Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011-12 November 6, 2011

SL chief selector criticises team


Duleep Mendis, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, has lashed out at the players and coaches of the national team for their dismal performances against Pakistan in the ongoing Test series in the United Arab Emirates.

"The performance of our cricketers is way below of what we expected of them," Mendis said."We may not have played Test cricket in the UAE before but then we should have gone there a few weeks ahead and got ourselves acclimatised to the pitches and conditions.

"Apart from Kumar Sangakkara the batting has been a complete let down. There have been occasions where other batsmen have also contributed but overall our batting from one to six has been disappointing. Sangakkara has been brilliant and he alone is carrying the Sri Lanka batting most of the time."

Mendis noted that this was not the first time the Sri Lanka batting has failed to live up to its potential. "This has happened in three consecutive series starting in England and Australia and now against Pakistan. Compared to Pakistan we have one of the best batting line-ups in Test cricket and experienced players who have made centuries at the highest level. I think it has something to do with the mental approach. Something is not right there and it is the coaches who have to address it.

"Unlike during our time, today there are coaches to handle every aspect of the game, batting, bowling, fielding, so it is their duty to see where we are going wrong. As much as it is the responsibility of the coaches the players must also take a fair share of the blame." Pakistan's bowling attack has been much more incisive than Sri Lanka's over the course of the series, and Mendis felt that was an indictment of the bowling coach. "You take our bowlers there is a marked difference when Pakistan bowl and when we bowl. Their bowlers are able to get life out of a lifeless pitch. I think it is something to do with technique and our bowling coach is responsible for it."

He was also critical of the rest of the support staff for not performing their roles properly. "See the number of players who are injured? Dammika Prasad is unable to play in two consecutive Test matches without breaking down. Yesterday (third day) he did not bowl and we were down to four bowlers. Thankfully we played five bowlers in the Test. "Apart from Prasad there is Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Ajantha Mendis and Prasanna Jayawardene all on the injury list. I don't know what our physios and masseurs are doing with the players for them to get constantly injured."

On the question of promoting captain Tillakaratne Dilshan to open the batting in the third Test against Pakistan at Sharjah, Mendis said it was a tactical change to allow for an extra bowler in the XI.

"We tried the 6-5 combination in England also but it didn't work in our favour. We are 1-0 down in the present series and we need to win the final Test to square it. We made the change with that intention. [Lahiru] Thirimanne didn't bat all that badly for a newcomer. He was left out because we are looking for a result in this Test."

Mendis also pointed out that Sri Lanka was presently in the process of rebuilding the team after the retirements of Muthiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu and during such a period there can be setbacks.

"It is not easy replacing players in the calibre of Murali, Sanath, Vaas and Marvan overnight. It will take some time and we will hit some rough patches while in the process of doing so."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roshini on November 9, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    One has to understand that COS Mendis is all about venting ones frustration. I could think of couple of reasons for sure. Firstly the test results what Sri Lanka use to produce especially on home soil and to some extent overseas are no longer there for the nation to uphold and rejoice. Secondly we are taking a morale sapping beating and sliding ever so fast on the world's test stage. So understandably it's sheer frustration times for the board, support staff, the very public and also cricketers. For nearly 15 long years positive results were achieved much on back of two legendary cricketers, the infamous MM and SJ. On a consistent basis MM takes bucket full of wickets and SJ provides a fast, furious and effective start which sets up any match on the day. Roshini Vaas - Homagama Sri Lanka

  • Manesh on November 9, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    SL not able to win a test match even after years! Shame for a test playing country!

  • Powderdubdub on November 9, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    SL batting is still stronger than Pakistan, the credit goes to Pakistan bowlers. Pakistan batting is very fragile they dont have any confidence in their batting, you only need to look at their strike rate, and they are very defensive. If SL had played to their potential the result would have been different, Pakistan lost to a weak WI recently.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Yes, He is saying right that only Sangkara scored runs. That series looked like that Pakistan vs Sangakara. Sri Lankan team surly in rebuilding process especially in bowling after Murli & Vass.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Pakistan play better cricket than SL. This should be the real reason.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    SL cricket need to change lot. ppl like mathews, paranavithana need to stop just playing for their spot. ppl like sanga, mahela need to drop their ego n need to prepare to bat any where when team need. for me mathews need to come up in the order and start to play more major role in tests. if not when sanga is not playin SL cricket will go more deep in trouble. Tests - 1.upul/paranavithana 2. dilshan 3.Methews 4.sanga 5.Mahela 6.Thilan 7. Prasanna/K.Silva 8.Randiv/Ajantha 9.Herath 10.Kulasekara/Dilhara 11.Welagedara

    Oneday - 1.Upul/Chandimal 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5.Methews 6. Thilan 7.Jeevan Mendis 8Thisara Perera 9.Randiv/ Herath 10. Kulasekara/Ajantha Mendis/Seekkuge Prasanna 11.Malinga

  • Johnathon on November 9, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    If nobody accepted Murali as the Number 1 bowler in the world for his records and bowling, then this must be the reason why. What other team in the world had so much riding on one player? (maybe Tendulkar in the mid 90's).... Almost a year gone by and Sri Lanka has still failed to win a single Test Match (let alone Test Series......) after Murali has gone. Even when Warne left Australia, they still did good for a year or two before the decline started (Aus was reliant on Hayden, Gilly, McGrath, AND Warne). The Indian team will soon be like this Sri Lankan team (maybe worse) when Zaheer, Harbhajan, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman retire (probably end of next year) from test Cricket

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    interesting to see how well srilanka do in odi's bcoz now they have proper team wd malinga

  • ramakrishna on November 8, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    I attibute a large potion of failure to the selectors. I would have prefered Samaraweera in the squad instead of Angelo (B/c Angelo cant bowl due to his injury). Look at samaraweera's Contribution to Srilanka in last 4 years his Avg is 3rd Highest and we all know how good he plays Pak. What happened to Randiv? Sri depends a lot on Hearath but he is a big failure he is now where 1% of Murali.

  • Nuwan on November 8, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Chief selector slams the team is like Beating his own self. They do not even use the real talent in the country. KAPUGEDARA, UDAWATTE, MAHAROOF, UPUL THARANGA, NUWAN KULASEKARA, BHANUKA RAJAPAKSE where are these guys. Selecting only rookies is not the transition. Virat Kohli is Bhanuka's age but he has already made a big impact on Indian performances. When these management will think of a future.

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