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Sri Lanka in Australia, 2012-13

Regeneration heralded by Thirimanne

A century for Lahiru Thirimanne in Adelaide was the latest evidence of a welcome regeneration in Sri Lanka's batting

Daniel Brettig

January 14, 2013

Comments: 64 | Text size: A | A

Lahiru Thirimanne hit the winning runs and completed his century, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Adelaide, January 13, 2013
Lahiru Thirimanne and Kushal Perera celebrate success down under © Getty Images
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Some images stick more readily in the mind than others. Among this summer's most indelible sights have been an exhausted and exasperated Peter Siddle on his haunches in Adelaide, Ricky Ponting bowing graciously to the WACA ground at the end of his Test career, and Michael Hussey barely able to contain his glee when carried from the SCG by Siddle and Mitchell Johnson at the conclusion of his.

To these may now be added an embrace by two young Sri Lankan cricketers upon the completion of the visitors' eight-wicket hiding of Australia at Adelaide Oval. Lahiru Thirimanne and Kushal Perera completed the task with panache and professionalism, but their spontaneous outburst of joy upon reaching the target demonstrated how much it meant to take their team to a first win of the tour.

Thirimanne had the additional pleasure of reaching a century with the winning boundary, and his fluency on a pitch no batsman found easy to negotiate was the latest episode in the most promising subplot of Sri Lanka's visit down under.

As Australia shuffle their players strenuously while looking ahead to future assignments, it is arguable that the stronger signs of regeneration are evident on the opposing side. Quietly, but notably, Sri Lanka's batting is showing evidence of new and genuine growth, of the kind that has eluded the nation's cricket team for a generation.

At the start of the tour, familiar concerns were raised about the fragility of the talent beneath Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They were raised in pitch at the moment Sangakkara's hand was shattered by Johnson at the MCG. But following the contributions of a trio of young batsmen over the Sydney Test and so far in the ODI series, those voices of doubt are losing their edge.

None of Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne are entirely new faces. All had played for their country before this tour, with varying degrees of success. In Chandimal's case it has been a source of curiosity for some time why he had not yet been granted a more permanent place in the Test team; his composure at the crease and with the gloves when replacing the injured Sangakkara in Sydney certainly indicated a sate of readiness. Karunaratne is the more recent addition to the national squad, and he emerged from the Test series having learned plenty of lessons, putting them into practice with a refined 85 at the SCG.

In terms of international exposure, Thirimanne is somewhere in between the other two, having made his Test debut in England in 2011 and his ODI bow the year before. In and out of the national team ever since, he only joined this tour as a reinforcement after the string of injuries suffered during an ignominious defeat in Melbourne. Nonetheless, the Australians had reason to respect Thirimanne even before his flight landed in Sydney ahead of the third Test.

His first encounter with them had been in a tour match when Michael Clarke's team visited Sri Lanka before the 2011-12 summer, and a doughty second innings century at P Sara Oval demonstrated a neat technique and collected temperament that appeared likely to serve him well in the future. A Test match appearance later on the same tour was less notable, but even then Thirimanne showed a capacity to stick to the crease, seeing off 79 deliveries before Siddle pierced his defence on the 80th.

Runs at home are a great thing for any batsman, but to make them overseas in unfamiliar climes is to suggest that there is enough vitality and resourcefulness within to succeed anywhere. Thirimanne knew this when he shrugged off jetlag while walking to the centre of the SCG, and against an Australian pace attack hungry for a rapid conclusion to the series his 91 ensured the tourists would stay afloat for far longer than they had managed in Melbourne. A source of frustration to Thirimanne for its conclusion before a century was reached, that innings was to be doubly unfulfilling when Australia ultimately pressed on to inflict a five-wicket defeat.

Thirmanne's strokeplay is considered rather than limited, for he is able to manoeuvre the ball to most parts of the ground, and at times can unfurl a drive to please those who have watched plenty of similar shots by his seniors

All that was in Thirimanne's mind when he set about chasing a paltry target in Adelaide. He walked to the wicket at the fall of Upul Tharanga - who increasingly carries the haunted air of a talent unfulfilled - in the first over of the pursuit, but aided by a composed Tillakaratne Dilshan set about closing in on the required runs. Thirmanne's strokeplay is considered rather than limited, for he is able to manoeuvre the ball to most parts of the ground, and at times can unfurl a drive to please those who have watched plenty of similar shots by his seniors. Most importantly he seems to have found the ability to adjust his batting to the circumstances, and now possesses most gears on the continuum from stonewall to sprint.

Dilshan's departure, 34 runs short, moved Jayawardene to send in Perera, who quickly showed his own shotmaking talent with a six swung to square leg and a coruscating drive to the cover fence from a nonplussed Xavier Doherty. But he reined himself in from there to allow Thirimanne a chance to make the century that eluded him in Sydney. "Sydney Test, after the match I thought I could have got a century," Thirmanne said afterwards. "So that was in my mind when I was 90, so I tried to keep my head still and play along the ground. After that Kushal helped me a lot to score the hundred."

Having levelled the series, Perera and Thirimanne savoured the victory with real feeling, for it had been as hard earned as it was deserved. The Sri Lankan win in Adelaide may prove to be a key moment on this tour. Moreover, this tour may prove a turning point in Sri Lankan batting. In Thirimanne, Chandimal and Karunaratne, there is plenty of reason to hope.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by SamRoy on (January 17, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

There are many young talented players in SL especially in batting. The bowling as always looks a bit out of depth except for a 3-4 year period when they had Malinga, Murali and Vaas. Any way, all the younger generation cricketers Mathews, Thissera Perera, Chandimal, Thirimanne, Karunaratne and Kushal Silva seem to be very talented. So, I expect a good future for SL cricket and seeing good young cricketers have always excited me.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 17, 2013, 2:38 GMT)

World knows that the reckless hitter always has tendency to boost confidence of a good bowling attack, these jokers have been continuing with such batters that can't middle the ball nor stroke the ball all along the ground when it really matters most, particularly on the leg-side. The Jokers have always hated batters that have proper control over their batting, It is due to this very reason the bats the class of Dias, Madugalle, M'nama, Hashan, A'pattu, (S'weera),… were forced to retire early than they'd have been, whereas reckless hitters with no control over their stroke play were allowed to continue with 500-600 Internationals to their credit and thus SL became very unpredictable team by now. A test team needs batters of the class of Young Dravid, T'dulkar, A'taire Cooke, Trott,Amla, Bell,.. that have total control over their stroke play but not blind hitters. Desipte these henchmen's poor performances out of the Country they the J&Ps may continue with them till the next WC.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 17, 2013, 2:38 GMT)

The Game has been played continuously since 1830s. therefore there're always enough talent of quality, the only lapse is that the J&Ps in office for the last 25 years have been very much ignorant of the Game and certain envious minded persons too have been in the process of trying to make a game (which isn't suited for Asians) popular forcibly, with the help of the principals of all big schools and together with certain media personnel, for the last 20 years. Mostly due to this very reason there is a shortage of talented big-made fast bowlers. By the way one of the 3 seniors was dropped for the tour of Zimbabwe in Nov 2008 & that of B'desh Jan 2009 for his poor performances up to that time as a middle-order batter(however he got back into the Team somehow). and these type of fleet-footed reckless risky stroke makers that offer 2-3 straight forward chances to score a 50, have always been given annoying recognition and employed as front-liners. Though the whole Cricketing (2 B CNTD)

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 16, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

@Sakthiivel. Chandimal is not a flop. He scored a half century in the last ODI and the 3rd test match. The reason why he failed after the CB series is because he is very poor in subcontinent wickets. I beleive he can improve that as he will play most of his matches in the subcontinent. But outside the subcontinent he is very effective. You can check his stats.

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (January 16, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

@miles100, totally agree with you. Great way to go about in doing both things at once, wining games plus nurturing the new talent for future. Fantastic strategy that many team managers do not seem to consider.

Posted by Sakthiivel on (January 16, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

Whenever we sawa post like this, that particular player will flop immediately. Hope it wasn't a fluke. Saw the same with Dinesh chandimal, Kapu etc... Now all SL fans will say I saw Aravinda in Thirimanne, Thirimanne resembles Arjuna bla bla bla

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (January 16, 2013, 11:51 GMT)

t is clearly evident that 3 veterans' days are numbered when we see the brave performance of the youngsters. Sanga's injury is a blessing in disguise. Mahela should take a call on his ODI career since he's not effective on seaming wickets anymore. Sanga & Dilshan may have a couple of years left in ODIs but I don't know how helpful it would be for the 2015 WC in AUZ and NZ since their reflexes not getting any faster. We never imagined that we would see players like Aravinda or Captains like Arjuna anymore but Sanga and Mahela proved that it was a myth. Similarly young guns will prove that they could replace Sanga and Mahela in time to come. Sanga and Mahela didn't become legends over night. Therefore it's high time to pass the baton to players like Anji, Lahiru, Chandimal, Akhila, Kushal and Dimuth before it is too late.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 15, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

Thirimanna reminds me of Asanka Gurusinghe, the BEST number three SL had at that time... I think it will be good if Thirimanna can be the permanent solution for SLs no. 3 problem. Ideally a no. 3 should be the wall so that other explosives can bat around him.... But surely Tharanga has to make way to Dimuth So that SL can groom him for the 2015 WC.... Y can't SL find a explosive young batter who can bowl a bit like Sanath J...

Posted by ajithabey on (January 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

Congrats SL for finally getting your act together.We all savour the victory but still a long way to go.Karunaratne must be persisted with as an opener in all forms of cricket without confining to tests only.Atleast his foot movement looks better than Tharanga against the moving ball.SL should not carry any passengers in the team which demotivates the rest of the team. I think herath should play in the crucial 3rd match in brisbane now that the aussie stalwarts are back to strenthen the SL spin dept.Good Luck SL this is your chance to go ahead in the series.

Posted by Kavum on (January 15, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Thirimanne: the man for the ugly innings. Just like Gura in days of yore, a streaky edge through the slips, a lucky nick past the leg stump, an occasional burst of aggression and a sizeable contribution to the team's cause. Very few classic Kodak moments. When I say ugly, I mean it in the best possible way. Workmanlike and not flashy - no lovely Marvan drives, Mahela late cuts or Sanga's caresses between cover and extra. Thirimanne, like Gura before him, is a solid cricketer. What SL would be advised to do is to persevere with

Posted by Udendra on (January 15, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

really disappointed to see how Chandimal was treated. especially, after his magnificent overseas record! Kushal Perera should wicket-keep in ODIs, so that Chandimal can be a specialist batter.

Posted by trav696 on (January 15, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

@Darkmanx12155, I completely agree with u. Tharanga just isn't good enough to be an opening batsman. Even if he moves down to No. 6 or 7, he can't strike the ball well at all either. Why can't the selectors make Karunaratne open with Dilshan from now on??? I'm not so sure about Bhanuka Rajapakse because Karunaratne looks a much better player than him and his averages are also better than Bhanuka. Hope that Sri Lanka are on the way to producing some genuinely good fast bowlers for the future because SL basically look set in the batting department. Another thing is that SL bowlers, whether they bowl at 140kph+ or 125kmh+ lack aggression when they bowl... There is no intimidation; if they get hit for a 4 or 6, they smile and walk back to their run up. Other countries like Aus, South Africa, Eng, etc get in the batsman's face. SL should try that and see how it goes ;)

Posted by ashguru123 on (January 15, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

my top XL is kushal perera,dilshan,mahela,thirimanne,mathews,chandimal,J mendis,kulasekara or perera,malinga and herath

this is a best team...

Posted by DilumSL on (January 15, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

I do not understand why people think Bhanuka should be in the team. what has he done recently? and he is not a good fielder as well. Of course Angelo Perera is a telented player he should have included in this series as well. They say Lahiru is next Sanga and Chandimal is next Mahela Munaweera is next Dilshan etc.. but we missing something Chandimal, Thirimanne both are already in the squad. As people say Lahiru will be Sanga and Chandimal will be Mahela. Who will replace Those players. Anyway I don't think that SL will struggle after Sanga, Mahela n Dilshan retires. SL have Lot of good Batsmen. But What about our bowling. Spin bowling is ok. But good fast Bowlers are very rare. Eranga and Kumara n Thisara looks promising but they are not threatening as Malinga or Kule. Both Lakmal and Pradeep has lot to learn. So It's better to try some new fast bowlers. just like Aussies

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 15, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

Oh c'mon guys.... Good job done by Thirimanne... Credit to the man... BUT can anyone PLEASE tell me Y Tharanga is still in the team???? Just give me one good reason Y????? He is in the team as a specialist batsmen.. not even a super fielder.. If he constantly fails to do his job, Y can't the selectors give a chance to a young fella like Dimuth or Banuka Rajapakse???? Am I the only one feeling that Tharanga is a burden to the team and he is just a walking wicket so SL is playing only 10 instead of 11????

Posted by KingOwl on (January 15, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

To those who are arguing about Mathews: The guy has a test batting average of 40. That is a great average for a young guy who is an all rounder. His bowling in test cricket is limited, due to injury problems, but he can still bowl well in one day and T20's. So, his potential is indisputable. Is he going to be a great captain. Now, that is a different question. I don't think he is tough enough. I like those who are supremely confident, guys like Arjuna, who inherently believe in their superiority. But it is hard to find such people, unfortunately. In the absence of a better person, I am hoping that Mathews will succeed.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

For on thing I don't understand why people have all this hype about Nuwan Pradeep his First class record is atrocious along with Suranga Lakmal. Going back to Pradeep 67 wickets in 41 matches is so bad, but you have people like Kasun Madushanka who has played 11 matches and has 40 WICKETS with an average of 22.20, and no one knows or says anything. I understand that hes not tested, and he needs more games under his belt before we can make judgement, but COME ON. In the spin department we have akila, he has good control, but all i can say to that is Dulanjana Mendis and Malinda Pushpakumar their records speak for themselves. We have a lot of dedicated consistent cricketers in Sri Lanka but we look for anomalies who does not perform consistently. Too bad really.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

@shanepe- You are talking utter rubbish.Mathews have to do well in Tests but he is one of the best in the world in ODIs..He is wonderful fielder and a good ODI bowler as well didn`t u watch last match ? + that,one of the best finishers..He averages 35+ and his strike rate is 85%+ which is really good in Sri Lanka (late overs in Sri Lanka are lot harder to bat than anywhere else)..We don`t need all youngsers at once..1st step is to let Chandimal , Lahiru and Dimuth play every match while Mahela and Sanga are guiding them..

Posted by shanepe2003 on (January 14, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

@ Dian007 __ Mate answer is very simple, u keep on talking about 2 matches he won the game, do u kw he has played 87 matches? I'm talking about other 85. I do understand u cant win every match or perform every match but if u take a look at a legend like ST Jayasuriya his win ratio is 3 in 1. Now what about AB Mathews ratio 45 in 1 ?.... Lets not talk about his pull shot ability cos it would be like U R clutching on straws if you haven't watch 1st test against AUS in Hobart I recommend u to watch @ least highlights. He almost broke his elbow to M. Starc barrage of bouncers. And have a look at his 2nd test (MELB) 2nd innings dismissal to a pull shot worst ever pull shot u ever seen on a so call top class batsman. again u r clutching on straws. Need to watch cricket before u coment!!!

Posted by perl57 on (January 14, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Oz should check if Thirimanne has left the runner's crease before bowler finished his action. Notoriously famous for it, Thirimanne is definitely a good batsmen. His inability to score boundaries when needed makes up with his singles. He is not a great man to look for on fast scoring pitches as he does not have the ability to hit sixes and fours at a constant pace.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Karuatne looks average, Thirimane has potntial but has barely played, Chandimal is definitely the future, with the retirements of Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Samaraweera in the not to distant future sri lanka may struggle

Posted by sampi72 on (January 14, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Thirimanne showed he is ready to take over the responsibility of Sanga...Chandimal always showed he is ready for Mahela....The man who is capable to taken over the responsibility Thilakarathne Dilshan is Dilshan Munaweera...Selectors must give him more chances to establish himself in international level ....and this is time to try out Akila dhanajaya for Ajantha Mendis....Once big 4 retired (Dil<sanga,MJ,Mali) ODI team should be 1.Munaweera 2.Dimuth or Bhanuka 3,Thirimanne 4.Chandimal 5.Angelo 6.Kusal Janith 7.Jeewan 8Thisara 9.Kule 10 Eranga 11Akila dhanajaya....alternativly we can use Kusal janith as an opener to give big hitting Angelo Perea a chance to play at number 6..

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

Dilshan, Mahela and Sangakkara all three should retire which would leave SL with a totally new and young side. Then SLC must start building a team towards the 2015 World Cup. If those 3 stayed till the next WC they would be close to 40 which is utter nonsense. For all their worth none of them showed any maturity or seniority material when batting during the test matches except for Dilshan with his century in the first inning at Hobart. Need to give Dimuth Karunarathna the opening slot with Tharanga/Munaweera. My future ODI team is

1. Tharanga/Munaweera/Karunarathna 2. Thirimanna 3. Dinesh Chandimal 4. Kapugedara/Bhanuka Rajapaksa 5. Angelo Mathews 6. Jeevan Mendis 7. Thisara Perera 8. Nuwan Kulasekara/Shaminda Eranga 9. Ajantha Mendis/Akila Dananjaya/Suraj Randeev/ Sachithra Senanayaka 10. Lasith Malinga 11. Suranga Lakmal/Nuwan Pradeep

Team changes according to different conditions.

Posted by IanJF on (January 14, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

With Bangladesh & Zimbabwe tours on the cards for 2013, ideal for SL to do some good rotation. Banuka Rajapakse for Upul Tharanga (in ODIs) and for Dilshan (in Test), Angelo Perera for Mahela (in ODIs) and for Samaraweera (in Test). And sadly Prassana Jayawardene has to make way for Chandimal on a "Permanent basis" ! (although PJ is still a world class WK, he cant make up for it w/the batting talent that Chandimal possesses). Kusal Janith should start from T20 and its best that by 2013 Sanga skips the T20 format to brighten he's Test prospects of 12,000-13,000 runs

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

Sri Lanka should play more Test Cricket and make more rooms for new generation like Thirimanne , Chandimal, Thisara , Akila ect. All of them must be permanent members of the team in all 3 formats . SL will have to face some tough time in the near future when Mahela , Sanga and Dilshan retire from the battle field ... If Sri Lanka is ready to go ahead without POLITICS .. everything will come right .. and these emerging players will have a bright future...

Posted by jerryman on (January 14, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Hopefully our senior players take a lead from Mike Hussey and retire from all formats ASAP . Let the younger players get valuable experience now , especially on all overseas tours . The seniors can just concentrate on IPL for now . Thanks for your contributions , but learn the graceful art of leaving , whilst in their peak and not to be remembered like Sanath/Tendulkar laboring on .. Will be nice to see the younger generation blend in .. especially Chandimal, Thirimanne , Angelo Perera , Akila .. it will be for the betterment of SL cricket .. time to move on..

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Hope this is a wake-up call for Sri Lankan selectors who stick with the 'seniors' even when they are woefully out of form. It is about time Sri Lanka gave chances to hundreds of good young cricketers just waiting to be given a chance. Thirimanne, Karunaratne, Akila Dananjaya, Kushal Perera, Jeevan Mendis and Chandimal have performed consistently, much better than the seniors.

Posted by SLMaster on (January 14, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Only problem is about these dreams are only to be shattered by ridicculous SL cricket board. They have no clue what is happening and how to run SLC.

Posted by SL_kamal on (January 14, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

Good article Daniel. I strongly agree with you in saying "this tour may prove a turning point in Sri Lankan batting". I like the way they(seniors and the selectors) look after these youngsters like Chandimal, Thirimanne, Karunaratne and Akila Danajaya. They need to take care of Ajantha Mendis, Upul Tharanga and the young phase bowlers like Lakmal, Eranga and Pradeep too.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

I was really disheartened by SL defeats down under. Under Imran Khan Waseen and Waqar Pakistan team used to be that carried the never die attitude and for a while it seems that team was the only one that had that attitude on the field. Sadly to see them lose the World Cup and now defeat after defeat in Australia was really disheartening to see and one could feel the pain of Mahela. Sri Lankans are best ambassadors of the game sub continent and fine gentleman as exemplified by Sanga and Mahela. I am so happy the future of SL cricket is still bright.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

Sometimes I feel why dont we drop Tharanga and introduce Bhanuka Rajapakse into the team .He's going to get so much better and it's good to give him a chance young :)

Posted by miles100 on (January 14, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Sinhaya,If a batsmen is brought to the SL side for the first time after age 22-23 yrs of age as debutante later in their career,they find it hard to become match winners consistently.This is because SL batsmen perform well if transitioned from school cricket to the national side than over 3 years of club cricket to national side.This is not the case for for AU because they have a very solid internal cricket structure and they can debut even at the age 35. So players like Banuka,Angelo Perera,Sachitra will be late comers(Over 23's) and there is a possibility that they will not be consistent at the international level. So if we are suggesting players for the team who are debutantes over 22-23's,no matter how good the player is there is a possibilty that they may struggle for consistancy.SL batsmen are active enough at age 19 to start international cricket.Ex:Arjuna,Aravinda,Kalu,Sanath,Vaas,Murali,Dinesh,Lahiru, Mahela,Dilshan,Sanga,Malinga all joined at age 18-22 yrs.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

A century is a century..why not to read much. It comes against Aussies in their homeland.Encouragement is the word for these youngsters. You always compile your first few runs against far ordinary opponents and then gradually becomes mature and confident of handling the biggies. So far so good for some of these. If you miss out a century you make it a point to score one soon. That's where the beauty is and reflects an intention to perform and belong to a new level above. Very happy for this young brigade. All countries playing cricket will take an element of pride when new legs sprint that way. Sri Lankan cricket should blossom and New Zealand cricket should blossom for world cricket to smile. As an Indian I am happy for them and expect a lot in the future. Its always exciting to see some new competitors break the shackles and roar loud. Be they from any cricketing country then.

Posted by Busie1979 on (January 14, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

Lets not get carried away. A good performance or two does not make a seasoned international cricketer. The only guy I can say with confidence is going to be a superstar is Chandimal. It was crazy he was not in the test team until Sangakarra was injured. The other two are maybes, but have a bit of work to do to convince me that they will kick on. Most likely scenario is they will hang around in the international arena without making a genuine sustained impact, hovering around a test average of 40 or so.

Posted by Lara4life501 on (January 14, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

@theguywhoistooafraidtoposthisID-If Australia's 2nd team is a grade team...what does that then say about the Sri Lankan first team...Not a Lot!!!Think before you type next time...

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

I was at the SCG Test and saw Thiramanne score his 91 under pressure, and I was very impressed. He has a sound defence, is a clean hitter, and he knows how to run singles and rotate the strike (something Mathews doesn't don't do well yet). Best of all he also has a fantastic temperament for someone aged 23. The SL selectors should find him a permanent place in the ODI or test team and watch him develop.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 14, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

@Ramesh Dharshana Perera, it is shocking that Sanga never thinks about others realizing that T20 is not his game. In T20s by the time he settles in, game is almost lost and gone. Just recall the T20 finals?? If Sanga and Mahela are so crazy about IPL, our board should have had the guts to give youngsters the chance like last year when we culled off the 3rd test against England due to IPL. Thirimanne and Chandimal will boost their ODI confidence to the maximum this year, but sadly not in tests as we wont get any good tests until we play Pakistan in December this year. PATHETIC!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

One half expected the spate of injuries was a blessing in disguise and it has been vindicated. So what if it's over OZ B? At least they get the experience and the chance to prove themselves. One also likes the look of Thirimanne.He exudes maturity and confidence beyond his years with a look of calm professionalism. Coupled with his brilliant fielding, the ability to turn the arm over for a couple of overs and style reminiscent of Sanga, he could go a long way and is probably good captaincy material.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

Mind you, there's a lot to be said of not throwing young players learning their craft into the maelstrom of being a modern, professional Test cricketer. First Class cricket, other than perhaps SA and Australia, is not that flash compared with Test cricket, so it's a big step up. One of the best things CA has done, and they haven't done many, is to allow Ricky Ponting to mentor Mick Clarke. It has secured, I think, the teams future for the next decade - if only CA would get out of the selection room and let the selectors pick the team. My view is neither the coach nor the captain should be a selector. They might have a say, yes, but not selectors.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

It wasn't an easy wicket...if you batted first. The game was virtually won on the toss, and Australia's weak batting line up was exposed by the unusual pitch for January at Adelaide. It was a road in the later part of the game when it dried out, and Australia had only one bowler of ODI standard. Really, you're reading too much into this win.

I have to say, though, the selections are a bit puzzling. There's an element of grasping for straws going on here for back up selections. One hopes they are at least settled on a Test XV, if not an XI.

Although interesting to see SL supporters have the same attitude to great players as Australian's do - thanks for that but time to move on. Not something India has. Is it best to wring the player out of the last ounce of talent and fitness for the game, or to tap them and say "it's good, but it's not as good as it was, and won't ever be that good again". They'll take Tendulkar off a cricket ground kicking and screaming so it seems.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 14, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

Chandimal is no doubt a good find, but the way he wasted deliveries at the MCG was really appalling. Thirimanne I feel is good against spin, but not against fast bowling. He at least will take time to settle against good quality fast bowling as shown by how he batted in the 1st innings of the SCG test.

Karunaratne having both his test fifties in the 2nd innings of the match is a good sign of his test credentials. Not really sure if he suits ODIs but still I feel playing him for this ODI series was more sensible than playing Upul Tharanga.

Future SL batting lineup or even hopefully by late this year, it should be like this. Karunaratne, Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Angelo Perera, Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews and Kushal Perera. Sachithra Senanayake, Dhananjaya, Chaturanga Kumara and Thisara Perera can be the bowlers. Best part is that Angelo Perera and Bhanuka can do some part time bowling.

Posted by trav696 on (January 14, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

It's really good to see players like Thirimanne, Chandimal, Mathews, Karunaratne, etc all looking like they are performing better away from home and that is great to see, especially in Australia. The selectors constantly look toward the same players over and over and don't give chances to younger players who want to prove themselves. Really happy for Thirimanne on his Maiden ODI ton and K Perera looks like quite a good player. Karunaratne should be in for Tharanga because he just soaks up balls and usually goes out on low scores against good teams. The past 2 ODI's against Aus, Tharanga went out for 0 and 1 and that was against Australia's weak bowling attack, whereas Karunaratne scores well, looks compact and can get SL off to a good/decent start against a quality pace attack. Hope that both Chandimal and K Perera play in the 3rd, 4th and 5th ODI's and Herath/Dananjaya should play instead of A Mendis because his lines and lengths are all over the place.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

SL seniors and selectors are the biggest threat for these talents..mark my words both Chandimal and Thirimanne can be greater batsmen than sanga and mahela..Dimuth is no different..but so unfortunate that these players arent regulars yet.they are already way ahead of the likes of Dilshan and Samaraweera..I would say Chandimal is already better than Mahela.Apart from these 3 SL have Bhanuka too..but for some reason Prasanna Jayawardene , CHamara Silva , Tharanga Paranawithane keep playing for SL which proves that there is an obvious conspiracy

Posted by ca2ca on (January 14, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

I saw this comment in Island cricket about Chandimal and shows how SLC management groom young players.

""Submitted by first class player (not verified) on August 6, 2012 - 13:19.

this is due to Marvan Atpattu as he has changed chandimal' s stance, bat grip and bat swing. Chandimal struggles with the new tecniques. and if he doesnt follw that Marvan go and complain with the team management and the national selectors and chandimal gets warned by the selectors.Chandimal is a natural aggresive batsman but Marvan has taken away from it. however his tecnique is good to cope with bouncy tracks but its not ideal for slow wickets. as a person within the system i can confirm this for a fact. this all cahnging came after he was dropped from the team vs Aussie's last year when he got out to left armers. Marvan might be the stylist batsman we produced but not the best one!""

Posted by Nathan_123 on (January 14, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Great batting display by Thirimanne. It wasn't a easy wicket to bat on. I thought his defensive technique was very good; that's why he was able to leave or defend the good balls and played with convictions after passing 30. One may argue that SL has beaten Australia's 2nd team, but the good news is that SL has beaten AUS's 1st team many times, especially in the recent past in down under. Having said the above, a Nations cricket health is judge by their test performance rather than DOI performance. This is the most testing and toughest of formats. That's why all good test cricketers are also very good ODI players. I hope SL cricket board recognises this and invest more resources to raise the test cricket standard.

Posted by ca2ca on (January 14, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Some silver line above the troubled waters (SL cricket) is the line up of talented players. I have heard there are more good players in line but never or seldom get a chance to play. SL selectors, captain are in the habit of picking up players on the merit of name tags. Sanga, Mahela, Samaraweera, Dilshan etc are always in the team though their form at ebb tide. There are certain player agents ( e.g.Charlie Austin-former Cricinfo scribe) who insits on their own players and manipulate team selection. (e.g. Charlie Austin-former Cricinfo scribe). Seniors have become millioners due to T20 cricket and they need more. It is an illusion to believe no future for SLC without Sanga, Mahela & co. If its not for those injuries Tirimanne, Chandimal, Kausal Perera are just bench warmers. So I wish those seniors resign & concentrate on all those bang bang cricket leagues and give young talents a chance.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

I say aussies are the new indians! cant face defeat as thrimanne said its not their problem Australia's national squad is a B grade team. They beat AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL TEAM! end of :D

Posted by Dian007 on (January 14, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

@shanepe2003 so that was your problem ain't it, a Josephian taking the captaincy, mate I referred the 2 matches, which he turned to win from nowhere, when the match was never in the dream of winning, people who had come to watch the match in MCG had already started to leave, the rest of the matches he had atleast contributed run a ball, with the minimum given number of balls., how could you know the scores of Angie, when you have alreay switched off the TV, the sooner he came to bat, please watch his batting, he is a classy act, who can hit the pull shot for the genuine quicks, though you did not like him, the rest of the Sri lanka community likes him, as he is a spirited player, please do not venge.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Any opener who cannot score at least 35 runs puts the No.3 player into unnecessary pressure situation, and it is unfair. Their duty should be going for their shots after scoring a reasonable contribution of at least 35 runs. Upul Tharanga is not doing the job that way and not being responsible...

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Don't get too excited. They beat a third string bowling attack and a second string batting attack. Bit of perspective required I feel. Let's see how they go in the last three matches and then we'll have a look.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Thirimanna and Chandimal get opertunaties to play to the team very rarely if Sanga or Mahela absent or injured only. But everytime they get the opertunaty to play, they perform very well.

So Thirimanna and Chandimal should be provided permanant place in the team..Non performing Mahela and Sanga should be included only on rotating basis.For the future of Sri lanken cricket old players now should concentrate on retirering.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

@ Dian007 - Playing Close to 90 matches been able to deliver only two matches? Just TWO MTACHES? U recon its enough performance to be sri Lankan captain? Sorry u r mistaken mate! that's not for sri lanka that's for St josephs'….lol. its funny u told me to grow up, Yes I grew up by watching middle order batsmen like M. Beven , L. Klusner, A. symonds to modern day game change class of MSD. It seems u need to clear u r head and remove u r coloured glass & watch towards reality. Reality is this man given more chances than any other younger player in S/L & hasn't deliver yet (only god knows how he's mark down as captain) OPS! Has delivered twice for 87 matches ya.....Angi is a grate finisher...! lets nt talk abt u r "ship to shore" talk !!!

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 14, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

It'll be very interesting to see how his career develops. He's definitely one of the least convincing batsmen going round, even when he's set he still looks like he could get out at any moment. Either he's making runs despite not being in great form, or his great form is mostly good luck. Could go either way.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 14, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

The biggest fan of Thirimanne and Chandimal but Lahiru's innings was far from fluent as Daniel makes it so: 'and his fluency on a pitch no batsman found easy to negotiate". He was struggling a lot early on and at times it was painful to watch until he got past 40.

Posted by binu.emiliya on (January 14, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

Lahiru Thiramanne is my favourit SL cricketer,he can be the next Sangakkara for sure.I rate hime above Chandimal & Mathews.SL need to find out one more talent to replace Mahela my current favourit SL player and our Tuskera Kochi Captain!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

thirimanne was brought as a replacement for sangakkara, after 38 hours from flight ,without any match practice in australia , he scored 92 runs in his first test in australia , that shows the talent in him . regarding chandimal he was brought inplace of prasanna jayawardene who simply doesnt suit international level of cricket , he made 25 odd and was out when he had to attack cox he was batting with tail , and in the second innings he scored 74 runs odd not out , shows the talent of the guy , sri lankan selectors y youll are so selfish and stupid to keep on picking players like prasanna jayawardene , upul tharanga( who doesnt know the play a ball outside his off stump) , dammika prasad , pls pick tallented players and give chances for them without breaking their confidence...

Posted by Jeyan_Sinthu on (January 14, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

As a die heart SL fan, I was very dissapointed with our team until yesterday. Also I'm fearing about the voids in SL team after Sanga, Mahela & Dili. But now the Adelaide show gave us more hope. Lahiru, Chandi, Kushal & co going to be our next fire powers for sure...!!

Posted by DilumSL on (January 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

congratzz to Thirimanne. One of the talented youngsters that one day who could become a legend. But he has lot to think about. It's a good century but he struggled a lot at the beginning and had plenty of luck which doesn't happen every day.

Posted by Dian007 on (January 14, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

@shanepe2003 - on what merits, when sri lanka was almost capsized, he is the one who use to come and take the ship to shore, haven't you seen matches, because of this recent 2 run outs, just do not come to say, on how was angie chosen as the future SL captain, can anyone play in the postion where Angie is playing, no one has that temprement and ability to finish a match, 2 occasions he had brought victory to the match, one was in melbourne with partneting malinga in year 2010 where he hit 79*, and in the recent Pak tour to Sri Lanka, he hit 90* and won the match, can Thiri or Chandi do that, give Angie 4 down batsman, he will come with the most number of centuries. Please do not talk for the sake of talking., Angie is the best finisher. grow up man.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 14, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

With Thirimanne, Chandimal, Mathews and Karunaratne, it seems SL batting is taken care of. There is Kapugedara also on the fence, hope he will live up to his true potential. Thisara also fits somewhere in the equation. There seem to be a good wicket keeper batsmen in Kushal/Chandimal. Some good young spin bowlers are popping up with Akila, Senanayake, and i forgot the other guy who was named in the test squad. Where are the fast bowlers for future?????????????????

Posted by lukecannon on (January 14, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

He's going to be around for a long time. SL require youngsters to put their hands up like Kohli has done for India in the recent past. Thirimanne,Chandimal, Mathews , J Mendis , A Mendis and Thisara Perera are the future of SL cricket. Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera have to perform well to last for SL.

Posted by shanepe2003 on (January 14, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

It's amazing how (what basis) AB Mathews picked as S/L future captain. I am sure if thirimanne & chandimal given chances what AB Mathews has got they r far superior performance than AB hype Mathews!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.

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