Fast bowlers March 18, 2010

A slinger and some swingers

Five to pick from, among them the country's most successful quick, one who broke teeth and one who took four in four
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Sri Lanka's cricket history is replete with fast bowlers, both in the pre-Test era and after, but they have never produced anyone of genuine pace, although many believe DS Jayasundera, a right-arm fast bowler in the 1930s and 40s, was genuinely sharp, and there have been none faster since.

In the post-war years Sri Lanka was blessed with fast-medium bowlers like Tita Nathanielsz; Tikiri Banda Kehelgamuwa, who claims to have bowled Geoff Boycott with a brute of a delivery that the batsman hardly spotted; Darrell Lieversz and Norton Fredrick, who played in Sri Lanka's first unofficial "Test" victory over India, in Ahmedabad in 1965; Tony Opatha, who played in the first two World Cups; and Mevan Pieris, who played in the 1975 World Cup and was referred to as the "king of swing" because of his ability to move the ball both ways. These fast bowlers mastered the art of swing and cut down on pace to get their wickets on the flat pitches of Sri Lanka.

Among those unlucky to miss out on selection are Graeme Labrooy, a quality swing bowler, whose career was sporadic due to the political climate in the country at the time; Pramodya Wickramasinghe, a bowler of gentle but accurate pace, who once took all 10 in a first-class match in 1992 and played in 40 Tests; and Nuwan Zoysa, a tall, promising lanky left-arm seam bowler, who is one of the few players in history to take a hat-trick in his first over in a Test, but whose career has been plagued by injury.

The contenders

Ravi Ratnayeke
A tall right-arm medium-fast bowler who could bowl at a lively pace and move the ball under favourable conditions. He took 8 for 83 in Sialkot in 1985 and 5 for 37 in Sri Lanka's second Test victory, in 1986 against Pakistan in Colombo. Ratnayeke was highly rated by Sir Garfield Sobers, Sri Lanka's one-time coach.

Chaminda Vaas
Regarded as the best fast bowler produced by Sri Lanka in the post-Test era. An accurate left-arm swing bowler, Vaas was Sri Lanka's flag-bearer for many years, operating alone from one end on unresponsive subcontinental pitches. He had an indipper and a well-disguised offcutter in his arsenal, to which he later added reverse-swing, which made him a consistent wicket-taker even on dead pitches. With spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, Vaas led Sri Lanka to several memorable Test and ODI victories. He is the country's second most successful bowler after Murali, with 355 Test and 400 ODI wickets.

Rumesh Ratnayake
A wiry right-arm fast-medium bowler who could generate a lot of pace with a slinging action similar to Jeff Thomson. Ratnayake's proudest moment was taking nine wickets in Sri Lanka's maiden Test victory, over India in 1985. In helpful conditions he could swing the ball and bowl at a lively pace, as he proved against New Zealand, when he broke John Wright's nose with a bouncer, and against West Indies, when he hit Larry Gomes in the face and broke his teeth during a match in Australia.

Ashantha de Mel
De Mel was the best Sri Lankan fast bowler of his generation. He was fast-medium rather than genuinely quick and he made his mark in the country's inaugural Test, against England in 1982, by taking 4 for 70 in the first innings. De Mel had a good high-arm action and an effective outswinger. He had a successful 1983 World Cup, where he finished with 17 wickets, one fewer than the leading wicket-taker, India's Roger Binny. A knee injury cut de Mel's career short in 1987.

Lasith Malinga
Malinga has developed into Sri Lanka's fastest Test bowler, with am unorthodox technique: he delivers the ball with a side-arm action learnt from playing softball cricket during his childhood. The coaches, thankfully, did not try to alter his unorthodoxy and he continued to confuse batsmen with his slinging deliveries. He took six wickets on his debut, against Australia in Darwin in 2004. Malinga has a reputation for troubling batsmen with his lively pace, well-directed bouncers and toe-crushing yorkers bowled at speeds of 140-150kph. He became the first bowler to take four in four consecutive balls, against South Africa in a 2007 World Cup match.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dasunnirmala on March 21, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    No Argument Vass is the best fast bowler Sri Llanka has ever seen......he has proven it yet again in the IPL 2010. Second choice should be Malinga. He is the fastest bowler in SL. He bowls Yorker and slow bouncer very well...

  • DwightR on March 20, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    to SLfan- its cause the sl selectors are truly idiots, the sign of a true legend is their ability to adapt to change and comeback from adversity..and that is excatly what Vaas is doing, i was so happy to see him bowl sanga for a duck (the man who dropped him from the squad) in his last IPL game..selectors please bring back the legend to the national side at least for the 2011 world cup and let sanath, murali and vaas retire together!

  • waspsting on March 20, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    getting a bit ahead of whats in front of us - I disagree with the basic chemistry of this side. 3 pace bowlers and two spinners, at the expense of a batsmen doesn't make sense to me when the bowlers aren't of particularly high quality. I would have six batsmen instead. as for bowling - apart from Murali, none of the bowlers, either pace or spi,n are particularly penetrative (its a surprise when they take 10 wickets in a match). all in all then, better to have 3 pace bowlers and Murali then 2 pace, 2 spin. Back up spin is provided by Jayasuriya, Aravinda De Silva (who are sure to be in the side), and I'd also have Dilshan (who's not a certain pick, but I'd go with him) taking into consideration his bowling abilities. 6 batsmen makes batting strong - keeper and Vaas are useful bats too. bowling centered on Murali and 3 pacers. The three pacers will be rested enough to be at their best when needed, Murali is Murali, and back up spinners to be used when pitch favorable

  • SLfan on March 20, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    I would choose Rumesh Ratnayake, Chaminda Vaas & Ravi Ratnayeke....I believe that selecters have done a big mistake by not selecting Vaasy for 30 men T20 world cup squad. Let's say....that's ok, anyone can make mistakes! But the best thing is to take necessary actions to correct the mistake, after realizing the mistake. Earlier they had ignore Jeewantha Kulatunga from the squad, despite he was named as the 'Player of the recently concluded domestic T20 series'. Later they corrected the mistake by naming him for the squad. Why won't they do the samething for Vaas??... Still I'm hoping that they'll name Vaas for the squad, taking in to consideration his excellent form in IPL !

  • mrick on March 19, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    I think there should be the option of picking only 2 fast bowlers and then picking 2 spinners, given the quality of sri lankan fast bowlers over their history has not been fantastic. I think Malinga, while he has been very good at times, has not played consistently for long enough to be considered part of an all-time best eleven.

  • dineshp97 on March 19, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    Rumesh Ratnayake, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga

  • AZY99 on March 19, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    I dont think picking the best fast bowling line up should be a test at all. Shri lanka has been trying to add that element of pace for so long. Finally we got that in Malinga. No Lankan fast bowler troubled the Aussie the way Malinga did in 2004, the way he shook up the New Zealand team with seering pace was never achieved before and even in England it was Malinga's telling presence that helped Lanka secure a draw in the series. So for all those people who are being emotionally retrospest, I call on for logic and reality. Vaas, Rumesh/Ratnayake, and Malinga would Shri lanka's best crop to charge into the Australian, English and Kiwi all time greats.

  • Sampath_KCS on March 19, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    I'm amazed that Champaka Ramanayake's name is no where.How can we forget him ? I can remember in 92 Aussie tour he was at his peak & Tom Moodys stumps were shattered by one super in swinger. Later in the day Moody came with mark Taylor & requested for a video tape of that delivery. He was a master of swing bowling. Other notable omit ions from the honorable mention list are Saliya Ahangama, Dulip Liyanage & Ravindra Pushpakumara(his bowling action was similar to Great Waqar Yunis) , who played for considerable time & were some promising fast bowlers. My best three would be Rumesh, Vassi & Malinga.( I should say if we play Vassi for another 3 years it will not do any harm to SL cricket. We really missed him in flat indian wickets.)

  • Vasum on March 18, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    We are missing D.L.S de Silva here, very good fast bowler, Unfortunately he met an accident and died. My team will be Sidath & Sanath to open Roy Dias at No 3, Mahela at No 4, Aravinda at No. 5, Sanga at No. 6, Aruna Ranasinghe at No. 7, Vass at No. 8, D.S. de Silva at No. 9, Murali at No.10 & D.L.S.de Silva at No. 11.

  • Rake1 on March 18, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    I think Sanga should only be in the SL team as batter, as it appears he was reluctant keeper. Talkings of keepers Kalu should be in SL best ODI squad as opener as he was one of the pioneers of pinch hitting.

  • dasunnirmala on March 21, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    No Argument Vass is the best fast bowler Sri Llanka has ever seen......he has proven it yet again in the IPL 2010. Second choice should be Malinga. He is the fastest bowler in SL. He bowls Yorker and slow bouncer very well...

  • DwightR on March 20, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    to SLfan- its cause the sl selectors are truly idiots, the sign of a true legend is their ability to adapt to change and comeback from adversity..and that is excatly what Vaas is doing, i was so happy to see him bowl sanga for a duck (the man who dropped him from the squad) in his last IPL game..selectors please bring back the legend to the national side at least for the 2011 world cup and let sanath, murali and vaas retire together!

  • waspsting on March 20, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    getting a bit ahead of whats in front of us - I disagree with the basic chemistry of this side. 3 pace bowlers and two spinners, at the expense of a batsmen doesn't make sense to me when the bowlers aren't of particularly high quality. I would have six batsmen instead. as for bowling - apart from Murali, none of the bowlers, either pace or spi,n are particularly penetrative (its a surprise when they take 10 wickets in a match). all in all then, better to have 3 pace bowlers and Murali then 2 pace, 2 spin. Back up spin is provided by Jayasuriya, Aravinda De Silva (who are sure to be in the side), and I'd also have Dilshan (who's not a certain pick, but I'd go with him) taking into consideration his bowling abilities. 6 batsmen makes batting strong - keeper and Vaas are useful bats too. bowling centered on Murali and 3 pacers. The three pacers will be rested enough to be at their best when needed, Murali is Murali, and back up spinners to be used when pitch favorable

  • SLfan on March 20, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    I would choose Rumesh Ratnayake, Chaminda Vaas & Ravi Ratnayeke....I believe that selecters have done a big mistake by not selecting Vaasy for 30 men T20 world cup squad. Let's say....that's ok, anyone can make mistakes! But the best thing is to take necessary actions to correct the mistake, after realizing the mistake. Earlier they had ignore Jeewantha Kulatunga from the squad, despite he was named as the 'Player of the recently concluded domestic T20 series'. Later they corrected the mistake by naming him for the squad. Why won't they do the samething for Vaas??... Still I'm hoping that they'll name Vaas for the squad, taking in to consideration his excellent form in IPL !

  • mrick on March 19, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    I think there should be the option of picking only 2 fast bowlers and then picking 2 spinners, given the quality of sri lankan fast bowlers over their history has not been fantastic. I think Malinga, while he has been very good at times, has not played consistently for long enough to be considered part of an all-time best eleven.

  • dineshp97 on March 19, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    Rumesh Ratnayake, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga

  • AZY99 on March 19, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    I dont think picking the best fast bowling line up should be a test at all. Shri lanka has been trying to add that element of pace for so long. Finally we got that in Malinga. No Lankan fast bowler troubled the Aussie the way Malinga did in 2004, the way he shook up the New Zealand team with seering pace was never achieved before and even in England it was Malinga's telling presence that helped Lanka secure a draw in the series. So for all those people who are being emotionally retrospest, I call on for logic and reality. Vaas, Rumesh/Ratnayake, and Malinga would Shri lanka's best crop to charge into the Australian, English and Kiwi all time greats.

  • Sampath_KCS on March 19, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    I'm amazed that Champaka Ramanayake's name is no where.How can we forget him ? I can remember in 92 Aussie tour he was at his peak & Tom Moodys stumps were shattered by one super in swinger. Later in the day Moody came with mark Taylor & requested for a video tape of that delivery. He was a master of swing bowling. Other notable omit ions from the honorable mention list are Saliya Ahangama, Dulip Liyanage & Ravindra Pushpakumara(his bowling action was similar to Great Waqar Yunis) , who played for considerable time & were some promising fast bowlers. My best three would be Rumesh, Vassi & Malinga.( I should say if we play Vassi for another 3 years it will not do any harm to SL cricket. We really missed him in flat indian wickets.)

  • Vasum on March 18, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    We are missing D.L.S de Silva here, very good fast bowler, Unfortunately he met an accident and died. My team will be Sidath & Sanath to open Roy Dias at No 3, Mahela at No 4, Aravinda at No. 5, Sanga at No. 6, Aruna Ranasinghe at No. 7, Vass at No. 8, D.S. de Silva at No. 9, Murali at No.10 & D.L.S.de Silva at No. 11.

  • Rake1 on March 18, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    I think Sanga should only be in the SL team as batter, as it appears he was reluctant keeper. Talkings of keepers Kalu should be in SL best ODI squad as opener as he was one of the pioneers of pinch hitting.

  • waspsting on March 18, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake and Malinga. Vaas - obviously. Malinga - fastest sri lankan I've seen - not a great bowler but a bit of swing at high pace and a good yorker... can deliver a ball good enough to get anybody out, though not consistent overall. Rumesh Ratnayake - going on reputation here. never saw him - but i remember he was thought of as Sri Lanka's only really quality bowler.

    thought Pushpakumara desevered a mention - he was quick.

    all in all, not a great list - Murali would have to do most of the wicket taking for this team.

  • on March 18, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    vass and malinga are my pick

  • rson on March 18, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    Probably Chaminda and Malinga,with Ravi as a pace bowling all rounder.Ravi included for the same reason I would usw Sangakkara as wicketkeeper rather than Prasanna.The Sri Lanka bowling,Murali excepted,would hardly make any impact against any of the batting orders seen so far or those to come9India,W.I. or Pakistan) so their best bet would be to bat as far down as possible with Vaas at 9 and hope for the best.

  • on March 18, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Obviously Vassy in this list, other 02 places should go to Romesh Rathnayake and Asantha De Mel. my all time test level: Sidath Wettamuni, Marwan Atapattu, Sangakkara, Mahela <Captain> , Aravinda,Roy Dias, Vaas, Rumesh R., A. De Mel, Murali and Ajith de Silva. I selected M,J as a skipper of this particular team. he has all potential and enough qualification to hold this occupation. he is the better man in this bunch. I,m staking to my team, they can contest with any other country xi.

  • Bollo on March 18, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    I remember taking a class of Japanese language students down to a local bar in Sydney to watch their first match of cricket a few years ago. We`d spent some days talking about the rules, learning the language, making a video, discussing the differences between cricket and baseballl, and in particular the amount of time batsmen generally spent at the crease. Beers and chips were on the table. Excitement levels were high, but everyone knew, after a week of warnings, that things happened at a slightly slower pace in cricket. Then Chaminda strolls in and takes a hat-trick off the first 3 balls, and a week of teaching goes down the toilet. I could only shake my head. Great moment. Great bowler. He has to be there.

  • ahassan on March 18, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    What about Fernando. He has a better test record than both the Ratnayakes. On the whole sri Lanka hs not produced as great fast bowlers as some other countries so it may be a better idea to select a medium pace all-rounder in the team.

    Ahassan

  • KaZsa on March 18, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    My All Time Test11 - 1.Marvan(c) 2.Sidath 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Prasanna(wk) 7.Vass 8.Rumesh 9.Malinga 10. Murali 11.Mendis/Mathews(Depending on the conditions) One day11 - 1.Dilshan 2.Sanath 3.Sanga(wk) 4.Aravinda 5. Mahela 6.Arjuna(c) 7.Mathews 8.Vass 9.Malinga 10.Murali 11.Mendis/Maharoof/Rumesh(Depending on the conditions)

  • RohanMorais on March 18, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    I think Rumesh should definitely be featured in the all time11. He was a fantastic bowler who could have gone a long way if it wasnt for his injury. He had the pace and swing to fox any batsman.

  • ahamedaw on March 18, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    This is my All time Test XI. Sunil Wettimuny and Sanath to open. They are the Best. Roy Dias at No.3 (No Doubt), Aravinda at 4, Anura Tennekoon at 5 and Sanga at 6(WK), Micheal Tissera at 7 (Capt), Asantha at 8, Vaasy at 9, Murali at 10 and Daya Sahabandu at 11(Give him a ball today and he will bowl 6 dot balls!). 12th man slot goes to David Hayn (Brilliant feilder)!

  • maco5150 on March 18, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    Why do some people think there will be 3 fast bowlers and 1 spinner? After picking 3 fast bowlers, there are 2 places left

  • D.V.C. on March 18, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Why do people insist on describing Malinga as 'side-arm'? He is a round-arm bowler, just like William Lillywhite, Jem Broadbridge, Alfred Mynn, John Jackson and W G Grace.

  • NALINWIJ on March 18, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    You pick the greatest team on players you have but not on a formula involving 3 pacemen. Vaas obviously but the others having shown promise failed to deliver consistently. If I have to pick 2 others I was impressed with Malinga and Rumesh. I will not be surprised if Matthews outperforms these two in the future. Does this mean we only pick Murali as sole spinner and use Sanath and Aravinda as part timers. I see 8 certainities inthis team. 1.Sanath 2.Attapattu 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna 7.?8.Vaas 9.?10.? 11.Murali. Then it depends on whether we pick a specialist keeper such as Prasanna which means 7.Prasanna 9.Rumesh and 10.Malinga or we use Sanga as the keeper and bringing in Matthews as an allrounder and another spinner giving 7.Matthews 9.Malinga 10.Ajit de Silva. on the other hand Srilanka ODI greatest is a no brainer 1.Sanath 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga[WK] 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna 7.Matthews 8.Vaas 9.Malinga 10.Mendis 11.murali.

  • Maduwantha on March 18, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    My all time eleven 1.Sanath 2. Marvan 3. Roy Dias 4. Aravinda 5. Mahela 6. Arjuna (capt.) 7. Sangakkara (WK) 8.Vass 9.Rumesh 10. Malinga 11. Murali Roshan Mahanama (12th Man for his feilding) - Maduwantha - Colombo

  • Bilal_Choudry on March 18, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    good list but where is labroy?

  • Rake1 on March 18, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    My choice: Vaas, Malinga & Rumesh. Team : Sanath, Marvin, Sanga, Mahela, Arvinda, Arjuna (c), Prasanna (wkt), Vaas, Rumesh, Murali & Malinga.

  • A_HTIMAN on March 18, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Pick two paceman and two spinners or three paceman and one spinner. Don't go for the option of 5 bowlers which thoroughly destroys the batting strength with only 5 specialists and a keeper. In that even no sure can be kept on Jayasuriya bcoz he might get out early. This way the SL all time XI will look like Bangladesh.

  • CricketPissek on March 18, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    Vaasy and Rumesh Ratnayake i think. Ravi is more of an alrounder than a fast bowler. I take offence to the author's statement "but they have never produced anyone of genuine pace" when Dilhara Fernando and Malinga have bowled at 150kmph! Would this same author classify McGrath who bowled at 135-140 as a medium-fast bowler? Didn't think so. Oh also, the comments listing ppl's personal all time XIs are irrelevant here. Stick to commenting on the topic.

  • chaithan on March 18, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    wait a sec-3 pacers for sri lanka ????!!!! how on earth can the SL all-time XI team be with just one spinner.or is it going to have 2 spinners and no all-rounders? come to think of it has sri lanka produced many good all-rounders. the only one i can think of is mathews and he is too new. and anyway 4 the pacers vaas, malinga and ratnayake.

  • CricFan78 on March 18, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    ravi, malinga and vaas for me

  • Shehan on March 18, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    my All time XI would be.. 1. sanath 2.kumar 3. roy dias 4. aravinda 5. mahela 6.arajuna 7. hashan 8. vass 9. de mel 10. malinga 11. murali i am picking 3 fast bolwers purely because santh can play the role of a second spinner in any given conditions most of the time all of us foreget how good a spinner he was due to his unforgettable batting tallent so i would stick with this XI take on any world XI side on home or subcontinent wickets.. because when it comes to fast wickets except kumar, aravinda and mahela all of others struggles we can clearly see it if we have a close a look at murali's stats against aussie and co....

  • on March 18, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    What would be more interesting is to pick an all time Sri Lankan XI or XII who never played test cricket. Here is my XII in batting order. Sunil Wettimuny, Anura Tennakoon, Mahadevan Sathasivam, FC de Saram, Michael Tissera, Stanley Jayasinghe, Gamini Goonesena, Russsel Hamer (wkt keepeer), CI Gunasekara, Tony Opatha, Daya Sahabandu, Abu Fuard

    Stanley Jayasinghe will be the third seamer. Sunil was a better bat than his brother Sidath. The team has 2 leg spinners (CI, Goonesena). Ranjit Fernando, Ben Navaratne, HIK Fernando, PI Peiris, Chanmugam and a host of great players could not make it! This team has more flair I am sure. Jayantha Anandappa

  • Nish-55 on March 18, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Let's look at it this way; if Sanath and Aravinda together, can do the bowling for the second spinner, then we can add Mahela Jayawardene to the middle order. This is going to be my alternate all time SL Team: 1. Sidath Wettimuny 2. Sanath Jayasuriya 3. Roy Dias 4. Aravinda De Silva 5. Mahela Jayawardene 6. Arjuna Ranatunga(Capt) 7. Kumar Sangakkara(Wk) 8. Chaminda Vaas 9. Rumesh Ratnayake 10. Ashantha de Mel 11. Muttiah Muralitharan and the 12. Roshan Mahanama (For his Filding) Nishan

  • jinath on March 18, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    my team 1. Marvan 2. Sanath 3. Roy 4. Aravinda 5. Sanga 6 Mahela 7. prasanna(wk) 8. Vaas 9. De Mel 10.Rumesh Ratnayake 11.Murali

  • SLkrishan on March 18, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    again the question is whether our 3rd best fast bowler is better than our 2nd best spinner??

  • Nish-55 on March 18, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    This is going to be my all time SL Team: 1. Sidath Wettimuny 2. Sanath Jayasuriya 3. Roy Dias 4. Aravinda De Silva, 5. Arjuna Ranatunga(capt), 6. Kumar Sangakkara(wk) 7. Chaminda Vaas 8. Rumesh Ratnayake 9 Ashantha de Mel 10. D S De Silva 11. Muttiah Muralitharan and the 12. Roshan Mahanama ( For his Filding) Nishan

  • on March 18, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    It's strange to pick 3 pacers and only one spinner for Sri Lanka, given that the team hardly follow that strategy themselves. My three would be Vaas, de Mel, and Ravi Ratnayake. But in a 12-man squad, Sri Lanka's second spinner would surely trump their third seamer.

  • Nish-55 on March 18, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    It's going to be Rumesh Ratnayake, Ashantha de Mel, and Chaminda Vaas. I have seen all three of them bowling live; it's been a great treat. I saw Rumesh when I was at St. Joseph's college (at the big matches) he was larger than life for a fast bowler (he was fast and intimidating). De Mel in club and Test, he was so fast and the ball used to come almost on top of the side screen (olden days we did not have very good side screens) because of his high arm action. Vaas was so accurate in the nets and in the games for my school, we played together. I think Vaas is the best thing that happened to Sri-Lanka. He is so down to earth and smart in cricket. He knows how to out think other batsmen that is the main difference between him and other swing bowlers in the world cricket. All the best to you my friends. Nishan

  • peeeeet on March 18, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    I just want to ask first...why is there 3 fast bowlers being picked for this team, meaning that there will be only 1 spinner? Sri Lanka never play 3 fast bowlers. And to add to that, when picking the Australian XI we had to choose 2 spinners for a country full of great pacemen. Bizarre. Anyway my choices where Vaas (obviously) and the two Ratnayke's. Malinga is too inexperienced to get a place in an all-time xi, then it came down to statistics because I've never seen the other guys bowl, so the Ratnayake's win it.

  • Charindra on March 18, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Vaas and Rumesh Ratnayake for me... But i'll admit, I have not seen any of these guys live except for Vaas and Malinga.

  • GEBF on March 18, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    De Mel & Vass would have to be in any Sri Lankan Team, the other Fast Bowling spot should go to Ravi Ratnayake for his batting skills ( He got an 150 Vs The Aussies ); Vass is one of very few Left Arm bowlers Sri Lanka have had( others being Daya Shabandu & Nihal Soysa ) : Benil- Sydney Australia

  • Rydham on March 18, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    Unarguably Vass comes first as the Opening bowler, then Ravi Ratnayake as a compact bowler with handy bat and how can we forget the storm of Malinga ? Probably these three forms a solid and lethal triangle of SL which is not easy to penitrate by any good batting side.

  • Rosh1 on March 18, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    I went for Chaminda, Rumesh and Ravi. Excluding Chaminda all the others have very similar averages between 33-35. However, I feel that Rumesh was an exceptional bowler who did not get the chance and the facility unlike Chaminda and Lasith. Ravi was an amazing allrounder who could even open batting for the side and also did not get much matches like Rumesh. His bowling record of 8/83 stood tall for a very long time untill the champ Murali broke it. With more matches these 2 would have had better records than Malinga. If I had a 4th choice I would have gone for Lasith Malinga.

  • ram5160 on March 18, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Well, I cant remember the last time Malinga played in a Test Match for Sri Lanka. He s become more of a limited overs specialist.

  • manasvi_lingam on March 18, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Obviously Vaas. Malinga is the better T20 and perhaps ODI bowler but there has been no other Sri Lankan bowler who has displayed such consistency, longevity and penetration as Vaas. (except of course, the legend Murali) Malinga has been very erratic in Tests but he has the knack of picking up wickets and his action isn't easy to read. He'd be my second choice. The third is the hardest. All three of them were good bowlers and purely based on wicket taking abilities, de Mel deserves the third spot. But since Ravi Ratnayeke is a really good batsman as well, he'd lend the balance at No.8 and I'd go with him.

  • DwightR on March 18, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    if its 3 pacers it has to be 1. Vaas 2. De Mel 3. Malinga. All three are the best sri lankan fast bowlers of thier generation, de mel in the 80's, Vaas in the 90's and Malinga in the 2000's, line up so far is 1. Marvan, 2. Sanath, 3. Mahela, 4. Aravinda, 5. Arjuna(capt), 6. Sanga(wk), 7. Vaas, 8. De Mel, 9. Malinga

  • on March 18, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    No argument.Definitely the first choice was vassy His a famous legcutter and late swing bowler.He was fine aspect of the SL cricket.He was not only fine bowler but handy lower order batsman.Vaasy was probably the fine tuner of his arts.I will pick malinga & rumesh for 2ND & 3RD Spot.

    Sanath,Marvan,Sanga(wk),Aravinda,Mahela(Cap),Thilan,Vassy,Rumesh,Malinga,Murali,Dharmasena

  • 9ST9 on March 18, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    It's a tad bit difficult in selecting an all time SL line up simply because, Sri Lanka became a solid line-up about 15 years ago. Most of the best players are from the recent times.Many fast bowlers from the post 96 era have better records, but that was because they had more exposure and had the advantage of playing for a stable team, something the likes of Ratnayaka and Co. never enjoyed. Vaas is definitely the spearhead.

  • chandau on March 18, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Assuming this is a 6/5 team, I would go with Vass, Rumesh R and Malinga. The writer unfortunately has not mentioned DLS De Silva who played for Sri Lanka (unofficially) and died tragically before we got test status. Prabth Nissnka is another whose career was cut short by injury. Vassy gets in with his record and he is miles ahead of all the rest. Malinga is in for his unorthodox action that used to be a problem, but now having lost a few yards in pace seems to have lost effectiveness (at least in the IPL). Rumesh Rathnayake had an action like Thommo and was quick for a Sri Lankan (ask Larry Gomes of WI who lost a tooth from a bouncer). Ravi R was more a medium pacer who could open bowling and batting (is that a record in tests?) De Mel was ok but nothing to write home about just like a few others; Saliya Ahangama,Anusha Samaranayake, Kosala Kuruppuarachchi, Kaushik Amalean, R. Pushpakumara, et.al. Dilhara Fernando who again has been an accident ward is also worth mentioning. Cheers :)

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  • chandau on March 18, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Assuming this is a 6/5 team, I would go with Vass, Rumesh R and Malinga. The writer unfortunately has not mentioned DLS De Silva who played for Sri Lanka (unofficially) and died tragically before we got test status. Prabth Nissnka is another whose career was cut short by injury. Vassy gets in with his record and he is miles ahead of all the rest. Malinga is in for his unorthodox action that used to be a problem, but now having lost a few yards in pace seems to have lost effectiveness (at least in the IPL). Rumesh Rathnayake had an action like Thommo and was quick for a Sri Lankan (ask Larry Gomes of WI who lost a tooth from a bouncer). Ravi R was more a medium pacer who could open bowling and batting (is that a record in tests?) De Mel was ok but nothing to write home about just like a few others; Saliya Ahangama,Anusha Samaranayake, Kosala Kuruppuarachchi, Kaushik Amalean, R. Pushpakumara, et.al. Dilhara Fernando who again has been an accident ward is also worth mentioning. Cheers :)

  • 9ST9 on March 18, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    It's a tad bit difficult in selecting an all time SL line up simply because, Sri Lanka became a solid line-up about 15 years ago. Most of the best players are from the recent times.Many fast bowlers from the post 96 era have better records, but that was because they had more exposure and had the advantage of playing for a stable team, something the likes of Ratnayaka and Co. never enjoyed. Vaas is definitely the spearhead.

  • on March 18, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    No argument.Definitely the first choice was vassy His a famous legcutter and late swing bowler.He was fine aspect of the SL cricket.He was not only fine bowler but handy lower order batsman.Vaasy was probably the fine tuner of his arts.I will pick malinga & rumesh for 2ND & 3RD Spot.

    Sanath,Marvan,Sanga(wk),Aravinda,Mahela(Cap),Thilan,Vassy,Rumesh,Malinga,Murali,Dharmasena

  • DwightR on March 18, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    if its 3 pacers it has to be 1. Vaas 2. De Mel 3. Malinga. All three are the best sri lankan fast bowlers of thier generation, de mel in the 80's, Vaas in the 90's and Malinga in the 2000's, line up so far is 1. Marvan, 2. Sanath, 3. Mahela, 4. Aravinda, 5. Arjuna(capt), 6. Sanga(wk), 7. Vaas, 8. De Mel, 9. Malinga

  • manasvi_lingam on March 18, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Obviously Vaas. Malinga is the better T20 and perhaps ODI bowler but there has been no other Sri Lankan bowler who has displayed such consistency, longevity and penetration as Vaas. (except of course, the legend Murali) Malinga has been very erratic in Tests but he has the knack of picking up wickets and his action isn't easy to read. He'd be my second choice. The third is the hardest. All three of them were good bowlers and purely based on wicket taking abilities, de Mel deserves the third spot. But since Ravi Ratnayeke is a really good batsman as well, he'd lend the balance at No.8 and I'd go with him.

  • ram5160 on March 18, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Well, I cant remember the last time Malinga played in a Test Match for Sri Lanka. He s become more of a limited overs specialist.

  • Rosh1 on March 18, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    I went for Chaminda, Rumesh and Ravi. Excluding Chaminda all the others have very similar averages between 33-35. However, I feel that Rumesh was an exceptional bowler who did not get the chance and the facility unlike Chaminda and Lasith. Ravi was an amazing allrounder who could even open batting for the side and also did not get much matches like Rumesh. His bowling record of 8/83 stood tall for a very long time untill the champ Murali broke it. With more matches these 2 would have had better records than Malinga. If I had a 4th choice I would have gone for Lasith Malinga.

  • Rydham on March 18, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    Unarguably Vass comes first as the Opening bowler, then Ravi Ratnayake as a compact bowler with handy bat and how can we forget the storm of Malinga ? Probably these three forms a solid and lethal triangle of SL which is not easy to penitrate by any good batting side.

  • GEBF on March 18, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    De Mel & Vass would have to be in any Sri Lankan Team, the other Fast Bowling spot should go to Ravi Ratnayake for his batting skills ( He got an 150 Vs The Aussies ); Vass is one of very few Left Arm bowlers Sri Lanka have had( others being Daya Shabandu & Nihal Soysa ) : Benil- Sydney Australia

  • Charindra on March 18, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Vaas and Rumesh Ratnayake for me... But i'll admit, I have not seen any of these guys live except for Vaas and Malinga.