Middle order March 2, 2010

A problem of plenty

Who to pick - strokemakers or stodgy accumulators? Or keepers who can more than just get by with the bat?
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In Sri Lanka's cricket history one area where they have never been short of talent is the middle-order batting. Sri Lanka have been blessed with some of the most exciting batsmen the game has ever seen.

From Mahadevan Sathasivam, regarded as the country's best batsman in the pre-Test era, to Aravinda de Silva, arguably the best in the Test age, Sri Lanka have produced an array of exciting stroke-makers the likes of whom cricket has been fortunate to witness.

Amaong those during the pre-Test years who could probably have made it to this shortlist were Frederick C de Saram, Sargo Jayawickrama, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon, Ievers Gunasekara and Stanley Jayasinghe, whose cricketing talents were not fully exposed due to the lack of international competition. These players were unfortunate to belong to an era when Sri Lanka was still struggling to attain Test status. They played purely for the love of the game, in an age where cricket was accepted as a gentleman's game and was not influenced by money.

Those who missed out in the list in the Test era include Duleep Mendis, the dashing batsman and former captain who was nicknamed the "Moratuwa Mauler", and Russel Arnold, whose level-headed batting provided a calming influence to the middle-order.

If picking the openers is going to cause a headache to the selectors of this all-time XI, naming the middle-order is an even bigger task because of the abundance of talent on offer.

The contenders

Roy Dias
A slim, elegant and exceptionally gifted right-hand batsman with a marvellous sense of timing and a style slightly reminiscent of Rohan Kanhai. It is a tragedy that by the time Sri Lanka was granted Test status, Dias, who had played a major part of his career in the pre-Test era, was almost 30. He played in only 20 Tests and became the first Sri Lankan to make 1000 Test runs.

Arjuna Ranatunga
A street-fighting left-hand batsman. His Test batting average of 35.69 and four hundreds from 93 Tests hardly do justice to his precocious talent. Ranatunga was in charge of the team for 11 years from 1988 and was widely recognised as a master tactician, leading his team to victory in the World Cup final of 1996 against arch enemies Australia.

Aravinda de Silva
A strokemaker of the highest class, de Silva had the bit of genius in him that allowed him to hit good balls to the boundary, which made it hard for opposing captains to plan against it. During the early part of his career he was known as a dashing if inconsistent batsman and was given the name Mad Max, but one season with English county Kent marked the turning point of his career. He is best remembered for playing the key role in Sti Lanka winning the 1996 World Cup final against Australia: he contributed with a fine unbeaten century to go with his two catches and three wickets.

Kumar Sangakkara
Not blessed with natural talent like some of his team-mates and predecessors, through hard work and sacrifice Sangakkara has worked himself to the level of a top-class specialist batsman who could fit into any current world XI. His Test batting record has improved drastically since he gave up keeping in Tests, which enabled him to concentrate solely on his role as a No. 3. Batting has never looked like an effort to him. He has the ability to pick up the length quickly and plays the short ball very well. Equally good against spin, pace and swing.

Mahela Jayawardene
Impressively balanced at the crease, Jayawardene is quick on his feet, and once he gets a start he is capable of batting for long hours, as his 27 Test hundreds bear testimony. He ranks among the toughest batsmen in the game today. Jayawardene was the first Sri Lankan captain to score a Test triple-century, making 374 off 572 deliveries against South Africa in 2006, and sharing a world Test record partnership of 674 with Sangakkara.

Thilan Samaraweera
Primarily an offspinner, Samaraweera was quick to realise that as long as Muttiah Muralitharan was around there was no place in the side for another similar spinner, so he switched over to becoming a batsman. But it was not until 2001 that he got a break in Test cricket. Despite being dropped on a couple of occasions for poor form, Samaraweera has cemented a permanent spot in the middle order where in 2009 he started to contribute massive scores including back-to-back double-hundreds in Pakistan. Not an elegant batsman to watch, but very effective in his strokeplay.

Hashan Tillakaratne
Like Sangakkara, Tillakaratne came into the Test side as a wicketkeeper-batsman but later shed his gloves to become a durable middle-order batsman who could wear the opposition down with his defensive play. He was not an exiciting batsman to watch but played several match-saving innings and was a prolific run-getter in Tests.

Asanka Gurusinha
Few ever mention the name of Gurusinha when Sri Lanka's World Cup victory is spoken of, but he it was who provided the base for strokemakers like de Silva and Ranatunga to play their natural game. A tall and compact left-hander who made his Test debut as a keeper, Gurusinha took on the mantle of Sri Lanka's No. 3, a position he fulfilled for many years before his rather premature exit after the World Cup.

We'll be publishing an all-time Sri Lanka XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your middle order click here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cannuck on March 5, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    Waste of time is posting 3-4 comments at a time, just to force's one's opinion others... I stand by my comments & HILANGL can keep believing that in a team with De Silva & Sathasivam, Roy Dias can't make it, yet Ravi Rathnayake can make it.. as an all time all rounder? Really??? Over people like Russel Arnold, Kumar Dharmasena or even late Anura Ranasinghe, one of the guttiest cricketers to have played the game.. ? Say what? Anura didn't play much test cricket? Well I guess then Satahsivam must have played more tests than Anura eh..? I have no doubt Sathasivam is an all time great & I would rank him in the top, along with Thissera & Stanley Jayasinghe. But if he was picked for his performance against visiting greats, then how come Dr. H.I.K Fernando wasn't? After all Don Bradman him self had once told that it was a pity H.I.K was not born in Australia, for he would have surely made the National team for his glove work behind the stumps. Now that's potential, seen by the DON him self!

  • on March 5, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    I did not prepare this list. The list is prepared by "Reliance Mobile ICC Rankings The Official Rankings for International Cricket!". As I understand that this list is prepared through statistical analysis of the players with all the aspects, including the opposition they play. If anybody is not happy with the list they can submit a complaint, feedback, or an alternative list, or an alternative method to rank on the following link.

    http://www.reliancemobileiccrankings.com/contactus.php

    Yes at the first glance it is difficult to comprehend why Tendulkar, Lara, or Headley are so far below the list, however when you look at the players above them (May be in a different era) then you understand why they are at their place.

    "Players make the all-time list by sustaining excellent form over a prolonged period. The ratings shown are the highest points totals these players have attained and no player is allowed to appear on the list more than once."

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    My all-time SL XI ... This would be my last comment here. Yet I sincerely hope some ppl like Cannuck would be having some ample improvements ... 1. Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt. & the one to intimidate the opponents at the top), 2. Marvan Atapattu (sheet anchor role for partnering J'suriya), 3. Mahadevan Sathasivam (indispensable in all time SL XI), 4. Aravinda De Silva (class act, very good at counterattacking & passing the pressure to the opponents), 5. Kumar Sangakkara (wk & a solid bat), 6. Dulip Mendis ( an arrogant bat down the order ), 7. Ravi Rathnayaka (all rounder), 8. Chaminda Vaas (bowling all rounder), 9. D.S.De Silva or Romesh Rathnayake (given the pitch) 10. Dilhara Fernando or Lasith Malinga (to add some pace & teeth to the otherwise very medium attack), 11. Muththaiah M'tharan (no guess). Note: In a team having both De Silva & Sathasivam at the top, pretty hard to find a place for Roy Dias. Dulip Mendis had some other qualities which would make him blend with this lineup.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    My all-time SL XI ... This would be my last comment here. Yet I sincerely hope some ppl like Cannuck would be having some ample improvements ... 1. Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt. & the one to intimidate the opponents at the top), 2. Marvan Atapattu (sheet anchor role for partnering J'suriya), 3. Mahadevan Sathasivam (indispensable in all time SL XI), 4. Aravinda De Silva (class act, very good at counterattacking & passing the pressure to the opponents), 5. Kumar Sangakkara (wk & a solid bat), 6. Dulip Mendis ( an arrogant bat down the order ), 7. Ravi Rathnayaka (all rounder), 8. Chaminda Vaas (bowling all rounder), 9. D.S.De Silva or Romesh Rathnayake (given the pitch) 10. Dilhara Fernando or Lasith Malinga (to add some pace & teeth to the otherwise very medium attack), 11. Muththaiah M'tharan (no guess). Note: In a team having both De Silva & Sathasivam at the top, pretty hard to find a place for Roy Dias. Dulip Mendis had some other qualities which would make him blend with this lineup.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    I have to back one thing I strongly believe here, not sure some here would believe it or not, never mind. If you need to come up with a list for all-time XI for a particular nation, you need to consider all the players, the quality & the class associated with each player, the comments given on a particular player by his peer players who represented superior teams, the nature of the opponents he played against, the kind of game he played (to me, the way De Silva & Jayasuriya played was harder than what Sidath did & S'kara is doing), the matches he won on his own, the amount of burden carried by an individual, etc. Otherwise one can end up listing the ones he has seen, which won't make it any all-time best XI. I repeatedly say players like Sidath won't find a place in any better test XI at his time.Roy Dias was much better, true, but not there with De Silva, Jayasuriya or Sathasivam at their best. S'kara will find a place in the XI, so may be Mahela, but their averages are exaggerations.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    I have to back one thing I strongely belive here, not sure some here would believe it or not, never mind. If you need to come up with a list for all-time XI for a particular nation, you need to consider all the players, the quality & the class associated with each player, the comments given on a particular player by his peer players who represented superior teams, the nature of the opponents he played against, the kind of game he played (to me, the way De Silva & Jayasuriya played was harder than what Sidath did & S'kara is doing), the matches he won on his own, the amount of burden carrried by an idividual, etc. Otherwise one can endup listing the ones he has seen, which won't make it any all-time best XI. I repeatedly say players like Sidath won't find a place in any better test XI at his time. Roy Dias was much better, true, but not there with De Silva, Jayasuriya or Sathasivam at their best. S'kara will find a place in the XI, so may be Mahela, but their averages are exaggerations.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    @Cannuck ... Waste of time ... Keep believing your Sidath, Roy, S'kara, Mahela & co. would make all-time SL XI. S'kara is the gr8est of SL to-date, ... To Madura Perera, Yea, I had come across the list given in ur link. This list first appeared in Wisden nearly 1+ year back. The concern was that this list had been formulated based on the highest ratings mark earned by a player in his peak. This list is topped by Bradman which is very reasonable & beyond any doubt. But again the same list places both Lara, Tendulkar, the legendary WI George Headly at 20+ positions, which is questionable given the fact that few others like S'kara, Kalllis & co. hav been given far superior places. Even people like Mahela, Chanderpaul, co. within top 40, but both Clive Lyod & Gorden Greenidege coming after 60s. So the measuring criteria may not be that trustworthy. Not sure how many would place someone like Keith Stackpole at 99th in all-time 100 list given the nature of some far better ones missing here.

  • Cannuck on March 5, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    HLANG! Happy belated birthday son! I take back that comment about your NONSENSE remark, as I wish to use it on YOU! All this time I was under the impression that you were praising someone that you'd seen perform with your own eyes, not of someone you "heard" from your daddy! Being in early 30s if you can't even remember Roy Dias, then how you comment on Sathasivam is beyond me! You just proved your own ignorance. Try to put together your own opinion instead of listening to others. My selections are based on my "opinion" not what I "heard" from my daddy. Although I know how good Sathasivam was, it wasn't us who seem to be exaggerating players, but it's YOU who haven't even seen many of them play. Your comment that "these players were not even the best in the world during their time" proves you ignorance even more, as this list is not about a WORLD XI, but a Sri Lankan XI. So I urge you to get your facts straight! No matter what you say from here onwards we will regard them as "here-say"

  • on March 5, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    No disrespect for the older players of SL. But the reason we did not have the test status at the time was because we were not good enough.

    http://www.reliancemobileiccrankings.com/alltime/test/

    In this list Sangakkara is number 6, Jayawardena is 36 and P.A. de Silva is 90. This is the all time list and fairly renowned names and you are in the club of 100 where Bradman is the Number 1.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    At Rosh1, "Did you know that the Aussie cricketers have branded peterson and Kumar the 2 of the toughest players to bowl at and that too ommitting Sachin."... where did you see they respect these 2 better than Sachin?. As I'd know, if they would be given the option to select 2 batsmen from rest of the world, it would be Sachin Tendulkar & Brian Charles Lara. I'm a Sri Lankan, but I have watched many many mathces, have seen many many players, so I can safely say [Lara, Tendulkar & Ponting] are the 3 most complete batsmen in recent times after the age of Viv Richards & co. Our own De Silva may not be quite there, though he had loads of tallent he didn't really utilize all his tallent during the initial phase of his career. Players like S'kara & Peterson are very determined characters, I know quite hard to dislodge, but that won't say they are the best if you take all aspects of batting. Do you still believe S'kara is potentially better matchwinner for SL than De Silva & Jayasuriya ???

  • Cannuck on March 5, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    Waste of time is posting 3-4 comments at a time, just to force's one's opinion others... I stand by my comments & HILANGL can keep believing that in a team with De Silva & Sathasivam, Roy Dias can't make it, yet Ravi Rathnayake can make it.. as an all time all rounder? Really??? Over people like Russel Arnold, Kumar Dharmasena or even late Anura Ranasinghe, one of the guttiest cricketers to have played the game.. ? Say what? Anura didn't play much test cricket? Well I guess then Satahsivam must have played more tests than Anura eh..? I have no doubt Sathasivam is an all time great & I would rank him in the top, along with Thissera & Stanley Jayasinghe. But if he was picked for his performance against visiting greats, then how come Dr. H.I.K Fernando wasn't? After all Don Bradman him self had once told that it was a pity H.I.K was not born in Australia, for he would have surely made the National team for his glove work behind the stumps. Now that's potential, seen by the DON him self!

  • on March 5, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    I did not prepare this list. The list is prepared by "Reliance Mobile ICC Rankings The Official Rankings for International Cricket!". As I understand that this list is prepared through statistical analysis of the players with all the aspects, including the opposition they play. If anybody is not happy with the list they can submit a complaint, feedback, or an alternative list, or an alternative method to rank on the following link.

    http://www.reliancemobileiccrankings.com/contactus.php

    Yes at the first glance it is difficult to comprehend why Tendulkar, Lara, or Headley are so far below the list, however when you look at the players above them (May be in a different era) then you understand why they are at their place.

    "Players make the all-time list by sustaining excellent form over a prolonged period. The ratings shown are the highest points totals these players have attained and no player is allowed to appear on the list more than once."

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    My all-time SL XI ... This would be my last comment here. Yet I sincerely hope some ppl like Cannuck would be having some ample improvements ... 1. Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt. & the one to intimidate the opponents at the top), 2. Marvan Atapattu (sheet anchor role for partnering J'suriya), 3. Mahadevan Sathasivam (indispensable in all time SL XI), 4. Aravinda De Silva (class act, very good at counterattacking & passing the pressure to the opponents), 5. Kumar Sangakkara (wk & a solid bat), 6. Dulip Mendis ( an arrogant bat down the order ), 7. Ravi Rathnayaka (all rounder), 8. Chaminda Vaas (bowling all rounder), 9. D.S.De Silva or Romesh Rathnayake (given the pitch) 10. Dilhara Fernando or Lasith Malinga (to add some pace & teeth to the otherwise very medium attack), 11. Muththaiah M'tharan (no guess). Note: In a team having both De Silva & Sathasivam at the top, pretty hard to find a place for Roy Dias. Dulip Mendis had some other qualities which would make him blend with this lineup.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    My all-time SL XI ... This would be my last comment here. Yet I sincerely hope some ppl like Cannuck would be having some ample improvements ... 1. Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt. & the one to intimidate the opponents at the top), 2. Marvan Atapattu (sheet anchor role for partnering J'suriya), 3. Mahadevan Sathasivam (indispensable in all time SL XI), 4. Aravinda De Silva (class act, very good at counterattacking & passing the pressure to the opponents), 5. Kumar Sangakkara (wk & a solid bat), 6. Dulip Mendis ( an arrogant bat down the order ), 7. Ravi Rathnayaka (all rounder), 8. Chaminda Vaas (bowling all rounder), 9. D.S.De Silva or Romesh Rathnayake (given the pitch) 10. Dilhara Fernando or Lasith Malinga (to add some pace & teeth to the otherwise very medium attack), 11. Muththaiah M'tharan (no guess). Note: In a team having both De Silva & Sathasivam at the top, pretty hard to find a place for Roy Dias. Dulip Mendis had some other qualities which would make him blend with this lineup.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    I have to back one thing I strongly believe here, not sure some here would believe it or not, never mind. If you need to come up with a list for all-time XI for a particular nation, you need to consider all the players, the quality & the class associated with each player, the comments given on a particular player by his peer players who represented superior teams, the nature of the opponents he played against, the kind of game he played (to me, the way De Silva & Jayasuriya played was harder than what Sidath did & S'kara is doing), the matches he won on his own, the amount of burden carried by an individual, etc. Otherwise one can end up listing the ones he has seen, which won't make it any all-time best XI. I repeatedly say players like Sidath won't find a place in any better test XI at his time.Roy Dias was much better, true, but not there with De Silva, Jayasuriya or Sathasivam at their best. S'kara will find a place in the XI, so may be Mahela, but their averages are exaggerations.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    I have to back one thing I strongely belive here, not sure some here would believe it or not, never mind. If you need to come up with a list for all-time XI for a particular nation, you need to consider all the players, the quality & the class associated with each player, the comments given on a particular player by his peer players who represented superior teams, the nature of the opponents he played against, the kind of game he played (to me, the way De Silva & Jayasuriya played was harder than what Sidath did & S'kara is doing), the matches he won on his own, the amount of burden carrried by an idividual, etc. Otherwise one can endup listing the ones he has seen, which won't make it any all-time best XI. I repeatedly say players like Sidath won't find a place in any better test XI at his time. Roy Dias was much better, true, but not there with De Silva, Jayasuriya or Sathasivam at their best. S'kara will find a place in the XI, so may be Mahela, but their averages are exaggerations.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    @Cannuck ... Waste of time ... Keep believing your Sidath, Roy, S'kara, Mahela & co. would make all-time SL XI. S'kara is the gr8est of SL to-date, ... To Madura Perera, Yea, I had come across the list given in ur link. This list first appeared in Wisden nearly 1+ year back. The concern was that this list had been formulated based on the highest ratings mark earned by a player in his peak. This list is topped by Bradman which is very reasonable & beyond any doubt. But again the same list places both Lara, Tendulkar, the legendary WI George Headly at 20+ positions, which is questionable given the fact that few others like S'kara, Kalllis & co. hav been given far superior places. Even people like Mahela, Chanderpaul, co. within top 40, but both Clive Lyod & Gorden Greenidege coming after 60s. So the measuring criteria may not be that trustworthy. Not sure how many would place someone like Keith Stackpole at 99th in all-time 100 list given the nature of some far better ones missing here.

  • Cannuck on March 5, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    HLANG! Happy belated birthday son! I take back that comment about your NONSENSE remark, as I wish to use it on YOU! All this time I was under the impression that you were praising someone that you'd seen perform with your own eyes, not of someone you "heard" from your daddy! Being in early 30s if you can't even remember Roy Dias, then how you comment on Sathasivam is beyond me! You just proved your own ignorance. Try to put together your own opinion instead of listening to others. My selections are based on my "opinion" not what I "heard" from my daddy. Although I know how good Sathasivam was, it wasn't us who seem to be exaggerating players, but it's YOU who haven't even seen many of them play. Your comment that "these players were not even the best in the world during their time" proves you ignorance even more, as this list is not about a WORLD XI, but a Sri Lankan XI. So I urge you to get your facts straight! No matter what you say from here onwards we will regard them as "here-say"

  • on March 5, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    No disrespect for the older players of SL. But the reason we did not have the test status at the time was because we were not good enough.

    http://www.reliancemobileiccrankings.com/alltime/test/

    In this list Sangakkara is number 6, Jayawardena is 36 and P.A. de Silva is 90. This is the all time list and fairly renowned names and you are in the club of 100 where Bradman is the Number 1.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    At Rosh1, "Did you know that the Aussie cricketers have branded peterson and Kumar the 2 of the toughest players to bowl at and that too ommitting Sachin."... where did you see they respect these 2 better than Sachin?. As I'd know, if they would be given the option to select 2 batsmen from rest of the world, it would be Sachin Tendulkar & Brian Charles Lara. I'm a Sri Lankan, but I have watched many many mathces, have seen many many players, so I can safely say [Lara, Tendulkar & Ponting] are the 3 most complete batsmen in recent times after the age of Viv Richards & co. Our own De Silva may not be quite there, though he had loads of tallent he didn't really utilize all his tallent during the initial phase of his career. Players like S'kara & Peterson are very determined characters, I know quite hard to dislodge, but that won't say they are the best if you take all aspects of batting. Do you still believe S'kara is potentially better matchwinner for SL than De Silva & Jayasuriya ???

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    Coming to Rosh1, not sure whether you have got me correctly.In cases like this you have to consider one's potential. Everyone would agree that Sathasivam was the ulitimate special thing in SL batting before De Silva came into limelight later.Players like Sidath & co. are no matches. Even Roy Dias would accept the fact that he's not one to be compared with someone like Sathasivam. You should learn to give the credit to the right person.De Silva & Jayasuriya were the potentially most tallented batsmen SL saw after gaining the test status, so was Sathasivam during pre-test era. Leave out all others including much hyped pre-test players, even I had mentioned this earlier.Yet you CANNOT leave Sathasivam in all-time SL XI, along with De Silva & Jayasuriya.To me these 3 are the automatic choices as the front line batters having no limitaions. When it comes to S'kara I said "limitations" & "reservations" in his style, not "technical limitations". He may be thriving but not the most complete.

  • HLANGL on March 5, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    At Cannuck, LOL, I have just crossed over from my 20s to 30, only few months back. But ... But ... read back what I've said. If not for ur sheer ignorance, u may see I have repeatedly said labelling some of these pre-test era players like Micheal Thissera, Stanley Jayasinghe, Mahesh Gunathilake (may have played few tests though), Ajith De Silva (again, have played few tests) & co. is nothing but exaggregation. I have seen some of Roy Dias, I would accept he's a very good player we had before De Silva captured limelight later. So was Dulip Mendis. These may be the best players SL had during their times, but NO way the best in the world in their times. Here, in "best" I mean the potentially best, as any rational thinker would see that Steve Tikolo is potentially such a good batsman to represent any international XI at his peak though he had palyed very few matches at the highest level apart from ODIs. A player like Sathasivam belongs to this category, just get you facts right.

  • batman_87 on March 5, 2010, 0:56 GMT

    No one can discard sathasivm. He scored marvellous centuries against england and even against windies in various FC matches. How good is that for a batsman from a lowest ranked cricket team by then to achieve what he achieved?

    Sri lankas all time best test batsman should be none other than kumar sangakkara. I can prove that by both objective enhanced statistical analysis and subjective opinions.

    Sri lankas all time best ODI batsman should be aravinda De silva..

    Sri Lankas All time best batsman considering all aspects and the eras should be aravinda de silva. I don't know where we can place the likes of sathasivms and jayasinghes. But certainly at the top..

  • Cannuck on March 4, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    @HLANGL, I have great respect for the cricketers you have mentioned. In fact not many here may even know of Sathasivam's late cut, Stanley Jayasighe's powerful hitting, brothers Carl & Valentine. Thisera etc., Because of that I say you may be from the era of my dad, who speaks highly of these players that HE DID PLAY with. However it is absurd for you to call it's NONSENSE, that some of us have selected players like Sidath, Ajith, Roy etc. You go on to say about Sathasivam, "Still not sure one can discard this man. In my opinion, no one should." THAT'S IT ! It's only your opinion, just like we are entitled to ours. So calling our opinion a "NONSENSE", means you think your choice is the only correct one. I have utmost respect for those players of yesteryear, but as Rosh1 points out, the weaknesses you see in the modern day player's may have been greater or equal in your older generation, if the technology was available at he time. So let's not try to compare apples with oranges please!

  • dineshp97 on March 4, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    My XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, Mahela, Aravinda, Ranatunga, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralidaran, Fernando, Malinga

  • SLfan on March 4, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Totally agreed with Mannix16. Some may think that, since Dilshan is explosive than Marvan, he is better than Marvan. But keep in mind that this is test XI. Other thing is, even if we consider the ODIs, Marvan has the highest average ever among all Sri Lankan batsmen...There should be atleast 4 middle order spots to be selected. Aravinda,Sanga, Mahela & Hashan can be selected, where as Mathews can play as a batting allrounder.

  • Rosh1 on March 4, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    The message goes to HLANGLon the comparison between Satha and Sanga. No offense but you assume that Satha would have been a better player with more games but not proven in figures like Sanga does. You have to understand that a player has to continue the career for a longer period of time and accumulating runs on a consistent basis, limited injury, not been dropped etc.. You also mention that Sanga has technical failures.You identified his flaws due to the technology available today..maybe Satha had more technical flaws which you may have never seen as matches were not broadcasted on TV during that time. Did you know that the Aussie cricketers have branded peterson and Kumar the 2 of the toughest players to bowl at and that too ommitting Sachin.

  • Mannix16 on March 4, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Aravinda de Silva is easily the best batsman ever produced and Attapattu is legend. Just cause dislhan is in form for these last two years does not make up for the whole cricket career of everybody else. Mahela and Sanga should def be in with sanga being wck and as for captain i see no problem with ranatunga, but also for the sake of an additional better batsman, mahela as captain would not be that bad.

  • batman_87 on March 4, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    Sangakkara is nations best ever test player easily.No doubt about that. With the best away avg + won match avg (over 75). I simply don't understand why some people cannot differentiate sangakkara and jayawardena. Had sangakkara got enough support like Dravid gets from Sachin and others , Sangakkara would have done wonders in tests. I hope every1 remembers his lonely fighting knocks in greener pastures. 192 in hobart, 100 not out in wellington when the team total was 170, 156* in Nz whent he team total was little bit over 250, 98 in Centurion South Africa .

    Sathasivam and wettamuniy were gem of players in their era.

  • on March 3, 2010, 22:49 GMT

    @ Ashan_Mendis - you missed the point. Mahela's average in Lanka is low 60s, while outside it is in the low 40s. A 20 run difference - not the hallmark of an all-time great. About the the team: Sanga (as a batsman), Aravinda are shoo ins- with Arjuna as capt. So that leave 2 more slots to fill in the middle - Dias who was a class batsman could take one. Of the mediocre rest - definitely take Mahela for a home series, ane toss a con for the others :).

  • ATIULLAH on March 3, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    de silva,sanga and jayawardne r easily all time best

  • cricketchopper on March 3, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    For Hiran Kevityagala,

    Your choice of Mathews seems to be very reasonable. I agree that atapatu can be sacrificed to place Mathews in the team but you know VB John has the best average among Sri Lankan fast bowlers so I will prefer him on Romesh. Any way good selection.

  • on March 3, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara not naturally talented?? Really? Has this guy ever seen him bat??

  • on March 3, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    My XI for Sri lanka is 1. Sanath 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga(wk) 4. Aravinda 5. Mahela 6. Arajuna (c) 7. Mathews 8.Vaas 9.Malinga 10.Murali 11.Romesh

    Dilshan is easily the best opener after Sanath and he deff should belong there as there is no other that have played many match winning innings like him in the short spam as an opener. Mathew's, even though haven't played a lot, is definitely the most talented fast bowl all-rounder we have got or the only genuine all rounder and proven as he won games with both the bat and the bowl. Romesh Ratnayaka is deff better than Fernando!

  • on March 3, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    but SL only has... just 3 other ov them playing these days

  • cricketchopper on March 3, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    I think that: a) Sri Lanka has never found a fast bowling All rounder; b) Most of the specialist batsmen like Arvinda, Sanath and Dilshan can also bowl spin bow well whereas pace bowling needs an additional bowler; c)Batting has been the real strength of Sri Lanka; d)Dilshan is an extra ordinary batsmen and is fit for every type of cricket e)Sangakara has been good wicket keeper and due to bating responsibilities left wicket keeping. If he has less batting responsibility he would like to do wicket kieeping hence Sri Lanka would be having an additional batsmen. e) Marven Atapatu is the technically best batsmen of Sri Lanka f) Players like Sidath Vitamany and Roy Dias did not play enough cricket to be considered for All time Sri Lanka eleven. g) Ranatunga has been the best leader for Sri Lanka

    In view of above considerations my team would be: Atapatu, Sanath Jaysuriya, Arvinda, Mahela, Dilshan, Ranatunga(C), Sangakara (WK), Vaas, Malinga, Muralitharan,VB John.

  • wosaworld on March 3, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    Asanka Gurusinghe/Aravinda Silva/Mahela Jayawardena/Sangakkara will be a matured and classy middle order forever

  • nmperera on March 3, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    1. Sidath Wettimuny(RHB) 2.Sanath Jayasuriya(LHB) 3.Mahela Jayawardena(RHB) 4.Kumar Sangakkara(LHB) 5.Aravinda de Silva(RHB) 6.Arjuna Ranatunga (LHB) (C). 7.Tillekeratne Dilshan(RHB) 8.Mahes Goonatilleke(RHB) (WK) 9.Chaminda Vaas(LHB) 10.Lasith Malinga(RHB) 11.Muttiah Muralidaran(RHB) 12.Marvan Atapattu(RHB) (12th man)

    Players were chosen for the performances outside the subcontinent (E.g. Sidath's 190 at Lords).

    Captain was chosen for the Diplomacy and smart(cunning) behaviour that is required at the top level of cricket.

    Wicket keeper was chosen for the ability equally good to keep behind stumps for spinners as well as fast bowlers. 5 matches was enough for me to see the amazing agility of Mahes.

    Went with 2 fast bowlers as This team has 4 to 5 spinners.

    Batting order was prepared to leave some left hand and right hand combinations and put players who excel together such as Aravinda/Arjuna, Sanga/Mahela.

    Please have a exhibition match between this team and SL team

  • HLANGL on March 3, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Is this "All-time XI: Sri Lanka" or "All-time Test XI: Sri Lanka" ?. I guess & see it's the former, not the latter. Then how come a player like Sathasivam be not eligible here ? Leave out all other pre-test era players. Still not sure one can discard this man. In my opinion, no one should. Talking on players like Sidath Wettimuny, Mahesh Gunathilake, Ajith De Silva, ... being included in all-time SL XI, nonesense to say the least. These may be good players we had in their times, but none of them would find a permanent place in any serious XI in any other country where as a player like Sathasivam wouldn't find any such issues. Sidath may have 2 historically significant hundreds, but that's all. I'm not exaggerating Sathasivam, I don't believe the hype sorrounding some pre-test era players like Michael Thissera, Stanley Jayasinghe, etc. either as rating them as all time greats is nothing but exaggeration. Even then, Sathasivam is special. Even Roy Dias would be just a pedestrian to him.

  • HLANGL on March 3, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Coming to the case of Sathasivam, true, he has played too limited number of games which have been considered to be first class. But judging by the quality & the complete mastery of batsmanship, he can easily surpass players like Dias, Arjuna, Dilshan or even Mahela for that matter without much fuss. He's not one of those players who played in pre-test era. Only De Silva would have come close as a conventionaly attacking batsman. Jaysuriya may be exceptionally naturally gifted. Other than these 2 modern day batsmen from Sri Lanka, I see no matching tallent to great Sathasivam in the rest of the players mentioned here. S'kara has far too many limitations in his play to be compared with a sheer genius like Sathasivam.

  • Asithacomm on March 3, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Aravinda De Silva should be the top among the batmen for all time xi for Sri Lanka.There is a no doubt about that the both form(test & oneday) of cricket.Kumar Sangakkara , Mahela Jayawardane & Hasahan Thilakaratne are the other members would be my middle order!!!!!

  • solangaarachchi on March 3, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    This is very tough. I want to include both Sanga & Mahela for number 3 and 4. But How do I ignore Two genius Aravinda and Arjuna. Number 5 Samaraweerea or Hashan. Number 6 should be regular wicket keeper Prasanna or Mahesh Gunathilaka. After a difficult comparison , I selected number 3,4,5,6 are Sanga, Aravinda, Samaraweera, Prasanna.

  • Itchy on March 3, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    As an Aussie, I was always a big fan of the Guru and could never leave him out of any SL side - I think you could pick any of the others around him and have a great side.

  • kgb4pl on March 3, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    I cannot believe people even talk about Mahela in the same conversation as Aravinda and Arjuna. You need Mahela in the Test squad only if you're playing in SSC and/or have Bangladesh/Zimbabwe/West Indies as the opposition. He has the most incredibly bad garbage-runs-to-value-runs ratio ever. Whenever the situation is inimical, you can be sure that he's the first guy out of there. Sanga, Arjuna and Aravinda are the three batsmen that opposition supporters and players HATED seeing in a challenging situation - you just knew that they'd cause you a boatload of trouble. Without a doubt, they're alltime greats.

  • A_HTIMAN on March 3, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    There should be 4 middle order slots. Because Sri Lanka rarely or never used an all rounder. The combination should be 2 openers, 4 middle order batsman, 1 wk, 2 fast bowlers, 2 spinners. So the four middle order should be Aravinda (the elegent strokeplayer), arjuna (the master tactician), Mahela and Sanga. If that should be omitted to three then it is Arjuna, Aravinda and Mahela and Sanga as keeper.

  • on March 3, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    Sangakkara is extremely talented , I think he has reduced his flair to be more responsible, my middle order would be Gurusinghe, De Silva , Mahela(c) , Sangakkara (WK), Hashan

  • Bilal_Choudry on March 3, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    i saw hashan take on wasim and waqar at there very best and i thought that this guy has something ....

  • on March 3, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    arjuna no ways.. aravinda, sanga, mahela, n i guess roy dias.. never seen him play though

  • Charindra on March 3, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Wow, this is tough.... I'm tempted to say Aravinda, Roy Dias, Sanga and Mahela.. It's tough to leave out Samaraweera, and even harder to ignore Arjuna.. But there's so much talent there, and i've heard that Roy Dias was the most elegant batsman to come out of Sri Lanka.

  • sanathhs on March 3, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    it should be Sanga, Aravinda, Mahela & Arjuna with sanga as WK.but should remind hashan, russel,kalu,Asanka,Roshan,Thilan..etc, there hero of there time.

  • Cannuck on March 3, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Let's start with the guys who are confused what SL XI this is. Check the top left, above the headline with the graphics & it says best TEST teams of all time, NOT odi. This is about the greats who stood out, scored heavily, & influenced generations. My openers therefore are Sana (power 7 allrounder) & Sidath (classy, stroke maker, consistent). I think Cricinfo needs to give us 4 picks for the middle order. My #3 is Kumar (solid as a rock) followed by #4 Ara (the best in any form) #5 Mahela as Skipper. (sorry Arjuna fans, he didn't win the WC alone, & MJ is equally good or better, specially handling egos of these legends). #6 would be Roy Dias (sweet stroke maker), which leaves 5 spots. So my #7 is Arnold (allrounder). #8 Vass (pacie & bat) #9 Rumesh (original slinger) #10 Ajith De Silva (best left arm spinner we ever had) & #11 Murali (the legend). Sad to leave so many others out. No disrespect to others, but mine is picked after we got test status.

  • New_Wind on March 3, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    In sum - if we remove the already nominated players then for remaining 6 positions, we have only Murali who walks in and Vaas who has to be taken. Rest is a huge questionmark. Popular reader's choice so far looks like Sanath, Marvaan, Sanga, Arvinda, Mahela with a huge demand for 6th position on Arjuna or Hashan. Some have opted for Dias and Guru but personally I was surprised with ommission of Dulip Mendis. Net net, the remaining side may become increasing weaker. Bravo.

  • DwightR on March 3, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Mahela, Aravinda, Kumar & Arjuna; these four epidimize SL cricket, mahela, kumar and arivanda are master batsmen, pure class and talent and arjuna is the man that kick started SL into becoming one of the elite teams in the world. so far my team looks like Sanath, Marvan, Mahela, Aravinda, Kumar, Arjuna(capt)...looking pretty dangerous already!

  • CRICKET.LK on March 2, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    The nominations,that got by the author is better for the test squad..... i believe that we cant consider clearly about some players in some reasons....who had no international experience /talented players who had no any opportunity to play for the country/who had stop playing early with injuries but had shown promising talent/young players who have been keeping good records but still too early to decide as the best option,etc(as an example: players who didnt play test cricket but had a great career) ,..... so unfortunately we cant pick kind of players in to the all time XI...........in the other hand we should choose the better option and should build the team that strengthen with better combinations and balance from the source we got,other than choosing the best player in to the positions that team need.(as an example: in my team sanath is opening the batting and he will be the second spinner after murali but sidath wettamuni can be a good opening batsman)

  • raskalamindit on March 2, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    I chose Sangakara, Aravinda, and Arjuna. It is soo frustrating not to be able to place Mahela and Samraweera in the squad with Sangakara. Arguna's tactics will be crazily good with Sangakara's. But this my XI so far: 1. Dishan ( just ahead of Marvan, cause he is has developed beautifully and dangerously in ODIS, TESTS and T20s) 2. Jayasuria 3. Sangakara 4. Aravinda 5. Arjuna I would obviously pick Vaas and Muralithran as well. Not sure about the rest and the keepers. hmm......

  • on March 2, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    I do not agree that sangakkara is not 'as blessed as his peers'. I think he is one of the most gifted batsmen not just in Sri Lanka but the world over.

  • ksmani on March 2, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    i think this is tough to choose 3 spots from this list. because, i am not sure about the rest of composition of the team. do we have a "keeper list" coming ? and I hope sanga will be in that list so that I can pick Sanga at that spot. And perhaps 1 all rounder, before the 4 bowlers. With the above assumption, my squad so far looks:

    Sanath, Marvan, Mahela, Aravinda, Hashan ...

  • on March 2, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Arvinda Kumara Mahela Arjuna

  • CRICKET.LK on March 2, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    sanga should play at no3 and i rate him as the best test batsman sri lanka ever produced.aravinda and mahela both good in no 4 but mahela is better at no 4 with his records against the all test playing nations so aravinda at no5.arjuna will take the hot seat,he and hashan play at no6,7 spots.the specialist wicket keeper at no8.........when looking back our short test cricketing history our batting has been inconsistent,thats why we should go with the long batting line up while marvan.sanga and hashan reliable than others.

  • Ashan_Mendis on March 2, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    Reply to Milind Kandlikar ....

    Hey Dude, not particularly a huge Mahela Jayawardena fan but I think your Description is a bit unfair. Please check this filter out

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/49289.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;orderby=default;template=results;type=allround

    I've selected Eng, SA, AUS, IND, PAK, NZ

    I think your estimate average of 20 is a bit low compared to the actual Average of 40 +

    please could you clarify?

  • on March 2, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    if three players have to be chosen, i see no competition there. It has to be Aravinda, Mahela n Sanga without a doubt. As for the captain, i think that mahela is a far better captain than Arjuna. so the problem solved.

  • chandau on March 2, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    From the comments above it seems that most people who write have seen very little of Sri Lankan cricket. To say Aravinda is the greatest batsman ever (though he is one of the best no doubt) and to place Thilan S in the team just shows how little they have seen over the last 30 years. How many would know that Roy Dias was classed with Dilip Vengsarker and Viv Richards as the most natural batsmen during their time? Duleep Mendis almost created a record of scoring twin hundreds at Lords before getting out in 90s the second time. Further one must remember that we played very few tests during the initial decade after getting it. For example our players of the 1980s did not play West Indies who were at the peak of the ladder. In addition the South Africa tour robbed us some of the best talent like Mahesh Gunathillake, Ajith de Silva, Anura Ranasinghe, Lalith Kaluperuma et al.

  • chandau on March 2, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Ok we got Sidath W and Sanath J opening (sorry Marvy your in the reserves, AGAIN). One down goes to Kumar S for the sheer weight of runs (sorry Guru). Two down IS Aravinda no arguments there. Three down is between Arjuna R and Mahela J and the world cup winning skipper should be chosen ahead of the runners up skipper. Also we need the left handers variety against the right handers elegance. Now how do we go from here is the question. Do we prefer a 7/4 split used in the old days for many years from the time we got Test status or the new found confidence of playing an all rounder at 6? Shall wait for the next lot before deciding although guys like Ravi Rathnayake, Anura Ranasinghe, Upul Chandana, Ruwan Kalpage comes to mind. cheers :)

  • on March 2, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Stupid 3 man formula for middle order . If Cricinfo think All time SL XI need same stupid formula they have they are really mistaken. We would need minimum 4 people from this list. The list is Sanga,Aravinda, Mahela, ARjuna (C) Thats the minimum acceptable middle order if you picking a SL XI. most probably we will need another batsman as well.

  • sancho27 on March 2, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    If it's a one day side I would go for the following. This jury has only selected the text book players. I would replace Gura,Mahela and Hashan with some unorthodox players and all rounders like Sanath, Dilshan and Mathews. I would take out Mahela (Very inconsistent), Gura ( Sanga is better), Hashan (Not Used to handling Bounce and pace). The remaining three places should go to bowlers like Murali, Vaas & Malinga. Openers must be Santhath & Dilishan,No 3-Roy, No 4- Sanga, No 5: Aravindha, No 6 Arjuna, No 7 Samaraweera, No 8 Mathews No 9 Vaas , No 10 Murali & No 11 Malinga. Malinga and Vaas are the best 2 fast bowlers that SL has ever produced even though many have forgotten their contribution. Mathews is the best fast bowling all rounder and Jayasuriya is best spin all rounder that SL has ever produced. Because there are so many good batsmen Sanga should be the ideal wicket keeper.

  • SLfan on March 2, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    I would choose Aravinda,Sanga & Mahela....Sri Lanka is lucky to have this kind of talented bunch of players, but among them these 3 has enormous talent, which made them easily fit for any world XI.

  • VikramSulakhe on March 2, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    No debate here. Has to be Sanga and Mahela with Aravinda. Sanga is the glue that'll keep the batting together, Mahela is the class batsman and Aravinda is the destroyer of attacks. Together they would be deadly. Also sorry Sanga, but you have to keep too. That also allows Arjuna to get in more for his leadership than batting.

  • Aboofiras_al on March 2, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Sanga has the excellent record at No 3,perfored well against top teams like Australia and South Africa, has the batting average of more than 50.its too early to pick Prasanna jayawardena as a keeper.he didnt performed well too as a batsman.My playing XI is.1.ATAPATTU 2.SANATH 3.SANGAKKARA(wk) 4.ARAVINDA 5.MAHELA 6.RANATUNGA (c) 7.HASHAN 8.VAAS 9. LASITH MALINGA 10.MURALI. DILHARA FERNANDO. i dont choose Ajantha even hes a great records in debut series against india.he has not consistency there after.this test xi. Dilhara's bowling records in test is good than other bowlers.he can bowl at 140km/h.

  • kaarthik9925 on March 2, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    ranatunga takes his place just because of his leadership at five then come aravinda at three and mahela at four.

  • on March 2, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Thilan Samaraweera >> is not an "elegant Batsmen to watch" . What a blame. May be the author not seen a match of him yet. Hey man go to youtube, thn come back here and edit this post. He is one of the most technically sound and beautifully balanced player. Any team will loved to have him. This is a humiliation. Sorry to say this, u got this wrong author, we are good fans of him (TS) . Please dnt insult our players like this.

  • Cybertox on March 2, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    I agree with cricketpissek(ridiculous name though), the middle order should have 4 players. They obviously cant make us choose two allrounders, we barely play 1 (if vaas is listed as a fast bowler here).

  • on March 2, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    No Mahela please. Anyone whose difference in home vs away average has been close to 20 for much of his career does not deserve to be in an all time eleven. The guy is a fraud who wilts generally under good bowling.

  • taraka911 on March 2, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    THE 3 ARE ARAVINDA FOR HIS PURE CLASS, ROY DIAS FOR THAT SPECIAL ELEGANCE AND OF COURSE ARJUNA FOR HIS TACTICS. It is easy for most to forget the influence Arjuna had on our games by altering the pace of games for one. He would hurry batting teams to take wickets or slow them by field changes etc to make them tired and give away the wickets...also in batting he changed the pace of the game to his teams advantage. this is just one example of his tactical skill. So he MUST be in the team. We miss Dulip Mendis in this choice though.....

  • NALINWIJ on March 2, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    Sathasivam and F.C. de Saram were the only legends who would have made the greatest team. As they are not eligible I see this side has 9 players who are excellent choices but lack genuine all rounders and consistent quality bowlers to back Murali and Vass. 1.Attapattu 2.Sanath 3.Sanga 4. Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna 7.Prasanna Jaya 8.Vass 9.? 10.? 11. Murali. The options are to use part timers to back Murali and pick pacemen like Malinga and Dilhara at 9 and 10 and or to take the option of Sanga as the keeper instead of Prasanna (only world class option) and pick spin bowling batsman like Samaraweera or Dilshan (can keep as well) at No.7.

  • 217t on March 2, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Its indisputable 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela....

  • 217t on March 2, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    It's indisputable.... 3.Sangakkara 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela. I would prefer Hashan for no.6, which improves the balance of the batting order. Wicketkeeper is a matter of concern but I think it is best to have a specialist like Prasanna, leaving Sanga and Hashan for their batting. That makes MY batting order 1.Sanath 2.Atapattu 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela(capt) 6.Hashan 7.Prasanna..... As for Sathasivam and others (who haven't played any test cricket), they cannot even be considered. We are picking the all time "TEST" XI, hence being a test player is a Prerequisite. Furthermore I , like many more others, haven't seen them bat, so we really don't know how good they really are. Arjuna, Roy Dias and Samaraweera are good enough to be considered. The only possible change that can be done is at no.6 where you can push one of above players instead of Hashan.

  • ramz_01 on March 2, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    hmmm number 3 might be roy dias nd 4 no must be aravinda nd fight iz in between sanga nd mahela for number 5 nd should be duleep mendis.itz hard ti belive hashan bd asnka is thr bt nt dulip.. datz ma middle order as i ma knowlage.i nevr so tissera or Stanley jayasinghe plays.so itz hard pick them with out seen them..

  • Rosh1 on March 2, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    I selected Sanga, Ary and Mahela. Other candidates I had to ommit with great amount of reluctance was Gura (obviousely cannot be framed in the same class of Sanga for no 3), Roy (Will be the fourth player if a position was vacant), and Hashan (probably after Roy). Thilan is yet to prove himself. Arjuna cannot get a place purely coz of his captaincy. His batting was not World class.

  • CricketPissek on March 2, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    i think Duleep Mendis deserved to be shortlisted rather than Tilan, but that's my opinion. He played at a time when Sri Lanka were the whipping boys of test cricket, and still performed exceptionally well. But i'm with the popular choice of Aravinda, Mahela, and Sanga for the three slots here. Although i believe an SL middle order will always have 4. The Cricinfo formula is flawed

  • Rosh1 on March 2, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    I hear people talking about Mahdevan Sathasivam with a great amount of intense. Satha would have been a great player at the time...but do not forget the fact that he played only 11 first class matches and isnt it too short a period to judge how good he was? If people say that judging Dilshan as an opener is too early and also judging Thilan is too early how come Satha gets the nod from some as a great player ahead of Sanga and Mahela? Anyhow satha cannot be considered as we are talking on test cricket. Sanga and Mahela may have accumulated runs but isn't that what they are supposed to? Atleast thats what Bradmon & Tendulkar did which makes them great. As far as I am concerned anyone who had scored a century against Australia in Austrlia can be branded as a great player and only a few in the caliber of Sanga, mahela, gura, aravinda and hashan have done it. Eventhough I selected Sanga, Ary and Mahela it is pitty I cannot find slots for Roy,Hashan and Gura.

  • PodiBanda on March 2, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Sorry I cant comment on the Players I haven't seen :(. I have seen cricket Only after 1980.

  • PodiBanda on March 2, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    If it's a test team, It should be Roy, Ara,Mahela and Hashan. I thonk Ara and Mahela picks themself up.So no need to explanations. Sorry Sanga you have to come on with the keeping gloves. I put Roy at 3 b/c I belive He has that Natural ability with par with Sana, Aravinda and Mahela although he havent played enough tests. I put Hashan there because, during 90's where sri lankan cricket came of age Hashan did a great service holding the ininngs and making numerous match wining combinations.Hashan is a master of batting with the tail .Also he is the best close in fielder (short leg, silly point) we ever had.He had this remarkable ability to take difficult catches without diving( Ones Dilshan will make a soil eating dive and miss). Lots of you may not agree. Thats the fun in arm chair punditry :)

  • bbaroch on March 2, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    kumara sangakara has the sheer talent to fit in srilankan middle order howover, the likes of silva mahela and arguna can not be underestimated in terms of stroke making when it comes to big hitting or taking singles with ease. to fit into all time elevens . this is the best possible list.1 sangakara 2 jayawardne 3desilva 4 ranatunga 5 tilkeratne 6 roy das 7 thilan samarawera.

  • Sampath_KCS on March 2, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    No.4 is for Aravinda & 5 for Mahela. I still have doubts whom should be picked to no 3 from Gura & Sanga. Gura has much needed temperament for test cricket but not very effective in ODIs except the world cup final in 1996. Sanga on the other hand has the arrogance in both formats of the game. But as I've observed both have been very keen on their personal performances than the team. Perfect example being the famous SSC test lost to Aussies in 1992, where with few calculated risks Gura could have easily take the team home. In ODIs also there was a similar incident when Ranatunga refused the captaincy because De Silva was sacked from the team because of fitness issues. Mahanama led the team in Australasia Cup in sharjah & there was a last ball thriller where SL lost, but Gura was unbeaten on 90 odd. similarly there are very good innings where sanga has brought the team very near to wins but never taken SL home. latest being the tri-nation finals in sharjah against India. So its ??????

  • kuppu on March 2, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    1.sanath 2. marvan 3. sanga 4. aravindha 5. mahela 6.arjuna 7.ravi ratnayake 8.vass 9. 10. murali 11. malinga

  • manasvi_lingam on March 2, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    It's a bit early to say whether Samaraweera is good enough to be classified as an all time great. No such doubts about de Silva, Sangakkara and Jayawardene. These 3 pick themselves though Dias deserves a mention as well.

  • Cric_123 on March 2, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Very easy: de Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara

  • on March 2, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    3rd and 4th positions are quite easy to pick... obviously Sanga and Aravinda. the competition for the 5th is quite intense. no offense but thilakarathne and samaraweera have not done much to consider them in the all time list. even though their averages are high, they mainly faced weak bowling attacks along with placid batting tracks. the competition is between mahela,arjuna, roy and gura...the thing is all of them came to the scene in different eras of sri lankan cricket. Mahela, though he s good had the advantage of facing weak bowling attacks. Arjuna as mentioned is an excellent strategist even though his average is moderate. Roy is one of the pioneers in the Sri Lankan context, who faced the likes of llilee, holding. gura was the modern sanga back then. ..... oook ll also go for mahela since he hasnt done anything wrong but to be born in this era..

  • NavodS on March 2, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    No 3-Sanga, No 4-Aravinda and No5-Mahela with Sanath and Marven opening. What about no.6? Hashan can slot in there. Mahela will be the captain as Arjuna cannot be included to no5. based on the batting performance. Prasanna J. will be the keeper bating at no.7

  • CRICKET.LK on March 2, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    In the test side....3.SANGA4.MAHELA5.ARAVINDA........are the our middle order among the long batting line up.I would like to remind you my TEST team...(1.MARVAN2.SANATH3.SANGA4.MAHELA5.ARAVINDA 6.ARJUNA cap7.HASHAN8.PRASSANNA JAYA..9.VASS10.RUMESH RATH...11.MURALI

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on March 2, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    sanga,aravinda and mahela

  • HLANGL on March 2, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    I think I have to add something here. Among the players of pre-test era, Mahadevam Sathasivam occupies the top spot.No one doubted his potential at any time, so I'd hope no any guesses required there.Then come the 2 players F C De Seram & C I Gunasekara (Iverse Gunasekara) who were also very capable players in their own right, could have been slotted into any reasonable test XI without much issues.These were, in my opinion, the top 3 players in the pre-test era & always ahead of the rest.Anura Tennakoon also would come close to the second category with FC De Seram & CI Gunasekara.BUT I don't really believe players like Michael Thissera,Stanley Jayasinghe,Sago Jayawickrama,etc. would have been any serious contenders in any test XI during their times.They may be few better players SL had during their time, but that won't reason out these players to be listed alongside the great players like Sathasivam & to a lesser extent De Seram & Gunasekara.Only Anura Tennakoon would even come close.

  • waspsting on March 2, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    not sure what crickinfo's got in store for this 11 - i'd have gone in with 4 middle order players, since Murali does so much of the bowling anyway and since there haven't been any really classy all rounders out of sri lanka. having only three to pick did make the selection easy - of course its sangakarra, jayawardena and De Silva. tricky pick, the fourth player - tillekeratne was good, i hear good things about roy dias, and i'm sure ranatunga will have his supporters. but with just three to pick - it has to be the three i mentioned - no doubts whatsoever.

  • HLANGL on March 2, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Any all time SL XI leaving out the legendary Mahadevan Sathasivam is nothing but questionable.This is a poor attempt, has to say so because it's quite an easy task to fillup the numbers by adding these modern day players whom every child would know. But if you seroiusly consider an all time XI a player like Sathatsivam cannot be forgotton.It doesn't matter he had to play in an era where SL was not even considered a test side. But then & there, with limited opportunities he got, he played some international XIs with distinction.Among the middle order players produced by SL to-date, only Aravinda De Silva would come near to this man's tallent & complete batsmanship.Jayasuriya is also seriously gifted, but he's slotted into the opener's role, so I'd place Sathasivam at no. 03 & De Silva at no. 04. Players like Arjuna, Anura Tennakoon, Dulip Mendis & Roy Dias are hardly any matches to Sathasivam's credentials.Also FC De Seram & CI Gunasekara can come into the side, but it's quite open.

  • mmojiz on March 2, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    where is roshan mahanama and marvan atapattu,I believe these two were the most proper batsman and pure timers of the ball;)

  • bigbang07 on March 2, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    This is kind of tricky. Are there 3 or 4 spots up for grabs? '

    If its 3: Sanga, Aravinda and Mahela, if its 4 bring Roy Dias into the picture as well.

    Of course, if it needs a keeper, Sanga would be an automatic choice for that as well... But im guessing its got competiton between Kalu or Prasanna.

  • cobras11 on March 2, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    my srilankan top and middle order is quite simple. 1. S.JAYASURYA 2. M.ATAPATTU 3. A.DE SILVA 4. A.RANATUNGA 5.M.JAYAWARDENA 6.K. SANGAKKARA( WK) considering the bowlers we could consider ratnayake, chaminda vaas, definitely muralidharan, upul chandana, wickremesinghe, fernando etc

  • warunakanishka on March 2, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Why not Mahadeva Sathasivam?????

    He is the best batsmen sri lanka Produced.

    F C De Seram

    Anura Tenkoon

  • Number1CricketFan on March 2, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Number 3- Sangakkara Number 4- Aravinda Number 5 -Mahela Jayawardene

    Open with Sanath and Dilshan. Sorry Marvan

  • peeeeet on March 2, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    has to be sangakarra, de silva, jayawardene. ranatunga was an excellent captain, but as an all-time xi you need to pick the best players, and kumar and mahela are excellent captains in their own right. samaraweera hasn't played enough matches to be considered in the top three even though his average is over 50 and tillakaratne wasn't really a match-winner.

  • JUZAR13 on March 2, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    At No.3 Sanga picks himself. Sri Lanka most consistant and best no.3 batsman. Aravinda at 4. true genius and legend. Ever dependable. Arjuna Ranatunga pips Jayawardane for the last spot. Comes in as captain and leader of the team. A fighter who never backed down from anyone. Will add much needed steel to the middle order, and his batting was not the worst.

  • Batman111 on March 2, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    A big NO for Thilan Samaraweera! he is not at all suitable for even Top 25

  • on March 2, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Mahela, Aravinda, and Sanga. That's a formidable middle order right there.

  • on March 2, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    NO 1. SANATH NO 2. MARVAN NO 3. SANGA (WK) NO 4. MAHELA NO 5. ARAVINDA NO 6.THILAN/ HASHAN NO 7.ARJUNA (CAPT) NO 8.DHARMASENA NO 9. VAASY NO 10. MURALI NO 11.MALINGA

  • Rosh1 on March 2, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    I hope I can get a place for Roy Dias and Hashan Thilakaratne a place as No. 6 and No. 7. At the moment for 3 positions I guess it is an easy decision. No. 3 is Kumar, No. 4 Aravinda and No. 5 Mahela. Quite a straight forward decision.

  • gg87 on March 2, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    I think Dulip Mendis should get a place in this squad. He is a strong, natural talented,dashing batsman capable of hitting any type of a bowler. He hit 105 in both innings against India at Madras 1982-83, and nearly repeated the feat two years later against England at Lord's, with 111 and 94. Unfortunately he has missed his rythm in his last 10 tests. But still he has done enough to get a chance in SRI LANKA ALLTIME X1

  • krrish001 on March 2, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    You have only given three middle order slots? So who will be the wicket keeper? Surely Sanga would be also included there! And if he is there then he would be my number three with Aravinda, Mahela and Arjuna to follow. That IS the Sri Lankan all time middle order line up.

  • Shen_Mark on March 2, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Gurusinha, Aravinda and Sangakkara would be the trio. I would love to have Mahela included too but unfortunately only 3 are asked for. Hashan could play as keeper or else the gloves should go to Prassana. But Sanga should play as a sole batsman.

  • fakhy on March 2, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    yes, it is a tough job allocating the all-time best middle order. i pick sanga, aravinda and mahela. aravinda should be an immediate choice because i think he is the finest batsman SL has ever produced. i actually wish there was a slot for an extra middle order batsman; then i would put in thilan samaraweera based on his recent superb form. i think an ideal SL 11 should have the openers, 4 middle order batsmen, 1 keeper, 4 bowlers. we havent had any classy all-rounders so this position could be replaced for a middle-order batsman. in any case, aravinda could bowl if required...

  • on March 2, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    sanga, desilva, mahela and arjuna...thats it...

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  • on March 2, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    sanga, desilva, mahela and arjuna...thats it...

  • fakhy on March 2, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    yes, it is a tough job allocating the all-time best middle order. i pick sanga, aravinda and mahela. aravinda should be an immediate choice because i think he is the finest batsman SL has ever produced. i actually wish there was a slot for an extra middle order batsman; then i would put in thilan samaraweera based on his recent superb form. i think an ideal SL 11 should have the openers, 4 middle order batsmen, 1 keeper, 4 bowlers. we havent had any classy all-rounders so this position could be replaced for a middle-order batsman. in any case, aravinda could bowl if required...

  • Shen_Mark on March 2, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Gurusinha, Aravinda and Sangakkara would be the trio. I would love to have Mahela included too but unfortunately only 3 are asked for. Hashan could play as keeper or else the gloves should go to Prassana. But Sanga should play as a sole batsman.

  • krrish001 on March 2, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    You have only given three middle order slots? So who will be the wicket keeper? Surely Sanga would be also included there! And if he is there then he would be my number three with Aravinda, Mahela and Arjuna to follow. That IS the Sri Lankan all time middle order line up.

  • gg87 on March 2, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    I think Dulip Mendis should get a place in this squad. He is a strong, natural talented,dashing batsman capable of hitting any type of a bowler. He hit 105 in both innings against India at Madras 1982-83, and nearly repeated the feat two years later against England at Lord's, with 111 and 94. Unfortunately he has missed his rythm in his last 10 tests. But still he has done enough to get a chance in SRI LANKA ALLTIME X1

  • Rosh1 on March 2, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    I hope I can get a place for Roy Dias and Hashan Thilakaratne a place as No. 6 and No. 7. At the moment for 3 positions I guess it is an easy decision. No. 3 is Kumar, No. 4 Aravinda and No. 5 Mahela. Quite a straight forward decision.

  • on March 2, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    NO 1. SANATH NO 2. MARVAN NO 3. SANGA (WK) NO 4. MAHELA NO 5. ARAVINDA NO 6.THILAN/ HASHAN NO 7.ARJUNA (CAPT) NO 8.DHARMASENA NO 9. VAASY NO 10. MURALI NO 11.MALINGA

  • on March 2, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Mahela, Aravinda, and Sanga. That's a formidable middle order right there.

  • Batman111 on March 2, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    A big NO for Thilan Samaraweera! he is not at all suitable for even Top 25

  • JUZAR13 on March 2, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    At No.3 Sanga picks himself. Sri Lanka most consistant and best no.3 batsman. Aravinda at 4. true genius and legend. Ever dependable. Arjuna Ranatunga pips Jayawardane for the last spot. Comes in as captain and leader of the team. A fighter who never backed down from anyone. Will add much needed steel to the middle order, and his batting was not the worst.