayawadene and Sanga. Great bats both but surrounded in a sea of mediocrity. They just don't measure up to the Indian line-up, who inspite of having a poor series so far, can be counted on to fire sooner rather than later. They're picking up Mendis gradually with Sehwag/Gambhir playing him with ease and Dravid/Sachin improving with every bat as well. I wouldn't wager my life on it but I reckon India take the final test without too much hassle.

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  • Arachnodouche on August 6, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    I think SL's batting is particularly frail and revolves too much around Jayawadene and Sanga. Great bats both but surrounded in a sea of mediocrity. They just don't measure up to the Indian line-up, who inspite of having a poor series so far, can be counted on to fire sooner rather than later. They're picking up Mendis gradually with Sehwag/Gambhir playing him with ease and Dravid/Sachin improving with every bat as well. I wouldn't wager my life on it but I reckon India take the final test without too much hassle.

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 6, 2008, 5:07 GMT

    Apart from that solitary win in England in 1998 in an one-off test match, when was the last time SL won a series abroad ? I think SL hasn't ever won a series abroad (baring Zimbabwe,Bdesh). If that's true (& i m sure that is true) then why Jayawardene keeps talking about character & confidence & all those philosophical words. The captain Jayawardene himself averages 36 outside SL & 66 in SL. Is this what you call a talented batsman ? I think its high time that SL win a series abroad & be counted amongst the top test playing nations in the world. Unfortunately that can happen only till Murali is around. So buck up & improve your record.

  • oasis on August 6, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    It's good to talk about the things that happend in the 2nd Test match Kumar!! I think we didn't fight back as we used to do!! come on guy's have some heart I won't say that you guy's gave that macth away but I was very much disspointed of the performance of our team .As you said partnerships are vitale in these types of situations and it's the key to lift your game and to go for winning!! I would bring up an exampale look the way Gauthum Ghambir lifted his game he failed in the 1st match and he came back on the 2nd match with some strong self confidance and that's the way you have to play .I know it's not too late to bounce back and I hope that Sri lankans will show show some strong ressistance in Saravanamuttu. I am glad that Mahel is in great form and I adnmire the way he looks head and the way he gives his part to the game and most of all it's great to see how he unites his men around him. It's not too late Kumar and I hope you will show your colours in Saravanamuttu .All the best.

  • DONSILVA on August 6, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    As Kumar pointed out earlier the serious is a great challenge. However I would like to remind that if Sri Lanka couldn't flourish in the home territory it is a dream to hope Test Series triumph away I have observed a down turn in Srl Lanka Cricket as a whole, despite same is covered slightly tahnks to Ajantha. Most of them including captain are specialized only in home conditions and they are SSC Specialist.. Imaging one day team without 40 years (young) Jayasooriya. Even the veterans like Kumar could do anything for his liking as no pressure or proper authority. Think the composition when Kumar is keeping could introduce a genuine batman or bowler or quality all-rounder that will immensely assist the balance of the side. Only adjustment he has to do is as in the past bats after his captain. We also have our preference but unfortunately the good management don't allow us to make choices as they seek the best interest of the organization. The time has come to look for a strong leader

  • chandana1997 on August 6, 2008, 5:35 GMT

    The way mahela prevented scoring oppotunaties while batting with kulasekera proved a point that srilankan captain was not interested in posting an imposing total with a first innings lead which would have been put india under immense pressure.It is not necessary to shield kulasekera from the spinners when one consider how he batted in the first test.What is evident here is that srilanka played well below par to create more competitive envioronment for the bookies' and betting.It is no surprise if srilanka wins the third test after removing their favourits tag as far as betting is concerned.

  • Priyantha_Gunaratna on August 6, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    Firstly my advice to Sanga is give up writing and concentrate on your batting. We badly need a big hundred from him, which is very much overdue. As a player it is also not fair for him to comment on his colleagues as colleagues theselves do not have that opportunity. We need to make tough decisions regarding selection. The series is on the line in the next match. Dropping a player does not mean that it is the end of the road for him. Firstly we need a genuine pace bowler to partner Vaas. At least we should go for the quickest available. Vandort should make way for one of the Chamaras. Then at least for this match I suggest a makeshift opener, my choice is Prasanna Jayawardena. We had used Mahesh Gunatilake in that capacity in early eighties with success.

  • Priyantha_Gunaratna on August 6, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    Just a reminder to people who write without looking at stats. SL has won series abroad. They beat NZ in NZ and beat Pakistan in Pakistan coming from 1-0 down to win 2-1 under Arjuna in the nineties. They will not only win abroad when Murali is around, now that Ajantha is there expect more wins to come. I totally disagree to label SL as dependent on Mahela and Sanga. They are world class within top 10 in the world but others are not far behind. It is not like Bangladesh who deserves to be banished from test cricket. All other batters have excellent test records. No team even the great Aussies have all frontline batsmen of the same class. Lets not make predictions in this unpredictable game of cricket but wait and see what will happen.

  • harimenon on August 6, 2008, 6:35 GMT

    I fully endorse the statement made by Arachnodouche on 6th August that SL has nothing to shout about in their success overseas. What Kumar should do is to concentrate on his batting and do less writing about the players. I personally think Mendis is overrated. It is a matter of time before players like Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly learn how to play and I will not be surprised if Mendis is going to get a hiding from these class batsmen. Sachin is already playing well and I have a feeling that he will score a good century in the 3rd test if Kumble wins the toss.

    Mahela and Kumar apart SL's batting is average and if these two fail in the third test, the fate of the test is already known - a comprehensive win for India

  • Davesh_cricket_analyst on August 6, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    My simple question to all SL fans is - how many tests SL has won outside SL till date ? They are yet to win a test match in Australia, South Africa or India. 40% of their overall test victories have come against Bangladesh & Zimbabwe (10 each). Their captain is probably the worst captain around. An extremely overrated player who has scored 17 of his 22 centuries are at home. I watched him during the recent australian tour. Not for once did he admit that SL was outplayed or Aus was a better team. In every press conference he talked about the character his team has shown. What character ? - SL lost the first test by an innings & the second test by 100 runs when Australia declared twice in 2 innings & lost only 7 wickets in the match. I think he should be a bit more pragmatic & honest in accepting things. The pitches at home are tailormade for their spinners yet they hve started loosing consistenly on home turf. Abroad SL was anyway never a force.

  • Charles_A_Opatha on August 6, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    Cricket is where you back up your team players and contributing to the team total. Sri Lanka has a problem in their opening stand.I don't think Micheal Vandot is the right opening batsmen for Malinda. Yes we may have tired so many NEW opening batman's but still we can't see improvements of these players. The subject "No cause for Panic" i don't think that Lankans' need to Panic yet they need to get their heads right find the weakness in the team for eg( New opening partner for Malinda would be good) and how the INDIANS handling Mendis. The last test i reckon that the Indian Opening batsman handle Mendis really well. Using their feet to the Mendis was the right idea,(it is the right idea for any spinner in the world using their feet.)We don't know the Mentality of the Lankans sometimes we loose a test match, we loose are mentality and loose are momentum. Mahela needs support from batsman's and bowlers. Without Support you can't win matches. Lastly Sanga you need to perform as well.