Sri Lanka in England 2011 June 7, 2011

We passed the test of character

After what happened in Cardiff, it was always going to be a test of character at Lord's, and we came through it really well
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It was a bit of a quiet ending, but it was a decent Test match - a good, tough five days of Test cricket. We didn't lose too many overs to the weather, and more importantly, we put up a good performance after what happened in Cardiff. We showed a lot of determination and skill, and we stayed very positive by going in with the balance of six batsmen and five bowlers, who made some good inroads into the English line-up. We're still in the series which is great, going into the final Test in Hampshire.

The biggest worry for us is the captain, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who took a few blows to his thumb and has picked up a hairline fracture. It would be a massive loss for us if he can't play at the Rose Bowl because he's in great form and his 193 was wonderful to watch. If he's ruled out, that is something we'll need to cope with, but knowing him I reckon he'll be okay to play the match.

After all, the way he batted on after two really painful blows shows what determination he has got. He didn't field yesterday or bat today, but that was only because we didn't want to take any risks with him. We wanted to give him three extra days to settle that sore thumb and see how it comes up.

He'll now have five or six more days to rest and if he's feeling well enough to hold a bat, I know he'll want to play that Test match. If he's not there, it's going to be a big blow, but fingers crossed for him. Like we've always done when things get tough, we'll back the guys to stand up just like they did in this match.

After what happened in Cardiff, it was always going to be a test of character at Lord's, and we came through it really well. We spoke about it at length, because you need to let everything out in the open in the dressing-room, but no fingers were pointed, which was great. Everyone took responsibility and we knew we needed to dig deep and work harder, and we did that at Lord's.

Personally, I thought the conditions in which we had to bat were much tougher than the England boys had, but we showed we could fight against a formidable attack. Today was a tricky situation to bat 60-odd overs, especially without Dilly opening the batting, but everyone buckled down and now we're looking forward to the next game. We need to create our own opportunities, because that's what we're here for.

There was a lot of criticism of England's attack in the first innings, but personally I thought they bowled pretty well. There was a lot of bounce in the wicket and movement as well, but the real difference was Dilly, who was positive and aggressive as usual, which put them under pressure. His opening partnership with Tharanga Paranavitana was excellent once again, and then we built on that as well, which was great. We knew we needed to wear the England bowlers down, and once we'd done that, the scoring opportunities started to appear, as they always do in those situations.

Given that their seamers were all so tall, we knew they'd get bounce, but we handled that pretty well. Our batting line-up is not the worst in the world and we're not going to crumble day in and day out like we did in Cardiff. We just had to bat to a plan and we did. And now, after two Tests we know what they've got, and hopefully they know we can combat that and get 20 wickets ourselves, which is the most important thing.

"We've got a good amount of variety with the left-arm pace of Chanaka Welegedara, and with Dilhara Fernando coming back after being injured in the first game. We've got the firepower, now we've got to create the opportunities."
Mahela Jayawardene

Our combination for this Test match was pretty handy, I thought. We've got a good amount of variety with the left-arm pace of Chanaka Welegedara, and with Dilhara Fernando coming back after being injured in the first game. We've got the firepower, now we've got to create the opportunities. After reducing England to 22 for 3 on the first morning, we were disappointed that we let them go, and that afternoon session of 160 runs after tea was far too much. We need to handle those situations better next time, and get more disciplined about building pressure when we get them down

On a personal note, it was disappointing to leave Lord's without a third century in as many visits to the ground. I thought I batted really well at times and felt pretty confident, getting back into the groove of things, but England's bowlers are tough opponents, and in four innings I've had three good balls, and that's how the game goes I guess. I played a bad shot this afternoon, but I'm feeling confident. It's not the end of the world and the next challenge is the Test in Hampshire.

Before that game, we've got a three-day match against Essex in Chelmsford, when we'll bring a couple of new batsmen into the line-up to give them a hit. We'll probably rest some of the bowlers who had a big workload in this game as well. The guys have been playing a lot in the last three or four months, so a good break might help them.

But we have always enjoyed touring England. The atmosphere in the crowds is great, and I like their enthusiasm for pure cricket. It's also nice to be able to travel by bus rather than getting on endless flights. All of those things come into play and help us enjoy the experience. The weather has been good in London as well, and hopefully that will also be the case in Hampshire too.

But whatever happens, we'll always believe in ourselves. That is why we have been very consistent in the last ten years, whether it's Tests, ODIs or Twenty20s. We play with a lot of passion, we hate losing matches, and we've got a chance to come back into the series which is a great opportunity. We're 1-0 down, so we need to be positive and go for the kill. It's all to play for, and we're looking forward to it.

Mahela Jayawardene is former captain of Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | June 11, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Bismoy and Vidyashanker, I will tel you something, mahela has 2 centuries in 3 matches at Lords but Tendulkar dont have. Does that tell you something? ha ha ha ha hahahahaha :D

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    venkat.. i know y u hate mahela... u sill feel the pain of his hundred during finals.lol..one mans hatret would not make him a bad player mate.. well wait until we meet india again..

  • POSTED BY CricEshwar on | June 9, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    What is it about Jayawardhane and Sangakkara always talking about character. Has someone questioned theirs?

  • POSTED BY RecordHunter on | June 9, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @ Vidyashankar How many matches India won in England since 1930s.Pls accept that your team also not won consistently since beginning.You also does not have a good record to boast . Btw How do you respond when your team fails .We have seen how your ppl respond when your country loosing

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Srilanka is an overrated and hyped team in test cricket. They don't comen even close to competeing is SA,Aus and England. India used to be like that till late 90's. They had improved a lot after that. Also people like Mahela are purely subcontinent players. They can score only in Mumbai and Colombo. If there is some bounce on the pitch and if the fast bowlers are bowling they'll be like headless chicken

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Srilanka is an overrated and hyped team in test cricket. They don't comen even close to competeing is SA,Aus and England. India used to be like that till late 90's. They had improved a lot after that. Also people like Mahela are purely subcontinent players. They can score only in Mumbai and Colombo. If there is some bounce on the pitch and if the fast bowlers are bowling they'll be like headless chicken

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    @Nutcutlet-Your sence of humor is just hellerious!! I found your words laid on the comments forum not as more of Englismna's manner but as a typical Indain who just can't get things right....don't worry we Sri Lankan's know's one thing....The English learned Cricket while drininking Ceylon Tea" you ow us...ha ..ha..get that....

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Interesting write-up Mahela. Indeed yes, you guy proved what Sri Lankans can do. Hopefully Dilly will be available for the next match, failing which you'll have to carry the whole burden as Sanga is in no good form too. Keep up your good work, Mahela. May the triple gem bless you!

  • POSTED BY bismoy on | June 9, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Flat track bully like mahila and sangakara,,,,only know to score heavily in sub continent,,,,

    Eng should be anxious that india is coming and with famed batting like indian team ..series will go as 2-0 india win.

    Sachin ,shewag ,dravid ,laxman and gambhir all will hit 2 century each, with such flat track and mediocre english bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Who is crazy to drop Thilan Samaraweera after scoring 58 in Cardif ? He is one of the best 13 test batsmen in the world. Test cricket & one day cricket are quite apart. Opportunity must be given to all the reserves to play against Essex so that their form will be known for the selection, before the next test. Prasanna, too can be rested so that his keeping would be energetic or active along with Dilshan, Lakmal, Welagedara, Herath and Paranawithana / Dilhara (If Kaushalya de Silva is in the touring Party). Selection for the next test, must be based on recent form.

  • POSTED BY on | June 11, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Bismoy and Vidyashanker, I will tel you something, mahela has 2 centuries in 3 matches at Lords but Tendulkar dont have. Does that tell you something? ha ha ha ha hahahahaha :D

  • POSTED BY on | June 10, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    venkat.. i know y u hate mahela... u sill feel the pain of his hundred during finals.lol..one mans hatret would not make him a bad player mate.. well wait until we meet india again..

  • POSTED BY CricEshwar on | June 9, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    What is it about Jayawardhane and Sangakkara always talking about character. Has someone questioned theirs?

  • POSTED BY RecordHunter on | June 9, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @ Vidyashankar How many matches India won in England since 1930s.Pls accept that your team also not won consistently since beginning.You also does not have a good record to boast . Btw How do you respond when your team fails .We have seen how your ppl respond when your country loosing

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Srilanka is an overrated and hyped team in test cricket. They don't comen even close to competeing is SA,Aus and England. India used to be like that till late 90's. They had improved a lot after that. Also people like Mahela are purely subcontinent players. They can score only in Mumbai and Colombo. If there is some bounce on the pitch and if the fast bowlers are bowling they'll be like headless chicken

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Srilanka is an overrated and hyped team in test cricket. They don't comen even close to competeing is SA,Aus and England. India used to be like that till late 90's. They had improved a lot after that. Also people like Mahela are purely subcontinent players. They can score only in Mumbai and Colombo. If there is some bounce on the pitch and if the fast bowlers are bowling they'll be like headless chicken

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    @Nutcutlet-Your sence of humor is just hellerious!! I found your words laid on the comments forum not as more of Englismna's manner but as a typical Indain who just can't get things right....don't worry we Sri Lankan's know's one thing....The English learned Cricket while drininking Ceylon Tea" you ow us...ha ..ha..get that....

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Interesting write-up Mahela. Indeed yes, you guy proved what Sri Lankans can do. Hopefully Dilly will be available for the next match, failing which you'll have to carry the whole burden as Sanga is in no good form too. Keep up your good work, Mahela. May the triple gem bless you!

  • POSTED BY bismoy on | June 9, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Flat track bully like mahila and sangakara,,,,only know to score heavily in sub continent,,,,

    Eng should be anxious that india is coming and with famed batting like indian team ..series will go as 2-0 india win.

    Sachin ,shewag ,dravid ,laxman and gambhir all will hit 2 century each, with such flat track and mediocre english bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Who is crazy to drop Thilan Samaraweera after scoring 58 in Cardif ? He is one of the best 13 test batsmen in the world. Test cricket & one day cricket are quite apart. Opportunity must be given to all the reserves to play against Essex so that their form will be known for the selection, before the next test. Prasanna, too can be rested so that his keeping would be energetic or active along with Dilshan, Lakmal, Welagedara, Herath and Paranawithana / Dilhara (If Kaushalya de Silva is in the touring Party). Selection for the next test, must be based on recent form.

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | June 8, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    By "we" he means Dilshan :-)

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | June 8, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    @Aniruddha: as an Englishman, I find your response amusing - and it makes my point perfectly - clearly you mistook me for a Sri-lankan!Let me explain where I'm coming from. We have been given two eyes and when watching cricket you could say that one eye is for supporting your team (in my case, Surrey or England) and the other eye is for what I'll call wider appreciation - and that includes acknowledging the qualities of your opponents (thus I keenly look forward to seeing some of the great cricketers from India next month). I show my appreciation by displaying good manners and sincerely congratulating opponents when my team comes second, provided it has been a good contest with all concerned trying their utmost. Of course it is great when we win, but cricket, like life, does contain defeats too. It is ultimately a question of seeing the bigger picture (using both eyes!) and that is why the vast majority of cricket fans in India are regarded as one-eyed, I guess: a pity really.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | June 8, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    what does mahela trying to say here. seems he passed the A/L tests. :)

  • POSTED BY Agnar on | June 8, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Yes, you did pass the character or whatever. Go win the next match now.

  • POSTED BY hargreaves92 on | June 8, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    @Sachin7 I too am disappointed with the character of both wickets thus far in the game, especially the lack of spin after Swann ragging it square at Lord's last year against Bangladesh/Pakistan. However I wish to offer a couple of caveats. Firstly I don't think the bowling has been of a very good standard consistently from either side, and secondly it is worth bearing in mind that both pitches lost at least a day (more in Cardiff's case) due to rain and would thus be playing as day 4 pitches. It is also worth bearing in mind that for the majority of the Lord's test the overhead conditions weren't that 'English' in nature: days 1 and 2 were particularly sunny for June.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    Chandimal is a great player who made a hundred in difficult Indian conditions in his last ODI inning. But he has not given a chance since then. But Kapugedara the loser who made no runs for the whole chances he has given is given chances more than so much enough.

  • POSTED BY cyniket on | June 8, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    It was a test of character for sri lanka. they faced a similar situation to cardiff, without dishan. they lost sangakkara early, but didn't buckle and came through with flying colours. It may have been a fairly flat wicket (I think it wasn't as flat as some are saying), but england bowled some good balls in that second innings. I must say it is an absolute pleasure to watch jayawardene bat, his class is evident without looking at averages. It's a shame we don't see him in england more often.

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | June 8, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    @Sachin7..I don't why you think the wickets are flat in England or the general notion is that wickets all over the world are flat..Look for some Viv's (just happened to take his name as i am a big fan..King Viv) videos in Youtube mainly the england ones and look at the pitch ..they are all bone dry..Don't go by the media that keeps harping on 70's 80's pitches were great for bowling and in this day and age it's all walk in the park..Man is known for his nostalgia thats how we are you always want to go back to your childhood days is it not?..thats what these writers are too who are used to 70's and 80's cricket...I remember Richie saying once a great player now would have been a great player then real greats i mean ..i was philosophical in the end heck ya :)

  • POSTED BY voma on | June 8, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Sachin7 ,its not just about the pitches being flat mate .Its the bloody weather not giving us 5 days of good cricket . Im an England fan and i believe the lords test could of gone either way . I thought Sri Lanka played well and Dilshan is pure class , now i wonder if he has a english grandmother ?

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | June 8, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Sachin7 - Indian batsmen must be salivating about the flat wickets - with all their flat track bullies, they will go berserk!

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Without Dilshan, we need to take the opportunity and bring in Chamindal. Replace Samo with Thiramane or Silva. Perera for Maharoof and depending on the pitch switch Herath for Radiv or Mendis. Maybe even replace Dilhara with a spinner.

    So 2 spinners, Wella and Lakmal, backed up by Perera. Actually without Dilshan we need another spinner.

    What has happened to Angelo?

    Maybe Sanath is available (only joking)

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    @Sachin7 I'm afraid that flat wickets are an issue the world over at the moment both of these wickets have been too flat. A good test wicket should provide an even contest between bat and ball, that is becoming rarer and rarer now. For me flat wickets are the single biggest threat to test cricket. Administrators are leaning on groundsmen to provide a wicket that will give a full five days cricket, so they can sell tickets, they don't see the longer picture in which people stop coming to watch more and more drawn tests.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | June 8, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Great opening pair we have got now. Three double century partnerships on the tour so far. Shame Dilshan will be missing the next test. But if these guys can score runs on these green tops in early Summer, they can make runs anywhere. Many are harping on the bowling and giving nonsensical suggestions as usual (typically Sri lankan!). This is what we have got and there are no easy solutions. So, we should try to solve the solvable. Which is to rectify the batting. And that is to make sure that Sanga and Mahela score big runs - and the key point is that they CAN. It is SOLVABLE. If they do, England will have no chance against SL even in their own back yard. And when Eng visits SL, we will destroy them.

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | June 8, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    I don't know why cricinfo ask guys like Mahela and many to write article. We know what he will write even before reading it.

    SL Win = We bowled well praise some bowlers,batted well praise some batters,then personal contribution Eng Win = We will take some positives , praise bowlers and batters who did well , talk about personal contribution and if there is a next test match say that we will come back hard if the series needed to be drawn or if series is already lost then write about pride . Draw = you now know :) .This is crazy most of these writers write the same thing we cricket followers already know.

    Bring the American back who wrote the article "In Tendulkar Country" he was awesome..actually he wrote in ESPN :)

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | June 8, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    whoever says that Kulesekara is an asset is delusional. He lost us the World Cup and is a useless slow bowler that gets hammered. He just relives the pressure.

  • POSTED BY mrgupta on | June 8, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    Comon Mahela. U passed the test? What test? You were expected to save this test weren't you? Take out Dilshan's 193 and see what did the other batsmen do? How many 50+ scores after Dilshan? Just One! English batsmen scored 2 centuries and 7 half centuries in the match. You say you had tougher conditions than England when you batted, ya that's trues, you guys always have tough conditions others were just doing the easy work. You say you can take 20 Wickets? Have you managed it yet in this series? First test you took 10 and now 17, so total 27 in 2 completed test matches and that too when English players were going for the shots in their second innings. Be reasonable and accept the problems SL is having, what do you want to prove by saying you passed the test? Is SL the new Bangladesh who need to pass a test when they save a test against England?

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | June 8, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    Do not bluff Mahela,is this your tour goal to hang as dear life on the last innings?.We thought you came to win the series and not to show your true character hanging on to save the match

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Id go out on a limb and say drop samaraweera and bring in chandimal I think the guy has a good temperament.Also since the Rose Bowl is reported to be a turning pitch so id play randiv and herath since mendis seems horribly out of form.And Mahela Please buckle down and concentrate on your game frankly speaking you and sanga seems quite disinterested in the match.

  • POSTED BY Sachin7 on | June 8, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Its surprising to see such Flat wickets in England that too in back to back tests. Cardiff always is a suspect Flat wicket but Lords though it could get flat would give some assistance every now and then. Really surprising to see flat wickets and but anyways great for SL batsmen who can score runs atleast in these wickets and say aloud that they too scored in England. I know almost 99% of SL fans aren't going to accept this, but i ask the English fans to give your opinions about the pitch and it being so flat in both the matches.

  • POSTED BY Aniruddha1977 on | June 8, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    @NutCutlet.. waiting to see your "decent" comments again once Srilanka goes 2-0 down. Indians do not have such "great" followers like you because we are not used to losing in Aus, SA and Eng.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | June 8, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Mahela is right in that SL fought well. It was a gutsy performance in the final inning under a lot of pressure and a great performance by the openers in the first inning. It is also a moral victory for SL when England can't beat SL in these early season, seaming conditions. The concerns are Sanga's performance and Mahela's too to a great extent. Sanga for some reason seems distracted and lacking confidence. Mahela has some technical problems with his batting against high class fast bowling. BTW, let us stop blaming the IPL. Dilshan was at IPL too. Sure he played and extra practice game. But give me a break - is anybody suggesting that that extra game is making this much of a difference? No way! The bowling was not great but it wasn't horrible either. They did take 17 wickets after all. But more is expected, naturally.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    SL have to consider the performances of the players, against Essex, for the team selection, for the next test. By ignoring Welagedara for the 1st test, he proved that the selectors were wrong, by being the highest wicket taker for SL, in the 2nd test. That was after taking the highest number of wickets against Middlesex. Randiv also had been ignored even though he became the top scorer against British Lions on a green top. Generally, 7:4 combination is a must as SL middle order is very fragile. That is the view of Roy Dias, Michael Holding, etc. Angelo Mathews must prove by playing against Essex. Because, according to the statistics, he is far below Prasanna and has not scored a century even, in tests. Vaas plays division 2 in England and opportunities must be given for youngsters. SL must stop throwing away the wickets by giving fielding practice to the slip cordon of England, etc. SL must get a formidable lead on first innings, before thinking of winning in Hampshire.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    PASSED THE TEST? THOUGHT WE FAILED. its always easy to say nice things, the truth is, we suck.

    MAYBE WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE MORE ON IPL.

  • POSTED BY Y2SJ on | June 8, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    Is he writing about a different match?

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Mahela you batted brilliantly for your 26 Not out! great innings and that 49 you scored in the first innings was very fluent. You just keep telling yourself all is well.

  • POSTED BY KosalaDeSilva on | June 8, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    It's always nice to find something to cheer about. But we did we see that much,is it good cricket? If we took Dilshans batting out from sri lankan side it don't seems any thing there to feel good about. Talking about bowlers, did you see how they practice just before fifth day of the match ? Not even looking at the crease.Then as Bumble said , they managed well to do what they practice as they bowled 7 no bowls just in 40 mins of play. Here you talked about Vass is not fast enough. kept blocking playing him and what you got to replace him? Any one who can bowl to plan? All over the place bowling.It was pleasure to see Vass bowl. Batsman, searching for bowl .Only Dilshan was good. Saw some good shots form Prassana too.Pity he didn't show sharpness as he shown before with wicket keeping. Top order.They are really struggling and be honest with that.

    Hope Sri Lanka will sort out thigns and pull things together. If they don't call for Vass in to ODIs thats BIG, BIG question mark.

  • POSTED BY Ellis on | June 8, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    SL must stiffen their batting if they are to have any chance at the Rose Bowl. The tail is far too long. Maharoof has got to go and be replaced by a batsman or Thisara Perera who is a far better all-round cricketer. I would be tempted to play Mendis at the Rose Bowl and drop one of the quicks. Mahela is not batting as well as he can and is showing an old weakness outside the off stump. Sangakkara has yet to hit his straps but will no doubt do so soon. SL bowling is below Test class and will struggle to keep the pressure on England. Good to see SL hold their own at Lords and prove the amateur psychlogists and psychiatrists who predicted another collapse wrong. Perhaps a two hour period of madness in Cardiff will cost SL the series, but, there is still a lot to play for.

  • POSTED BY kalof123 on | June 8, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Mahela, I like to give few comments as a sri lankan spectator, Please try to follow batsmen like Aravinda. You must play as a resposible batsman. giving media annoucements is your habbit. But what we want is match winning innings.Not media breifings like this. Dilshan played a briliant innings on lords. But Mahela is giving some comments on him. Please think about your own batting.Sri lanka has a new captain.He will think about the team. Mahela has eliminated so much seniors from team. Vass, sanath and marvan were the players eliminated because of mahela. Vass said he is ready to play again. But Mahela doesnt like him coming. So continued with current fast bowlers. Its a shame. Mahela is not a genuine cricketer.He tries to be highlighted without leting others to shine. He wants to be hero all the time. That his attitude. He was given so much oppurtunity. I think he has more than 12 years of cricket with him. But still his attitude is same. I dont think him as a team player.

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | June 8, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Most of the cricketing nations do not have a good track record of winning series overseas against major nations consistently. We had the Australians and Windies being the exception until a few years ago. Neither SA, India, NZ, England along with SL do not have a great record. England are for sure now the No1 team having beaten the Aussies in their own backyard after 24 yrs. Lets not talk too much about winning matches overseas. First things first. Get the bowling department sorted out. Kulasekera would have been a great asset in English conditions and how about Nuwan Zoysa? These two have the experience. As soon as we had injury issues we should have gone in for them. Sanga and Mahela need to take a major part of the blame for not having prepared themselves along with the rest. Sure, the BCCI tells the SL Board what to do, being the poodle. Dilly has lead from the front. His strategy may be questioned, but not his commitment or application. Cardiff was a freak. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • POSTED BY rustyryan on | June 8, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Mahela is an empty vessel.

  • POSTED BY RavinduM on | June 8, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Kindda hopin that Mahela would fire at Lords but unfortunately he couldn't capitalize on the start from the 1st innings which denied the chance of getting a same what small lead against Eng. To win against Eng. SL need to have their top guns firing. With a question mark against Dilshan's place, Mahela, Sanga & Samaraweera should take the initiative to lead the batting unit and need to score at-least 2 hundreds which would seal the deal against Eng. Gotta give credits for the Eng. fans when its due..unlike any other country they clapped for the good shots (& standing elevation when Dilshan got out at 193) and showed great passion and exciting for the game, which is admirable. Hoping for a SL win in Rosebowl. Go Lions.

  • POSTED BY chandi69 on | June 8, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    Come on Mahela. Please stop giving excuses. You and Sanga are the real culprits of our team. Both of you think you guys are indisposable and that is why you do not care about the country and went and earned money by playing in the IPL and not coming with the team to England. Just look at your performance !! I really think that its because both you guys have been playing 20-20 cricket in the IPL and its very hard to adjust within a week or so to test cricket specially in England. If these matches were played in Sri lanka no issue. Just think of the shots both of you played to get out in this match. You could have been run out much earlier !! Its all the bed habits of 20-20 cricket. If both of you came to England with rest of the team, I am sure your bat would be talking without your mouth. Mahela, Country Comes First !! Not the IPL money !! Your old captain Arjuna is perfectly right in telling the IPL will kill the game of cricket. Please play for the country and not money

  • POSTED BY nwsk on | June 8, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    mahela no need to more talk we need only the win? what happan your. sanga & thilan scores. we need all 03 players 100 marks. without run no need to talk

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | June 8, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Reading this article from Mahela I wonder if I watched the same Lord's match that he is writing about(?). The posters on this page have said all that needs to be said about the more ludicrous parts of his piece. Having a optimistic outlook and determination to do better is great in a professional sportsperson but deluding yourself focusing on false positives is quite counterproductive. That should be left to failed (and failing) politicians and PR hucksters. There are real risk factors to be faced up to. The batting is brittle, the bowling quite innocuous most of the time and our once capable fielding has shown some decline in standards. Add to that Dilshan's injury, and there is every likelihood that we face some real threats of going down 2-0. A complete analysis (i.e. SWOT) looks at every aspect, not just the good bits. Best of luck to the Lankan Lions - we will need it.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | June 8, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    What a great ambassador Mahela is! Never less than courteous, highly articulate and a pleasure to watch when on form. He is vital to S-L's resurgence and with Dilshan 99% likely to miss the 3rd test (despite what Mahela says here), S-L need him to fire and inspire his side. It is good to hear that he enjoys playing in England and thinks that the crowds are enthusiastic for pure cricket. You're right, Mahela, that why we watch cricket in preference to other team games. If you score a century at the Rosebowl, the crowd will rise as one to salute you. Any chance you can persuade Indian/ Pakistani supporters to behave as true fair-minded cricket fans? They have much to learn!

  • POSTED BY HILMY10730603 on | June 8, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    It is nice that Mahela enters regularly to share his thoughts, to share where Sri Lanka stands at presents and what players think in a highly professional manner. More and more Sri Lankans should come out to feed in a professional manner. I can remember Sangakkara did in the past. But, I think both should continue. Although our batting is strong since 1996, our bowling has not clicked as a unit ever since Vaas and Murali were separated. None of the bowlers regularly tested English batsmen with dangerous bouncers. Did not shown lateral movement. When a bowler found an edge, the slipped had dropped it. It is our maximum level or can our bowlers go further ahead. If Dilshan is not playing at Rowe Bowl, can we repeat the same victory Mahela did in 2006 with Murali. Let us hope our boys repeat the same. Mahela, keep up your thoughts sharing globally.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    This was not a collective team effore. Bowling doesn't seem to fire as it use to be.Welagedara lakmal combination with Dilhara seem to be alright but Dilhara doesn't seem to lead the attack(To be honest he is not a leading bowler, more like supporting bowler to Malinga and vass even before.). I think Dilshan would prefer to have Randive instead of Maharoof. But the fact of the matter remains that Mahela and Sanga were culprits of not getting the lead we deserved with Dishans batting. We hope for the sake of Sri lanken cricket (which is financially broke) we could win the final game.

  • POSTED BY cricfan100 on | June 8, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Mahela stop giving excuses for your dismissals. You looked so weak outside the offstump. If you had known about these conditions why didn't you come early for practice matches. you have no right even to talk about our batting performance as you and sanga did absolutely nothing. Had it not been for dilshan it could have been another cardiff easily. And i think sanga should be replaced by chandimal, not only for his bad irresponsible batting but also as a punishment for his lack of commitment towards national duties. so at least in the years to come so called seniors will think twice before they take such selfish decisions. And mahela you let us down when we needed you the most in the first innings where we could have easily got at least a lead of 100 runs and you just got out, why don't you write about that as well in your article. And by writing these articles you are trying to make us fool and escape from all the criticism without facing them.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | June 8, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Yes the team did well after Cardiff and would be the happier team at Lords and yes the batters did well but Mahela, Sanga and Thilan have been a major dissopoinment in two crunch games. They struggled in overcast conditions and Mahela was lucky to make 40 in the first innings but these three are supposed to carry the batting and have done anything but that thus far! Sanga's shot on the fifth day was appauling when your trying to save a test and Mahela just didnt cover the line well enough - again trying to save a test here! The bowling is obviously weak and its up to the batters to do the job and thus far the senior pro's of line up have let the side down badly. Thanks to Dilshan, Parana and Prasanna they have managed 400+ in two innings. I feel the bowlers dont make the batsman play enough early then there is some life in the wicket.

  • POSTED BY evenflow_1990 on | June 8, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    less talk, more walk mahela. i want to see at least one of yourself, sanga and samaraweera hit centuries. it is embarrassing that players of such quality are failing repeatedly while dilshan, a even with injuries, can score 193 at a strike of greater than 70.

  • POSTED BY Mash3009 on | June 8, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Nice positive article Mahela! Hope to see a another classic ton constructed through your blade in Hampshire. Hope Dilshan's thumb heals up soon. Good luck to the guys and look forward to a drawn series!

  • POSTED BY rsrinath on | June 8, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    england is a good team,but if srilanka play with their full potential and spirit england will come nowhere near them.all the best team srilanka for final test match.i have a gut feeling that sanga and mahela will win it for srilanka.best wishes from india(a subcontinental cricket fan)

  • POSTED BY skidmarks on | June 8, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    don't worry about IPL because after you retire cricinfo should hire you

  • POSTED BY howizzat on | June 8, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Srilankans are lions at their own den, otherwise there is a big question mark.

  • POSTED BY crickstats on | June 8, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    IPL did make its impact, I think teams will need at least 3 or 4 First Class matches before going for the 1st test, SLC should have asked for more, then our batters would have been ready. I think Sanga and Mahela struggled mainly because they played too much T20 in IPL, As for Dilshan, his normal game is quite similar to T20, but Mahela and Sanga are too good players to fail in 4 innings, when youngsters like Paranavitane and Prasanna can bat the way they did.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | June 8, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    "Our batting line-up is not the worst in the world and we're not going to crumble day in and day out like we did in Cardiff. " However after being 200 odd for none we lost 10 for 270 odd and more importantly, after being 370 for 2 we lost 8 for 109 or 7 for 85. That is Cardiffish if u like :) It was the fear of losing England had that caused the draw MAHELA ! The fact remains we miss Angie at 6 and sadly Mahroof is no Batting allrounder and neither is Thisara for that matter. PJ has shown spunk at 6 despite all the criticism and calls for his head and Sanga to keep or to be replaced by Chandimal. The top guns have been disappointing and have done nothing to enhance their batting averages, despite being among the top 10 batters in the world right now. Para on the other hand has done wonders at the top, which should give hope to the next 10 of a good start.

  • POSTED BY Marliya_the_Analyst on | June 8, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    A confident article & piece by Mahela… Well done boys, you did well as a team despite injury sidelining Dilshan. However, honestly this has to be answered by Mahela & the SL Team Management. "Can Sri Lanka dismantle England & take 20 English Wickets @ the Rose Bowl Test match" which is the decider and last chance to draw the series. Sri Lanka has to Win or else succumb & surrender to England even if we managed to draw that match. It is very eminent that SL bowling lacks the Firepower & Sting to take 20 English wickets. Even the English Tail is hammering the SL bowling attack & showing resilience. This is to the SL Cricket Board, "Please come up with a balanced Team & Aggressive Team Plan" to Win, I repeat Win the Rose Bowl Test Match. Thank you.

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  • POSTED BY Marliya_the_Analyst on | June 8, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    A confident article & piece by Mahela… Well done boys, you did well as a team despite injury sidelining Dilshan. However, honestly this has to be answered by Mahela & the SL Team Management. "Can Sri Lanka dismantle England & take 20 English Wickets @ the Rose Bowl Test match" which is the decider and last chance to draw the series. Sri Lanka has to Win or else succumb & surrender to England even if we managed to draw that match. It is very eminent that SL bowling lacks the Firepower & Sting to take 20 English wickets. Even the English Tail is hammering the SL bowling attack & showing resilience. This is to the SL Cricket Board, "Please come up with a balanced Team & Aggressive Team Plan" to Win, I repeat Win the Rose Bowl Test Match. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | June 8, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    "Our batting line-up is not the worst in the world and we're not going to crumble day in and day out like we did in Cardiff. " However after being 200 odd for none we lost 10 for 270 odd and more importantly, after being 370 for 2 we lost 8 for 109 or 7 for 85. That is Cardiffish if u like :) It was the fear of losing England had that caused the draw MAHELA ! The fact remains we miss Angie at 6 and sadly Mahroof is no Batting allrounder and neither is Thisara for that matter. PJ has shown spunk at 6 despite all the criticism and calls for his head and Sanga to keep or to be replaced by Chandimal. The top guns have been disappointing and have done nothing to enhance their batting averages, despite being among the top 10 batters in the world right now. Para on the other hand has done wonders at the top, which should give hope to the next 10 of a good start.

  • POSTED BY crickstats on | June 8, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    IPL did make its impact, I think teams will need at least 3 or 4 First Class matches before going for the 1st test, SLC should have asked for more, then our batters would have been ready. I think Sanga and Mahela struggled mainly because they played too much T20 in IPL, As for Dilshan, his normal game is quite similar to T20, but Mahela and Sanga are too good players to fail in 4 innings, when youngsters like Paranavitane and Prasanna can bat the way they did.

  • POSTED BY howizzat on | June 8, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Srilankans are lions at their own den, otherwise there is a big question mark.

  • POSTED BY skidmarks on | June 8, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    don't worry about IPL because after you retire cricinfo should hire you

  • POSTED BY rsrinath on | June 8, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    england is a good team,but if srilanka play with their full potential and spirit england will come nowhere near them.all the best team srilanka for final test match.i have a gut feeling that sanga and mahela will win it for srilanka.best wishes from india(a subcontinental cricket fan)

  • POSTED BY Mash3009 on | June 8, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Nice positive article Mahela! Hope to see a another classic ton constructed through your blade in Hampshire. Hope Dilshan's thumb heals up soon. Good luck to the guys and look forward to a drawn series!

  • POSTED BY evenflow_1990 on | June 8, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    less talk, more walk mahela. i want to see at least one of yourself, sanga and samaraweera hit centuries. it is embarrassing that players of such quality are failing repeatedly while dilshan, a even with injuries, can score 193 at a strike of greater than 70.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | June 8, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Yes the team did well after Cardiff and would be the happier team at Lords and yes the batters did well but Mahela, Sanga and Thilan have been a major dissopoinment in two crunch games. They struggled in overcast conditions and Mahela was lucky to make 40 in the first innings but these three are supposed to carry the batting and have done anything but that thus far! Sanga's shot on the fifth day was appauling when your trying to save a test and Mahela just didnt cover the line well enough - again trying to save a test here! The bowling is obviously weak and its up to the batters to do the job and thus far the senior pro's of line up have let the side down badly. Thanks to Dilshan, Parana and Prasanna they have managed 400+ in two innings. I feel the bowlers dont make the batsman play enough early then there is some life in the wicket.

  • POSTED BY cricfan100 on | June 8, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Mahela stop giving excuses for your dismissals. You looked so weak outside the offstump. If you had known about these conditions why didn't you come early for practice matches. you have no right even to talk about our batting performance as you and sanga did absolutely nothing. Had it not been for dilshan it could have been another cardiff easily. And i think sanga should be replaced by chandimal, not only for his bad irresponsible batting but also as a punishment for his lack of commitment towards national duties. so at least in the years to come so called seniors will think twice before they take such selfish decisions. And mahela you let us down when we needed you the most in the first innings where we could have easily got at least a lead of 100 runs and you just got out, why don't you write about that as well in your article. And by writing these articles you are trying to make us fool and escape from all the criticism without facing them.