July 17, 2010

The bat will dominate

For India it will be time to avenge the loss of 2008. For Sri Lanka, a test of how they fare without Murali and other recent retirees
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Yes, I know India and Sri Lanka have been playing each other for long, but both could do with some Test cricket. Especially Sri Lanka, who have only three Tests scheduled this year, which is sad. I know India play a lot of cricket and everybody wants to play them, but they too would have been left with only five or so Tests if some games of their ODI series against South Africa and Australia were not converted to Tests, and they didn't have this three-Test series against us.

This current FTP has been a lop-sided one. If you want to have Test championships and want to see where the teams stand, you need to give equal opportunity to all teams. I have played Test cricket for 12 years, but only four Tests in Australia and none at the MCG, the SCG or the WACA. I would love to challenge myself there before I leave the game, but where is the opportunity?

I am not pointing fingers; just that everyone needs to sit down and find a formula for a consistent set-up. Every Test team needs to play a minimum of 10 matches a year - ideally 12. Play all the countries equally, not just one team all the time and the bare minimum against the rest. Given the current state of affairs, we are fortunate to be able to fit in this series.

Sri Lanka will be up for this one after a tough Test series in India, when they got the better of us. The Indian batting line-up is very strong. They are the No. 1 side in the world, and that is motivation enough for us to be at our best and go up the table.

We know, though, that this batting line-up can be kept quiet. We did that two years ago. The way we bowled against them in 2008 is a big positive when compared to the disappointing tour the year after that. Also, at the back of our minds we know we used the umpire review system really well, and Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis had a great series then. There is a huge difference between the Kookaburra and the SG as well.

I have played Test cricket for 12 years, but only four Tests in Australia and none at the MCG, the SCG or the WACA. I would love to challenge myself there before I leave the game, but where is the opportunity?

India won't have to contend with Murali after the first Test. But they will be missing Zaheer Khan. Which is not to say that the series will be dull. Different players will have to step up and perform. Murali and Zaheer may not be there, but we know there are plenty of cricketers trying to prove themselves.

We have improved in our fast-bowling department over the last couple of years. Getting Lasith Malinga back is a positive. Dammika Prasad and Chanaka Welegedara have also come on really well. Angelo Mathews has provided the side with invaluable balance. He gives us more options in our bowling department, especially when you need to pick 20 wickets. Rather than having four out-and-out bowlers, we have a bit of variety.

Over the last three years we have lost three big players: Sanath Jayasuriya, Murali and Chaminda Vaas. While we knew they were going to leave and that would create a big hole in the side, the real test of how well we have coped with the transition will come now.

Left-arm spinner Ranganna Herath bowled well against Pakistan, but bowling against the Indians will be the ultimate test. Not only are they very good players of spin, they have improved a lot since they last came here. Back then, they didn't have MS Dhoni at No. 7 and Gautam Gambhir was not the well-rounded batsman he is today.

Given the slightly weak bowling attacks on both sides, there are chances this series might be dominated by the bat, which has been the general nature of most Sri Lanka-India series. Not long ago, it was always about the batting line-ups, and which of the bowling attacks controlled the batsmen better. You can't say what the pitches are going to offer, but it is essential that they are sporting if we are to have results.

Winning the series in 2008 was tough but winning now will be tougher. On the line will be our proud home record. But when we play Tests in Sri Lanka, we never put ourselves under pressure, saying we have to win. We know how to play good Test cricket at home and we focus on that, and not on who the favourites for the series are.

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is the country's leading Test run-scorer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 18, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    @ BCCI_Fanatic... what? did Munaf Patel PAY you say stuff like this..BEST bowler of our time?..What happened to the like of Darrel Steyn and Nathan Bracken? and 100 m/h ??..gimme a break. and yeah Harbahjan needs a dust bowl..not Murali..that's how he took all those 300 wickets...nothing even close to the class of the Indian Greats of the the 60's -70's and Kumble ...so prepare dust bowls for the Harbhajan not Murali...

  • on July 18, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Hiii..Guys...First of all i wld lyk 2 say...India being on No. 1 position has earned it...no 1 has gifted them...N they were above 2 slip down d rankings when they were playing 2nd test match with SA @ home...which rain interrupting d match..or else it wld have been over well before d time...however just 3 or 4 overs to spare harbhajan took d final wicket to win d match...n made sure India remain on No.1...So they have earned it...N dnt forget SA is ranked 2nd...n they r very tough oppenents.... So if any team wants to be No.1..earn it..quite simple !!!

    @ Snowsnake...I totally agree to u with all points..u r absolutely spot on..India is playing in sri-lanka...n they feel they r playing @ home...its just that Aus's dominance is over...infact they r playing poor cricket....n now when India & SA have taken over in test for a while...n ODI's r also not far when India & SA wil take over Aus..So people cant digest this.. Neways it doesnt matter...what matters is that India is @ No.1

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    @SnowSnake. Also, if your going to go by the player rankings (which is a bit off as well) why not note that Sri Lanka has ONE bowler in the top 20, whilst Aus has FOUR. 4:1 hmmmm. If you take it a little broader, Lanka has 2 batsmen in the top 10 and so do Aus. 3 in the top 20 and gasp, so do Aus. If you factor in the fielding, well then, by no stretch is Sri Lanka a better fielding unit...anywhere. Still I think it will be a bit too risky to go by Player Rankings. The reason why the rankings worked well b-4 was because Aus and W.I. at their times were UNDIPUTED, clear cut, the best by some way. Now there is no clear cut #1 team and careful analysis will show that calculations need to be adjusted.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    @SnowSnake. Lol, the ICC player rankings also say Stuart Clark is in the top 10 bowlers in world cricket,he's not going to get a game anytime soon and if your going to go by form, well Sri Lanka's bowling attack is almost non-existent going from their form in the last test series. Sorry I misread your comment a bit, u have Sri Lanka and SA on par...still very wrong. It is true that Aus have been playing weak teams like NZ and W.I. n Pak but Sri Lanka hasn't played NZ n W.I. for a while, so we can't compare the MARGINS of victory vs those teams and when they last played W.I. some time ago they DREW the series and that was when they had Vaas. Ind bowling still only looked avg when they beat a poor NZ batting line up, they went as far as following on vs NZ in 1 match and NO TEAM had followed on vs NZ for yrs. That was also partly because the Ind fielding was poor as ususal..funny how no-1 thinks FIELDING COUNTS in team strength. Ind hav earned their rank fairly but the ranking's a bit off

  • SnowSnake on July 18, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    @Neutral fan: I never said SA is better than SL. As far as SL vs. Aus. goes. SL is far better team than Australia. Just look at the ICC player ranking their batsmen are ranked 2, & 3. Aus. has been playing weeker teams NZ, Pak. to boost their points. Nothing wrong with that, but I think SL and SA are some of the best test playing teams today. Excellent batting & bowling. India has excellent batting, OK bowling. Aus. batsmen (Ponting & Hussey) appear to be out of form for now. Their bowlers are OK, nothing special. Based on their recent test performance against Pak., Aus. fast bowlers do not appear to have the sting that they used to.

  • SnowSnake on July 18, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    I think people are speaking from both sides of their mouth. On one had everyone is saying that India plays at home and on the other they are saying Indian fast bowling is bad. The fact is Indian fast bowling will look bad if they play at home. Even the best fast bowlers of the world look tame when they play in India. Indian batting is among the best in the world, spin bowling is also excellent. So, the current ranking shows India in appropriate position (No. 1 by just a few points). It is not like India has a significant lead over other teams. Yes, other teams can be No. 1 without playing India. So, this whole thing of some team becoming no. 1 without playing no. 1 team is irrelevant. India may not be a winning team, but if it does not win then it manages to draw a test almost all the time. India is a hard team to beat, as a result, it will remain among top 3 teams-- sometimes at no. 1 position.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 18, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    @raghavendra : U r getting it wrong mate,m not at all saying how IND is good team & how aus is bad. The point i m making is, why the CURRENT ranking system makes IND number 1. We know it is diffi for IND to sustain that with this bowling line up & pakistan very much determined to push aus up the order. @ aditya :thanks & i will like to support ur view abt heydos,coz to me there was no other obvious cricketing reason.& i am/was fan of heydos since he toured IND in 99/00 in that great series.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @Cris_P...SA became #1 after they beat Aus in Aus I think. Aus came back to beat them in SA the following series a few months later.@SnowSnake....by no stretch of the imagination is Sri Lanka better than Aus or SA and without Murali, they will probably be a touch below Eng as well. This just goes to show that the rankings system is a bit skewed. You are right about Ind earning the luxury of sitting back and it IS up to the other teams to take initiative and push them from the rank. Important to note that Ind invited SA in order to strengthen their rank but failed to do so after SA drew against them in Ind for a 2nd consecutive time. So how Ind go about maintaining their rank will be very interesting from now on.

  • on July 18, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    guys the fact remains that india IS number one whether the bowling is good or bad-I mean if Srilanka is such a good side why is it not number one??australian batting is suspect so expect india to retain its number one ranking for a while yet

  • Shash28 on July 18, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    This will be an interesting series and hopefully, SL can put India in there place... which is probably 3 or 4... if you the 3 serious Test powers, India has the weakest bowling line-up. SL has developed a strong all-round attack, England has a spinner of note in Swann, Australia have a good collection of pace-bowlers and a promising Leggy while South Africa boast the best opening pace combination in years! At the end of the year, No. 1 might be decided down in SA (where India tour - if they can hold off SL & AUS) or Aus (if they beat India and England).

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 18, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    @ BCCI_Fanatic... what? did Munaf Patel PAY you say stuff like this..BEST bowler of our time?..What happened to the like of Darrel Steyn and Nathan Bracken? and 100 m/h ??..gimme a break. and yeah Harbahjan needs a dust bowl..not Murali..that's how he took all those 300 wickets...nothing even close to the class of the Indian Greats of the the 60's -70's and Kumble ...so prepare dust bowls for the Harbhajan not Murali...

  • on July 18, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Hiii..Guys...First of all i wld lyk 2 say...India being on No. 1 position has earned it...no 1 has gifted them...N they were above 2 slip down d rankings when they were playing 2nd test match with SA @ home...which rain interrupting d match..or else it wld have been over well before d time...however just 3 or 4 overs to spare harbhajan took d final wicket to win d match...n made sure India remain on No.1...So they have earned it...N dnt forget SA is ranked 2nd...n they r very tough oppenents.... So if any team wants to be No.1..earn it..quite simple !!!

    @ Snowsnake...I totally agree to u with all points..u r absolutely spot on..India is playing in sri-lanka...n they feel they r playing @ home...its just that Aus's dominance is over...infact they r playing poor cricket....n now when India & SA have taken over in test for a while...n ODI's r also not far when India & SA wil take over Aus..So people cant digest this.. Neways it doesnt matter...what matters is that India is @ No.1

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    @SnowSnake. Also, if your going to go by the player rankings (which is a bit off as well) why not note that Sri Lanka has ONE bowler in the top 20, whilst Aus has FOUR. 4:1 hmmmm. If you take it a little broader, Lanka has 2 batsmen in the top 10 and so do Aus. 3 in the top 20 and gasp, so do Aus. If you factor in the fielding, well then, by no stretch is Sri Lanka a better fielding unit...anywhere. Still I think it will be a bit too risky to go by Player Rankings. The reason why the rankings worked well b-4 was because Aus and W.I. at their times were UNDIPUTED, clear cut, the best by some way. Now there is no clear cut #1 team and careful analysis will show that calculations need to be adjusted.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    @SnowSnake. Lol, the ICC player rankings also say Stuart Clark is in the top 10 bowlers in world cricket,he's not going to get a game anytime soon and if your going to go by form, well Sri Lanka's bowling attack is almost non-existent going from their form in the last test series. Sorry I misread your comment a bit, u have Sri Lanka and SA on par...still very wrong. It is true that Aus have been playing weak teams like NZ and W.I. n Pak but Sri Lanka hasn't played NZ n W.I. for a while, so we can't compare the MARGINS of victory vs those teams and when they last played W.I. some time ago they DREW the series and that was when they had Vaas. Ind bowling still only looked avg when they beat a poor NZ batting line up, they went as far as following on vs NZ in 1 match and NO TEAM had followed on vs NZ for yrs. That was also partly because the Ind fielding was poor as ususal..funny how no-1 thinks FIELDING COUNTS in team strength. Ind hav earned their rank fairly but the ranking's a bit off

  • SnowSnake on July 18, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    @Neutral fan: I never said SA is better than SL. As far as SL vs. Aus. goes. SL is far better team than Australia. Just look at the ICC player ranking their batsmen are ranked 2, & 3. Aus. has been playing weeker teams NZ, Pak. to boost their points. Nothing wrong with that, but I think SL and SA are some of the best test playing teams today. Excellent batting & bowling. India has excellent batting, OK bowling. Aus. batsmen (Ponting & Hussey) appear to be out of form for now. Their bowlers are OK, nothing special. Based on their recent test performance against Pak., Aus. fast bowlers do not appear to have the sting that they used to.

  • SnowSnake on July 18, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    I think people are speaking from both sides of their mouth. On one had everyone is saying that India plays at home and on the other they are saying Indian fast bowling is bad. The fact is Indian fast bowling will look bad if they play at home. Even the best fast bowlers of the world look tame when they play in India. Indian batting is among the best in the world, spin bowling is also excellent. So, the current ranking shows India in appropriate position (No. 1 by just a few points). It is not like India has a significant lead over other teams. Yes, other teams can be No. 1 without playing India. So, this whole thing of some team becoming no. 1 without playing no. 1 team is irrelevant. India may not be a winning team, but if it does not win then it manages to draw a test almost all the time. India is a hard team to beat, as a result, it will remain among top 3 teams-- sometimes at no. 1 position.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 18, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    @raghavendra : U r getting it wrong mate,m not at all saying how IND is good team & how aus is bad. The point i m making is, why the CURRENT ranking system makes IND number 1. We know it is diffi for IND to sustain that with this bowling line up & pakistan very much determined to push aus up the order. @ aditya :thanks & i will like to support ur view abt heydos,coz to me there was no other obvious cricketing reason.& i am/was fan of heydos since he toured IND in 99/00 in that great series.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 18, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    @Cris_P...SA became #1 after they beat Aus in Aus I think. Aus came back to beat them in SA the following series a few months later.@SnowSnake....by no stretch of the imagination is Sri Lanka better than Aus or SA and without Murali, they will probably be a touch below Eng as well. This just goes to show that the rankings system is a bit skewed. You are right about Ind earning the luxury of sitting back and it IS up to the other teams to take initiative and push them from the rank. Important to note that Ind invited SA in order to strengthen their rank but failed to do so after SA drew against them in Ind for a 2nd consecutive time. So how Ind go about maintaining their rank will be very interesting from now on.

  • on July 18, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    guys the fact remains that india IS number one whether the bowling is good or bad-I mean if Srilanka is such a good side why is it not number one??australian batting is suspect so expect india to retain its number one ranking for a while yet

  • Shash28 on July 18, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    This will be an interesting series and hopefully, SL can put India in there place... which is probably 3 or 4... if you the 3 serious Test powers, India has the weakest bowling line-up. SL has developed a strong all-round attack, England has a spinner of note in Swann, Australia have a good collection of pace-bowlers and a promising Leggy while South Africa boast the best opening pace combination in years! At the end of the year, No. 1 might be decided down in SA (where India tour - if they can hold off SL & AUS) or Aus (if they beat India and England).

  • VVedsen on July 18, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    The Sri Lankans know their weak points. They know they can perform well only in SL conditions. Low, slow bounce wickets, sluggish humid climate. But when they come out even 2 hours outside SL to India even to Chennai, they cant perform well. J'wardane is the biggest culprit in this. Now he will score a 200 against India.

    Having made the mistake of dropping Mendis from the team, and Murali playing his last test, they want to make a flat wicket.

  • Chris_P on July 18, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    The ICC ranking is slightly askewed but it is close to reaching the full cycle. When Australia was dominating every country,. SA grabbed the #1 spot for a couple of months due ot the fact Australia hadn't played Bangladesh home or away. The odd thing about this was that SA hadn't beaten Australian at home or away but were #1? According to the ICC rankings, India is #1, but they haven't achieved a series victory in either South Africa or Australia, so it is still far from undisputed. I am not sure about that comment about Indian batting winning the series in Sri Lanka. To win games you need to take 20 wickets, (or close to 20). As far as Jayawardene not playing in Melbourne, Sydney etc, I doubt that is going to happen for the simple reason is that in a 3 test series in Australia, the larger crowd attracting teams will score those grounds whilst the lesser crowd attarcting teams play at Brisbane, Hobart. It is simply a matter of economics. He will have to make do with one-day games.

  • BCCI_Fanatic on July 17, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    @ all..............I was not sarcastic when I wrote, what I wrote about Munaf Patel. He is truly a very good bowler and today if India bowls then he will prove so. :)

  • SnowSnake on July 17, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    To all those who are complaining India plays at home and it does not deserve to be no. 1. Well, there is no rule against playing at home, so India should do what ever benefits it-- nothing wrong with trying to preserve No. 1 ranking because it is not everyday a team gets an opportunity to be no. 1. Other teams can also use the same strategy when they become no. 1; besides playing in Sri Lanka does not qualify as playing at home. Also, I think Sri Lanka is a damn good team. I would say that South Africa and Sri Lanka are among the best test playing teams today followed by England, Australia & Pak. Look at Australia's batting and Pak. batting in recent tests. They lost 40 wickets in less than 4 days. Australian strike bowlers Johnson and Bollinger took only 3 wickets in total between them. The burden to overthrow India from No. 1 ranking is on other teams and not on India so India can sit comfortably at home and wait for challangers to challange them.

  • on July 17, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    srilanka have been great over the past years so why are they worried if a team performs but if a team loses it is part of the game...

  • msport on July 17, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    I m 200 percent sure that ind will get kicked to no.3 in dis year 2010.Aus will be no.1 test team after de series against india.Can anyone bet me that india will dropdown to no.3 not no.2 no.3 understand?Just 4 points difference betn ind n aus.Ind 124,Sa121 n aus 120.

  • msport on July 17, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    India doesn't deserve to be no.1 with such a weak fast bowling attack.I know aus will gain its no.1 tag in dis year.Aus rebuilding team is now almost complete.They will give nice punch in de upcoming series against ind in ind.I know srilanka will definitely win de series against ind because its not ur home indians theyll be kicked 2 no.3 n here aus will easily beat pak 2-0 n grab de no.1 position.Hahaha..How can ind win test series in srilanka lets see?Can u make me remember guys when ind win test series against srl in srl?

  • aditya104 on July 17, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    @namastak I want to add to yours. The retirement of Matthew Hayden was largely because of his bad form. That bad form was started when he first faced Ishant Sharma. Hayden got frustrated when he couldn't get runs off Ishant and then started getting out to him. That was it. 8 months later retirement.

  • BCCI_Fanatic on July 17, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    @ Mohummed Kashif Shahzad Awan _________ Munaf Patel is not able to playmore tests due to injury which is very bad for India. If you have seen Munaf's bowling you would not even think about anybody else's yorkers or bowling. Tomorrow if he plays, you will believe what I say. "I don't see anyone beyond Munaf Patel."

  • TheBigFatFlapjack on July 17, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    Quote [BCCI_Fanatic] - 'Munaf Patel yorkers are the best I have seen. He is the greatest fast bowler of the times. He will definately take five-for in this match. His 100 m/h pace will rattle Sri-Lankan line-up.'

    BCCI_fanatic, were you actually serious when writing this? Calling Munaf Patel the greatest fast bowler of the times and claiming he bowls at 100 mp/h!! Ambitious!!

  • on July 17, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    @natmastak_so_called: India never beat Australia in Australia in more than 70 years. If you are still complaining about Sydney test in Australia in last tour, let me remind you that India won the Perth test right after that with umpiring decisions going India's way. I guess blind eyed fans don't want to remember that fact. And India beat Steve Waugh's Australia in India , that too with a lot of umpiring decisions going in India's favour. Bet the fans like you love the umpiring decisions then and don't complain about them. Sachin Tendulkar claimed a false catch in this year's IPL against his own team mate Rahul Dravid, so there is no point talking about Aussies' sportsmanship spirit. Australia lost to SA but beat SA right after that. You love to forget that , don't you! England is also similar to India who play well at home, even both the countries' fans are similar!!!

  • McGorium on July 17, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    @M.Kashif S. Awan: I think BCCI_fanatic was being sarcastic. Bitterly sarcastic :) Irfan Pathan's problem is that he isn't tight enough. He is a good swing bowler, and in helpful conditions is very useful. Historically, on flat tracks, he gets hit around. He lacks the pace, variety and brains that Zaheer has. He last played for INdia in Australia, 2008. Honestly, I'm not sure why he didn't get a look-in ahead of Mithun. My guess is that India will go with Ishant and Munaf as opening bowlers, and play 2 spinners in Bajji and Mishra or Ojha. Sehwag will be the unofficial offie; after all, Bedi rates him as the best offie in the side :D

  • siva87 on July 17, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    I think the Indian batting line-up is enough to defeat Srilanka even though their bowling is not good.I am bored of SL-IND matches.I am waiting for a IND-WI series(or)ENG(or)NZ......

  • natmastak_so-called on July 17, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    @ popcorn : INDIA is at no 1 becoz,they havnt LOST a series in recent past . As for playing in aus,u too know INDIA had won the series had aussies shown a minimum of cricketing spirit .for aus, u should know,INDIA initiated the trend to defeat aus when they were MIGHTY ( ASK STEVE WAUGH). Now aus has lost to sa & eng too.though, i admit INDIA r to beat sa yet,its not INDIA's fault that icc is awarding them the numero uno.

  • on July 17, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    BCCI Fanatic! I am amazed to see your talks that "He is the greatest fast bowler of the times". Meanz Munaf Patel's yorkers are the best and he is the greatest fast bowler of his times. Me is not talking about the best yorker bowlers of all time Waqar and Wasim, I even has arguments to accept him the best yorker bowler of India too. Where you place the worth of Zaheer Khan's yorkers???? 34 wickets in 12 tests with a ratio of 2.83 wickets per test with a strike rate of 70.40 and best bowling in an inning is 4/25 can fetch him the title of greatest fast bowler of his time??? I am unable to understand why he is a greatest bowler of his time?? He made test debut against England at Mohali on March 9, 2006 and in last 4 years he is able to play only 12 tests with a ratio of 3 tests per year, can he be the greatest fast bowler of his time while his competetiers are Zaheer Khan (242 wickets in 72 tests with 3.36 wickets per match) or Irfan Pathan (100 wkts in 29 tsts with 3.45 ratio p/m)

  • on July 17, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    u know what? im not going to watch this series.

  • on July 17, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    There will be big test of Indian Fast Bowling. Zahee Khan, the best Indian Fast bowler is injured. Mithun, surely not of such caliber to prove himself the best. Zaheer Khan is resting in Johannesburg for rehabilitation. Sreesanth has been sent back to India after injury. Munaf Patel has been names as the replacement but how much Indian Fast Bowling proof heir strength wich such pace attack?? Its the real question mark for upcoming test series... Zaheer injured,and Mithun is inserted. Then Sreesanth is injured and Munaf Patel is inserted. But remember Munaf was also injured. Munaf, Zaheer, Nehra, RP Singh, Sreesanth all are injured. But I am wondering, where is Irfan Pathan, I think the best name for replacement.

  • BCCI_Fanatic on July 17, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    One thing is for sure, Munaf Patel wont allow his bat to dominate. Munaf Patel yorkers are the best I have seen. He is the greatest fast bowler of the times. He will definately take five-for in this match. His 100 m/h pace will rattle Sri-Lankan line-up. Munaf is a perfect all-rounder that a side needs. He also spreads positive energy in the field. His best is yet to be seen which probably will be seen in this series.

    'Murali doesn't need a turning track' - Lanka's Curator. What does he need then, a dust bowl? LOL

  • sanyam_kamat on July 17, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    its true... if only srilanka had more tests arnd they would be higher on test rankings... Also this time if rain keeps away...it will be nice to watch some test between these two nations

  • Mystery_mendi on July 17, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I just can not understand that why we become cry babies on the issue of the 1st rank of the Indian team, it is clear that with the presence of the players like Sachin, Shewag, Dravid Zaheer, Harbajen, who are proven worth players on any pitches, India can be the number one team and it is the matter of the ICC to rank the team based on their game and the equation of the wins. We all are aware about the out come of the last series b/w India and Aus in Aus. Where India could win at WACA and at the fun in Sydney. So for right now they are the 1st ranked team. it is the fact to accept

  • Aussasinator on July 17, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    India now does not have the bowling attack to take 20 wickets with all those injuries to key bowlers. But there are batsmen who can bat Sri Lanka out of the match. It's just that they have to play with a Test match approach, with some pateince. The batsmen have to remind themselves that there is no bowling attck to back them up. Sri Lankan bowling can be easily tackled by Indian batting on any pitch. Only their minds need to remain focussed.

  • SUNDOS on July 17, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Perhaps Sharad Pawar as the new ICC boss,will be able to ensure more test matches for all countries.One detects a slight hint that the classy Mr Jayawardene is close to hanging up his boots.What is admirable is that he has slipped into the role of mentor to the youngsters in the team so easily.No ego clashes,no starry tantrums.I wish him a succesful test series.And perhaps reverse psychology is at work here batsmen will shine ??watch out India the Lankans have a few surprises.

  • sameer997 on July 17, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    GR8 Article It had all about the upcoming series and how test cricket should be balanced

  • on July 17, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Well if the bat is going to dominate we're in for a really boring series, one team needs to be capable of bowling the other out twice! Quality batsman have always been plenty in the subcontinent, but bowlers are in high demand!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 17, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    One prob though. The curator said "Murali does not need a turning pitch", the problem is TEST CRICKET NEEDS SOME. In fact, any result pitch will do. Believe or not, I along with many are fed up with bat dominating series where the bowlers have to toil on slow, low rubbish. To make matters worse, both bowling attacks are even weaker than usual due to injury and retirement! (probably the 1st time ever where a recently risen #1 ranked team has a very avg. bowling attack...would like stats guru to check that out). I agree now even more so than b-4 that the FTP needs to be sorted out, IPL needs a SHORT window and Champion's trophy needs to go.

  • popcorn on July 17, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    I simply cannot understand how India qualifies to be No.1 in Test Rankings.India seem to have a lot more matches at HOME than AWAY. Beating another country in your backyard is no qualification.A true yardstick would be to give more points for AWAY wins than HOME wins, and by that yardstick alone, australia are streets ahead.India have not won a Test series IN SRI LANKA against their neighbouring country Sri Lanka since 1993! And this is the third cricket series against sri Lanka in 2 years! How about playing MORE Series AWAY,India? Against Australia,South Africa, England? And trying to win there?

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  • popcorn on July 17, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    I simply cannot understand how India qualifies to be No.1 in Test Rankings.India seem to have a lot more matches at HOME than AWAY. Beating another country in your backyard is no qualification.A true yardstick would be to give more points for AWAY wins than HOME wins, and by that yardstick alone, australia are streets ahead.India have not won a Test series IN SRI LANKA against their neighbouring country Sri Lanka since 1993! And this is the third cricket series against sri Lanka in 2 years! How about playing MORE Series AWAY,India? Against Australia,South Africa, England? And trying to win there?

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 17, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    One prob though. The curator said "Murali does not need a turning pitch", the problem is TEST CRICKET NEEDS SOME. In fact, any result pitch will do. Believe or not, I along with many are fed up with bat dominating series where the bowlers have to toil on slow, low rubbish. To make matters worse, both bowling attacks are even weaker than usual due to injury and retirement! (probably the 1st time ever where a recently risen #1 ranked team has a very avg. bowling attack...would like stats guru to check that out). I agree now even more so than b-4 that the FTP needs to be sorted out, IPL needs a SHORT window and Champion's trophy needs to go.

  • on July 17, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Well if the bat is going to dominate we're in for a really boring series, one team needs to be capable of bowling the other out twice! Quality batsman have always been plenty in the subcontinent, but bowlers are in high demand!

  • sameer997 on July 17, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    GR8 Article It had all about the upcoming series and how test cricket should be balanced

  • SUNDOS on July 17, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Perhaps Sharad Pawar as the new ICC boss,will be able to ensure more test matches for all countries.One detects a slight hint that the classy Mr Jayawardene is close to hanging up his boots.What is admirable is that he has slipped into the role of mentor to the youngsters in the team so easily.No ego clashes,no starry tantrums.I wish him a succesful test series.And perhaps reverse psychology is at work here batsmen will shine ??watch out India the Lankans have a few surprises.

  • Aussasinator on July 17, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    India now does not have the bowling attack to take 20 wickets with all those injuries to key bowlers. But there are batsmen who can bat Sri Lanka out of the match. It's just that they have to play with a Test match approach, with some pateince. The batsmen have to remind themselves that there is no bowling attck to back them up. Sri Lankan bowling can be easily tackled by Indian batting on any pitch. Only their minds need to remain focussed.

  • Mystery_mendi on July 17, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I just can not understand that why we become cry babies on the issue of the 1st rank of the Indian team, it is clear that with the presence of the players like Sachin, Shewag, Dravid Zaheer, Harbajen, who are proven worth players on any pitches, India can be the number one team and it is the matter of the ICC to rank the team based on their game and the equation of the wins. We all are aware about the out come of the last series b/w India and Aus in Aus. Where India could win at WACA and at the fun in Sydney. So for right now they are the 1st ranked team. it is the fact to accept

  • sanyam_kamat on July 17, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    its true... if only srilanka had more tests arnd they would be higher on test rankings... Also this time if rain keeps away...it will be nice to watch some test between these two nations

  • BCCI_Fanatic on July 17, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    One thing is for sure, Munaf Patel wont allow his bat to dominate. Munaf Patel yorkers are the best I have seen. He is the greatest fast bowler of the times. He will definately take five-for in this match. His 100 m/h pace will rattle Sri-Lankan line-up. Munaf is a perfect all-rounder that a side needs. He also spreads positive energy in the field. His best is yet to be seen which probably will be seen in this series.

    'Murali doesn't need a turning track' - Lanka's Curator. What does he need then, a dust bowl? LOL

  • on July 17, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    There will be big test of Indian Fast Bowling. Zahee Khan, the best Indian Fast bowler is injured. Mithun, surely not of such caliber to prove himself the best. Zaheer Khan is resting in Johannesburg for rehabilitation. Sreesanth has been sent back to India after injury. Munaf Patel has been names as the replacement but how much Indian Fast Bowling proof heir strength wich such pace attack?? Its the real question mark for upcoming test series... Zaheer injured,and Mithun is inserted. Then Sreesanth is injured and Munaf Patel is inserted. But remember Munaf was also injured. Munaf, Zaheer, Nehra, RP Singh, Sreesanth all are injured. But I am wondering, where is Irfan Pathan, I think the best name for replacement.