Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14 January 14, 2014

Pace attack's image has transformed - Lakmal

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Sri Lanka's pace attack arrived in the UAE with a poor reputation, but two Tests into the series, they may have already transformed their image, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal believes. Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep had been instrumental in the Dubai victory that has seen their team achieve an unassailable series lead, having taken seven wickets for 132 between them in the first innings of that match.

Fast bowling had appeared Sri Lanka's most conspicuous frailty before the series, and Rangana Herath's left-arm spin expected to be the major attacking threat, yet it is on the fast bowlers' tireless efforts that the team has achieved the biggest advantage in the field. Lakmal has claimed nine scalps at a better average than Herath to lead Sri Lanka's wicket-takers' list, and as a trio, the visiting pacemen have comfortably outbowled the opposition attack.

"In the past there was a feeling that the fast bowlers aren't effective, but we were able to change that idea in this tour," Lakmal said. "In the past months we have been working very hard, all three of us. We had a big plan coming here, that the two or three of us that get a chance to play have to do well. We've followed that and played well."

Lakmal credited bowling coach Chaminda Vaas for facilitating improvement, and in the UAE, the fast bowlers have adhered to the modus operandi Vaas himself had used on unhelpful Asian surfaces in the early stages of his career. A persistent dedication to line-and-length bowling and gradual increases in movement have been evident in Sri Lanka's efforts in the series, both of which are qualities Vaas has prescribed since taking the job last February.

"I had played in the 2011 series we had in the UAE, and actually a lot of wickets here don't help fast bowlers. So we had to come up with the strategy to put the ball in the same place over and over and over again, until the batsman makes a mistake. I think our success in the tour has been because we did that very well. There was some help from the Abu Dhabi wicket, but there wasn't as much help in Dubai in the last few sessions. But we were able to practice what we had learned, so we were able to put Pakistan in difficulty.

"We had the ability to swing and seam the ball, but Vaas aiya has come and helped us develop those things. Even if you seam the ball, if it's not in the right area, that ball is not useful. So those things we learned a little more. There are more things to develop, so we need to build on what we have achieved."

A focus on fitness and nutrition has also begun paying dividends. All three frontline pace bowlers have their origins outside Colombo's cricket structure, and had not been accustomed to bowling long spells for school teams. Eranga and Lakmal had only begun playing competitive cricket being discovered at pace competitions at 20, and though all three have several seasons of first-class cricket behind them, they rarely deliver more than 25 overs in those matches.

In the second Test Lakmal and Eranga bowled 49.3 and 50 overs respectively, having also bowled more than 40 overs each in the first match. There has been no marked dip in effort or pace throughout the series.

"Before this tour we had about a month and a half where we focused on fitness, because we know that in every match we need to bowl at least 35 overs. The three of us did the work together, with our trainer, and that has meant we're not finding it difficult at the moment."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1: You are quite right mate. Even they were not able to loose a test match to Zim and to loose/draw a test series to Zim. We managed to loose 2 test matches to Zim, loose a test series to Zim and draw a test series to Zim. See how much we are talented...

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: You are spot on mate. Even our Ind shouldn't be in top 4 if we fair play. Top 4 rankings should be SA, Aus, Eng and Pak.

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: Even our Ind shouldn't be in top 4 if we fair play. Top 4 rankings should be SA, Aus, Eng and Pak.

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    @sidh78: Everything you are telling true mate. It is a fact that we hammered Lankan recently. Also, it is a fact that we got hammered at the hand of them and few of our players to quit international cricket career in Jayasurya era. But, none of these negate the fact that our players are a bunch of flat track kings excluding Kohli and Pujara and we don't have fast bowlers like Pak have or similar to new 3 Lankan quicks. Also, we have to accept that we control the ICC ranking through our behaviour and eat up the cricket.

  • Yuosufahmed on January 16, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    @ SLslider: yes you are right mate. Your Lankan has 3-11 bad record against Ind in last 15 ODIs. But, there test and T20 records don't show much difference. In tests 5-7 and T20s 2-3. The problem is if this is good for a team like Ind who boasts about their world beating. Also when lower ranked countries like SL and Pak manage to go to the No. 1 SAs den and beat them in tests and ODIs while defacto No.2 Ind get humiliated there in both the tests and ODIs. For a country like SL who started their cricket playing much later and doesn't boast about their talent much, this performance is more than enough.

  • sidh78 on January 16, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    @ sinhya when ganguly hammered 183 againat sl in worldcup 1999 where r u? when kohali thrashed u r best bowler malinga in hobart with highest econmy rate of 13 rpo where r u.when india thrashed sl team in their own backyard by 4-1 where are u?

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    @SLslider, when Sanath Jayasuriya hammered 152 in against India in Mumbai in 1997 May where were you? Where were you when Jayasuriya clobbered the Indians in the finals of 2008 Asia Cup in Karachi when Sri Lanka won it? What happened when Tharanga scored 174 last year in Jamaica against India? Fact is that Sri Lanka have thrashed India non stop in every corner of the world.

  • on January 15, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Feel sorry for the country of more than billon ppl, could not find a single man who could be called a BOWLER....

  • RSairam on January 15, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    I dont know why this page is having some irrelevant comments..SL as a small cricketing nation can be proud of what they have achieved and as cricketers they have evolved to win in variety of conditions. This latest win definitely is another feather on the cap. They should look towards winning in India and Australia.. Just to correct - India won in Australia in 1980/81 and not as stated by few people here. And yes we have not beaten Pak often in Pak partly bcoz we dont get to play there often too. As a cricket watcher from 1990s I can say we have been unlucky in a few abroad tours not to have won more. It is definitely a shame to lose two series 4-0 and we are trying to recover from that..Some of the reasons are too much cricket and IPL. Somehow our bowlers get corrupted and lose test match line/lengths and patience. Lets appreciate good wins and that is the only way test cricket can survive. I certainly enjoyed the SL vs Pak series so far and hope it ends with another good test.

  • stormy16 on January 15, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    Yes the SL attack did well and yes I saw alot of Vaas influence in the seamers and yes they moved the ball which is great but its only ONE test. Dont want to take away from the performance but its important not to get carried away with one performance. In the first test SL struggled to get wickets in the both innings but yes I agree, there was plenty to hold on to with what we saw in the second test and with more application of the same, the SL seam attack could finally be able to call itself a seam attack.

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1: You are quite right mate. Even they were not able to loose a test match to Zim and to loose/draw a test series to Zim. We managed to loose 2 test matches to Zim, loose a test series to Zim and draw a test series to Zim. See how much we are talented...

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: You are spot on mate. Even our Ind shouldn't be in top 4 if we fair play. Top 4 rankings should be SA, Aus, Eng and Pak.

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: Even our Ind shouldn't be in top 4 if we fair play. Top 4 rankings should be SA, Aus, Eng and Pak.

  • MichaelBurton on January 16, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    @sidh78: Everything you are telling true mate. It is a fact that we hammered Lankan recently. Also, it is a fact that we got hammered at the hand of them and few of our players to quit international cricket career in Jayasurya era. But, none of these negate the fact that our players are a bunch of flat track kings excluding Kohli and Pujara and we don't have fast bowlers like Pak have or similar to new 3 Lankan quicks. Also, we have to accept that we control the ICC ranking through our behaviour and eat up the cricket.

  • Yuosufahmed on January 16, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    @ SLslider: yes you are right mate. Your Lankan has 3-11 bad record against Ind in last 15 ODIs. But, there test and T20 records don't show much difference. In tests 5-7 and T20s 2-3. The problem is if this is good for a team like Ind who boasts about their world beating. Also when lower ranked countries like SL and Pak manage to go to the No. 1 SAs den and beat them in tests and ODIs while defacto No.2 Ind get humiliated there in both the tests and ODIs. For a country like SL who started their cricket playing much later and doesn't boast about their talent much, this performance is more than enough.

  • sidh78 on January 16, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    @ sinhya when ganguly hammered 183 againat sl in worldcup 1999 where r u? when kohali thrashed u r best bowler malinga in hobart with highest econmy rate of 13 rpo where r u.when india thrashed sl team in their own backyard by 4-1 where are u?

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    @SLslider, when Sanath Jayasuriya hammered 152 in against India in Mumbai in 1997 May where were you? Where were you when Jayasuriya clobbered the Indians in the finals of 2008 Asia Cup in Karachi when Sri Lanka won it? What happened when Tharanga scored 174 last year in Jamaica against India? Fact is that Sri Lanka have thrashed India non stop in every corner of the world.

  • on January 15, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Feel sorry for the country of more than billon ppl, could not find a single man who could be called a BOWLER....

  • RSairam on January 15, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    I dont know why this page is having some irrelevant comments..SL as a small cricketing nation can be proud of what they have achieved and as cricketers they have evolved to win in variety of conditions. This latest win definitely is another feather on the cap. They should look towards winning in India and Australia.. Just to correct - India won in Australia in 1980/81 and not as stated by few people here. And yes we have not beaten Pak often in Pak partly bcoz we dont get to play there often too. As a cricket watcher from 1990s I can say we have been unlucky in a few abroad tours not to have won more. It is definitely a shame to lose two series 4-0 and we are trying to recover from that..Some of the reasons are too much cricket and IPL. Somehow our bowlers get corrupted and lose test match line/lengths and patience. Lets appreciate good wins and that is the only way test cricket can survive. I certainly enjoyed the SL vs Pak series so far and hope it ends with another good test.

  • stormy16 on January 15, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    Yes the SL attack did well and yes I saw alot of Vaas influence in the seamers and yes they moved the ball which is great but its only ONE test. Dont want to take away from the performance but its important not to get carried away with one performance. In the first test SL struggled to get wickets in the both innings but yes I agree, there was plenty to hold on to with what we saw in the second test and with more application of the same, the SL seam attack could finally be able to call itself a seam attack.

  • Great_Chucker on January 15, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @Messa1 SL fans have no to right comment during matches "which has no relevance to them"...your fans try to undermine Indians and they cannot digest when they get it back.Your fans try to thrash Indian board when Indian board tried to save your board when they were in huge losses...Gratitude your fans don't have..

  • SLslider on January 15, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    @ Sinhaya Keep living in dreams. Here is a stat to prove who is what?? Last 15 matches IND vs SL IND-11 SL - 3 N/R - 1

    LOL

  • LongLiveTestCricket on January 15, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Feel many of the comments are getting off-topic here. Sticking to the main point here- the performance of Lankan pacers has been outstanding in both the tests so far. They have not been express pace but very disciplined in their line and length, something Vaas was a big master of but somehow did not get the recognition he deserved in World cricket.Lankan bowlers bowled very few bad balls in the entire innings and showed good skill in taking 20 wickets on a track not entirely a pcer's heaven.Even bowlers like Lakmal,Pradeep who had been inconsistent and had a poor Test record, were accurate in bowling new ball iin the right areas and actually got most of the Pak batsmen out themselves rather than them gifting their wickets, with the possible exception of Hafeez. All credit is due to Vaas who has made a very inexperienced attack, which is perhaps not as talented as Pak attack, look very potent in the series.Look forward to them in the 3rd test.

  • sidh78 on January 15, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Deaes SL and pak fan(good fans than sl fan but for some pak fans) plz check your teams records of last 3 tours against aus in australia. pak whitewashed by aus 9-0 and SL whitewashed by aus 6-0.so u r team whitewashed by australia by 3 times back to back.india only once whitewashed by australia.(but india also whitewashed aus 4-0) so please tell me who are the big FLATTRACK bullies.who white washed once or who white washed 3 times back to back.i give u stats for that plz refer . first we see pak records 1999-Aus 3-0 2004- Aus 3-0 2009-Aus 3-0. Whitewashed on every occasion. Now how about Sri Lanka. In Australia 2004 -Aus 1-0 2007-Aus 2-0 2012- Aus 3-0. fyi india won series in eng in 2007 and draw series(1-1) in south africa (in 2011)in last tour(almost won the series but rain and bad light save SA from series defeat).now u tell who are real flat track bullies.

  • on January 15, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    SL young fast bowlers are certainly improving each day. Vaas has worked well with these guys. wickets aside, the areas they bowled and line and length, the passion is great. credit goes to Vaas for giving his skills to these young men. and also these guys are working hard.

  • yorkslanka on January 15, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    A reminder to all my fellow Sri Lankans , trolls post on he to get a reaction from us and the best medicine for these people is to completely ignore them..trust me a troll doesn't have much fun talking to themselves..we are well aware of the abilities and limitations of our cricket team but the difference is WE support them through good and bad unlike certain fair weather fans who suddenly discovered cricket when their team is winning..other times they have no interest in the game...

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, Sri Lanka have thrashed India non stop in every corner of the world. What happened in the 2007 world cup in Trinidad? Did India oust Sri Lanka? What happened in Sharjah in 2000 when Sanath Jayasuriya hammered 189 and India getting all out for 54 in a flat track. Sri Lanka have thrashed India non stop all around the world.

  • Messa1 on January 15, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @ Debajyoti Choudhuri we are not undermining ur team either which has produced cricketing greats like Sachin but when people like Yousufahmed1 come to every forum which has no relevance to him and start annoying us we have to say things back. If u go to beginning of the comments section u'll see what i mean, 'Yousufahmed1' is the 2nd person to comment! and read the stuff he said

  • HarshaCD on January 15, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1:" won a series in ENG. Test matches in AUS and SA." wow, that`s fantastic. 01 Test series and two test matches in two countries, that is brilliant for a country of one billion people. way to go India! Proud to be an Indian.

  • King_Ravanaa on January 15, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Yousufhameed1.... you keep bashing SL, in our page, whining about your team. and we'll just keep eat your own words with performance.

    and i'll be visiting Indian forum from now on mate, to treat you with the same treatment lol

  • on January 15, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @ all SL fans dishing it out against India - Agreed that we are a mediocre team but what has SL achieved after being crowned the world champions in 1996?. You have world class cricketers in Sanga, Mahela but they perform the least when they are required to. We have won T20 WC, 50 over WC, ICC Championship, all in a span of six years. What have you been doing?. I am not undermining your team which has produced several greats of the game, but as a mediocre world champion it is not good on your part to label any other super power world champion as mediocre.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 15, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    @ Messa1 When u say minnow, do u mean SL? Coz we have been thrashing SL all over the world.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 15, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    @ Messa1 Its not anger, its pity. As a matter of fact we don't need your respect. We have won a series in ENG. Test matches in AUS and SA. Its your team who has not won a single test series outside SL since 2001/2001. If we Don't include Bangladesh and ZIM. LOL

  • Messa1 on January 15, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1 u ok man? lol seems like u got angry calm down. I think u forgot something here. I will respect Ind if they win just ONE test match outside of Ind against the top 4 teams (SA,Eng or Aus), other than thrashing the mediocre teams as u call them.

  • Htc-Android on January 15, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1. You have never let BD to score 600+ in ur home grounds becuase u gave them a series at home...lol. Is it because of the fear of losing to them. I remember your team getting thrashed by Kenya twice at your home grounds. Why dragging 43 allout all the time. Pak, NZ, Aus also got out for less than 50 against the same opponent. Dont forget your team got out for 54 against us in one of the flattest track in the world...Thanks to cricinfo for publishing my comment.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 15, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    @ JPNANA And did you get to lift the trophy. Oh.. I forgot you are SL fan you never get to lift the trophy. LOL

  • King_Ravanaa on January 15, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    AnoMaley.... i dont want to remind you from 54 all out to thrashing in 96 to every Tourament till 2010 Asia Cup and 2007 WC. i dont want to see you crying like Kkambli boy. lol

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, Indians did not lose the first test against SA in Johannesburg because Morkel was injured and Kallis was given out in the 2nd innings when not out. So Indians survive only due to luck as umpires come to help them due to BCCI pressure. If Morkel bowled in the 2nd innings in Jo'burg, Indians wouldn't have managed 100 in the 2nd innings. Whole world knows how INDIA GOT SWALLOWED IN DURBAN IN 1997 BY GETTING ALL OUT FOR 66!!

  • King_Ravanaa on January 15, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    AnoMaley.... Upul Tharnga is newer considered a great player even in here SL. but when he manage to score 170+ runs against school level bowlers of India, i could not stop my laugh. Kohli and Co got out cheap in that tourament where Malinga got Kohli so cheaply, and finally the rested man for the tourament, Dhoni has to come for the final game to rescue... lol

  • Worldcricketlover on January 15, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Pakistani supporter were always claimed that they have attack for all types of wickets. But it is proved that they have mediocre attack now. They are crying for spin wicket. But ajmal says it is fast bowler wicket . It means Pakistan is not having pace attack which can match srilanka . We all know they batting can match Zimbabwe or west indies now bowling attack too. Poor

  • Messa1 on January 15, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    @JPNana good one mate. @Yousufahmed1 so u r back since ur team is playing against the minnows (NZ) after getting hammered by SA. I'm sorry to say but I think NZ will thrash u in all 3 formats so make some excuses now and get ready. LOL

  • AnoMaLy on January 15, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    @JPNana - You must be living on a different planet mate. SL has never been able to thrash India and never will. First win a big tourney and then talk alright. Also i hope you havent forgotten the Asia cup Kohli thrashings. Malinga will probably never forget that thrashing. India can beat SL at home and anywhere they play. So maybe the punching bag is SL. Also try to be a nice and BCCI might throw you a few millions considering you cant even afford to pay your players LOL.

  • on January 15, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Kudos for the great improvements. However one swallow doth not make a spring. Hope they can repeat this in Sharjah. The acid test will be to go to Australia and South Africa can get a baptism under fire. I really wish the young islander team has more opportunities to play test matches overseas in very different pitches and climates the next couple of years . Good luck .

  • King_Ravanaa on January 15, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    @ Yousifahamed1... Since you paid you interest on lions every single prediction you made about them in this series become false in front of you own eyes.

    as i know India won their first ever test in Australia in 2008 nearly 70 years after gaining the test status. yeah bold that 70 YEARS. LOL. it's just 30+ years and we already won a test in every country except In India and Aus. how many years does it took to India to registr their first test in SA Eng compare and then talk. our first test series we won is with your own so caled team just after 2 years after gaining test status. we thrash you heavily from 1996 to 2011, poor guys we gave you break but we will continue to thrash you, india always has been our favourite punching bag

  • on January 15, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Vassy has to be given credit this time. Although I was critical of him when he criticized our young bowlers as a coach. I think he and all of us can see how hard working these boys are. This was a pitch which had nothing for the bowlers after day 3. Still they put in a wonderful fight. Even the best bowling attacks in the world would have wilted under that pressure. Pakistanis batted with lot of heart in the 2nd innings too. They showed great fight, but still the young quicks were able to hang in there and produce the goods. It was wonderful to see 3 tall fast bowlers doing the trick for Sri Lanka. I cannot remember that happening for a long time. Nuwan reminds me of the footage I have seen of Rumesh Ratnayake. All these guys seem to be gutsy individuals. They have to keep this momentum going and try to replicate this discipline day in day out to be a truly a great pace attack. Fingers crossed for these 3. Hope Anji can bowl a bit and reduce their work load.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 15, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    @ Sinhaya Please don't beat around the bush. That's what you people do. You always say how India is terrible outside. Your mediocre team has not won a single test series outside SL since 2001. And many thrashings. Here is another stat.

    Last 3 years Ind vs SL 15 matches India won 11 SL won 3 :O N/R 1

    Everywhere on the planet. Check your ICC ranking as well. No. 6. Among WI and NZ. LOL.

    Now I know you will say ICC rankings are not fair. BLAH BLAH. But for T20 its fair for you isn't it. For slogging cricket its fair right? LOL

  • Rashen on January 15, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    I think after long time Sri Lanka can be proud of their test pace attack. Yet we should not forget these three bowlers are not enough for the longer run as there can be plenty of injuries during a tour. For an example in our last tour to Australia , none of the fast bowlers played in the last test,who happen to play in the first test. So ideally we should bank on atleast 6 fast bowlers. I would suggest , Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera(who can bowl 140km+) should be considered for the longer run. I personally think we are just wasting Thisara Perera... he should be given more test caps

  • sl_cricket on January 15, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    To all those people speaking negatively against sri Lankan pace attack.. first of all Lakmal or any Sri Lankan bowlers never said that they are world beaters or best fast bowling attack, they only said they were much improved attack from where they were, mainly due to Vaas presence as a bowling coach...some people are here attacking the Sri Lankan pace attack without even reading the article.

  • on January 15, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    There is a sense of Deja Vu, India went through a period of seemingly good pacers b/w 2006-2009. Sreesanth, R.P.Singh, Ishant, Zaheer at his peak. Munaf was pacy when he burst onto the scene and as a result India won in England, WI and New Zealand, tests in SA, Aus where our pacers were effective. They have not been able to maintain pace and consistency hence resulting in highly embarrassing defeats overseas since the end of 2009. SL might do well to look at India, where they went wrong and not repeat the same mistakes !! All the best. Nuwan Pradeep - let him bowl raw pace.

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    @warneneverchuck, why so bitter towards Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka are ranked 6 in tests and if we win this 3rd test, we can go up to 5. You are completely wrong.

    Why are you saying that Sri Lanka should keep playing Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan? Forgot that we beat Pakistan in a test match few days ago? So should n't you include Pakistan in your list as per your logic? Remember Sri Lanka and Pakistan are the only teams which managed to beat SA in tests in the past 2 years.

    If Sanga and Mahela can only score at flat tracks at home, here is my question. Sanga has an overseas test batting average of 47 and a test batting average of 60 in Australia. Sanga and Mahela have the world record test partnership of 624 for the 3rd wicket against SA in 2006 posted at the so called SSC flat pitch. Sri Lanka won it by an innings and if the pitch was flat why could n't SA draw it surely?? If SL tracks are flat, how did Muralitharan manage to take so many wickets at home??

  • bigbang07 on January 15, 2014, 1:08 GMT

    @warneneverchuck Hahaha, you mean AUSTRALIAN, sounds like a typical Indian- (acts like a child, with no level of critical thinking or spellcheck- am I right?)

    1) We dont regard them in high esteem since they have never beaten Australia in tests at home. We have won in India. Indians are the biggest flat track bullies around. That Dhawan kid couldnt buy much runs in the SA tests after the ODIs in India.

    2) You just admitted that Sehwag is a flat track bully. He has a lousy overall record-similar to Mahela. Sangakkara is a higher quality than both mate, he can play here anytime.

    3) Wrong again. Indian wickets are flatter and smaller than Sri Lanka, which means lesser help for bowlers. I can say this with confidence as a neutral as I've been to grounds in both countries. Your guys pull up the boundaries, esp for ODIs and T20.s

    4) Strike rate doesnt matter in Tests, average does so get over it. I dont regard Warner making a 20 ball 30 in tests, much rather have a big hundred by Clarke

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    @Chris_P, nice to see you after a while. I know you were lately commenting on the Ashes. Best way our pace bowlers can improve is by playing 1 month of domestic cricket in Australia. Similarly Sri Lanka can reciprocate by letting Aussie spinners by letting them play a month in our domestic circuit. You may recall how Chandika Haturuaingha planned to bring Aussie spinners on a training tour of Sri Lanka. Not sure if it happened.

  • Maduwantha on January 15, 2014, 0:29 GMT

    We are talking about Sri Lankan fast bowling, what is the relationship with Indian batsmen?? When I saw the comments I confused. Please help me

  • 512fm on January 14, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Its just one game, they still have one of the weakest test bowling attacks until they prove otherwise and for at least a year, not just one test.

  • on January 14, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    Wayne Perry, you are in for a rude shock!

  • MH19 on January 14, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Certainly encouraging to hear from a attack who has done hard yards and preperation before the tour which is paying dividends. Performance talks for itself. To be a crickerter and to be a fast bowler you need to build fitness and endurance and remmeber endurance was not built in one day and it can be done over a period of time. Hats off to Vaasy and the 3 pacies looking forward to hear more success of you guys Lakmal and we now need to develop a left armer like vaas so our pace attack will have stocks in the armoury to fire anywhere in the world.

  • on January 14, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    This pace attack is noway near Aus, SA or Eng. They just did a decent job in a match. They are going to play the next match on the least responsive pitch of the whole tour. So they have start it all over again & do better than in the previous match. But what I saw was a definite IMPROVEMENT. Lets not get carried away & see whether they have the most important quality for an unit, which is CONSISTENCY. As for the some Indians who are trying to have some fun here, we should be kind to them. When their team is getting HUMILIATED from all over the world, it is difficult for them to watch when another team is doing well abroad. They are just trying to have some fun with their keyboards. Cricinfo please publish!!!

  • on January 14, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    I'll wait to see how these SRI fast bowlers perform in England before i'm convinced. Pakistan's batting is too shaky and inconsistent for one to be sure performances versus team, is a proper indication of progress.

  • Chris_P on January 14, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    @warneneverchuck. Why even post negatively? Any harm in positive posts?

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    @ York Lanka lol what u achieved after scorong 950. Draw thats it. Thats y Sl is at no. 7 in test and wil remain ther only forever

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    @ big bang 07 lol ask the greatest astralian test team of all time how good or ordinary laxman and dravid were. U wil get your reply. Regarding sehvag he scored most runs in subcontinent like sanga and mahela. But sanga cant even score with that strike even in 20 20 which sehvag has scored in test cricket. Mind u both sevwag and sanga has played on same kind of wickets throughout their carrier

  • yorkslanka on January 14, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    @ warne- you mean like when we set the highest test score in the world of 952/6 against india in Colombo ?? It was such a flat wicket that india scored 537/8...

  • on January 14, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Honestly I have criticized out fast bowling attack a lot. With that said I'm glad they used whats available to them and improved. I hope to see more from these guys.

  • Prabhash1985 on January 14, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    My personal opinion is that they should let the ball do the talking. Of course Vaas is great!

  • bigbang07 on January 14, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    @warneneverchuck the SL batsmen are not as average as Laxman, Ganguly, Dravid or Sehwag mate! Barring Sachin, youve never had a decent batsman to perform consistently in overseas tests.

  • yorkslanka on January 14, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    @ yousefahmed1- so Sri Lanka are a poor team because of our record of winning tests according to you? What would you call india then as our win: loss ratio in tests according to cricinfo stats guru is 0.83 and India's is 0.80...add that to the fact that india have played test cricket for longer than Sri Lanka...

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    I believe SL should play more against BD nepal and Afghanistan so that their so called greats mahela and sanga can score few runs. These matches shud be played in subcontinent only otherwise they might fail

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Not surprised that SL has never won a test in aus and india considering their players r average and can score only on flat SL wickets

  • Rooohan on January 14, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    I am clueless, why share the secrets of your success openly?

  • MaruthuDelft on January 14, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Vaas the Magician but whatever it may be; Sri Lanka is always better than India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  • on January 14, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    After Imran Tahir's fame in South Africa it is now the SL pacers turn to reap the benefits of some pathetic batting from Pakistan.I would say well bowled guys at least you guys desrved it much more than Imran Tahir.The line and length was very consistent with hints of movement.However do not get complacent as even BND will give you a tougher time than us.The plain and simple fact is Pakistan doest not have even reasonably good (forget test quality)top 3 batsmen.Hafeez,Shehzad,Nasir,Imran Farhat,Azhar are all rubbish with clear problems in techniques,which makes them easy bunnies against the tiniest of seaming conditions, and no confidence which shows when they cannot score runs even after long stays at the wicket and have fear in their eyes when they are about to face bowlers who can bowl above 140kph.My advice to management better to play 7 bowlers.3 bowlers can bat as long as any of these jokers and will help us in getting oppositions out early and maybe giving us a chance to win.

  • Sinhaya on January 14, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    @warneneverchuck, your wrong buddy. Sri Lanka was the last team to beat SA in a test match in SA in Dec 2011. They were ranked no.1 in tests even at that time. You say we cant win tests at home. Oh please note that since Murali retired, we have won 2 tests against Pakistan, 1 against SA, 1 against NZ and 1 against Bangladesh. Sangakkara is the batsman who has the best test batting average among all today.

  • mysay on January 14, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    All the Indian's commenting, you don't honestly think you have a bowling attack that you can brag about. You have batsmen no disagreement, but your bowling unit is far below par, and I'm sure you will agree in that your bowlers are incapable of winning matches for you. Even Zaheer Khan looked mediocre in SA. The article here is about the SL pacers winning a match for SL. Brag all you want about your batsmen but Indians will never have an article about your bowlers winning an away test.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 14, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    The first few balls from Pradeeps first spell in the 1st innings were unplayable. Even the likes of Tendulkar/Kallis/Ponting would have problems with those. The fast bowlers generally are better than previous times, but time will only tell. While some people may think that they bowled really well since it was in the UAE on "flat pitches", they must realize that this wasn't the typical wicket and actually had a bit of grass on it. Would the fast bowlers trouble SA/Aus/England? Probably not. Would they trouble India outside India? Very probable

  • Sinhaya on January 14, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, Sri Lanka has achieved wonders since getting test status. India took 70 yeara to win a test match in Pakistan!! Sri Lanka thrashed India im the first ever ODI encounter between the 2 countries in 1979 which was just the beginning of many thrashings India received from Sri Lanka all over the planet.

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    I m sure with such ordinary batsman includong sanga and bowlers sl can never win a test in SL

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 15:38 GMT

    Sl is very weak team. They cant win against top 3 test teams. They can compete with bottom ranked teams only

  • on January 14, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    Yeah...our pcers bowled with pace..seam and swing..good channels..well done guyz...!!! There should be dfferent pace attack for ODIs..though there are big names they are looks nothing..so nice to see some new pacers in ODIs like Kanishka Alvitigala ..

  • Sinhaya on January 14, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    Good start indeed. Must target success in England this June at a time when conditions favor swing bowling. Better not play Kula for tests as he is good for ODIs with his slogging batting style. Angelo should bowl more in tests.

  • Ramansilva on January 14, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1, Sri lanka team that got white washes in the beginning of its test career is very different from India team that got 5-0 white washes in recent times. Don't get your vision blurred by hate feelings. Didn't you see SL team win a test match few weeks ago, and that was after a break of nearly an year of not playing any test matches. Do your stat checking more carefully. Then you will see a lot. May I invite you to look at the score card of SL team's first ever test match at Lords. You will wonder how a new test playing nation could match a mighty team.

  • KingOwl on January 14, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    I shall await judgment for another few series! Making conclusions based on a single match (or two) is never safe.

  • Lion83 on January 14, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Sri Lanka definately has a better away record than other asian countries in the last decade. And they will continue to do so with this young team India lost 8 matches on a row in last year with their flat track bullies.

  • Blade-Runner on January 14, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    Its great to see how our pace unit are improving day by day. Vaas is doing a pretty darn good job with these young pacers. Lakmal is a completely different bowler from who he used to be a year ago. Nuwan Pradeep is the quickest of 'em all. He has clocked 150 kmh+ previously. The discipline 'n accuracy they've shown in these two games are commendable. More importantly, they managed to pluck 20 wkts on a dead track. It says everything. All the best to go 'n win the series 2-0. LIONS LEAD THE WAY !!!

  • likeintcricket on January 14, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    I don't believe this. Any pacer on first morning wicket can be succesful against this Pakistan batting lineup. Misbah and Younis ( despite their age) showed that it is easy to play against them. A good batting side like India can easily expose the quality of Sri Kankan fast bowling. On the other hand Pakistan pace bowling are not any good either.

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    It's a little premature to conclude Lankan Pacers are test class but signs are good. Consistency is the key .Pakistan batting might have made SL medium pacers look better than they actually are. It would be interesting to see how they perform against SA and Indian batting line ups both home and away. Another thing hopefully Vaas and co. don't tamper with is raw pace and fill the bowlers minds with typical "line and length" lessons. If anything their pace should be increasing in the season.

  • parvinder7 on January 14, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    well well well. As one of true passionate indian fans. I still will congratulate sri lanka on winning. Your young bowlers out bowled our very rich and experience bowlers. For that reason you deserve to win. Hard working young guys out bowled zaheer khan and co in uae. India is the only asian team since 2001 to win and draw a series in australia, west indies, south africa and england and yet u get people on here saying that their team is better than india. Look at your team and tell me have u even won a test in australia and u say your team is better than india outside the subcontinent, what a joke. India has been the worst test and odi team since july 2011. Even i admit that but at least we won the champions trophy.

  • Hemanga1 on January 14, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Yousufahmed1

    Mate, SL not won a single test in India or Aus. That is true. But SLwon 06 times in Pakistan. That is more than any other country. Out of 21 matches we won 6 times. For 57 years, all other countries won only 16 tests out of 130. World cricket is talking about great captains, great teams. Any of them successful in Pakistan? Only Richie Benaud and Lloyd achieved series wins

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    with one performance u can't say that they have got better I still think this SL team is still inexperienced and weak and need improvement big time...their bowling still very much weak

  • Nuwas on January 14, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    jeezz... some people are driven by pure jealousy & hatred towards other performing teams... be reasonable people. SL is currently performing great & their pacers are doing better than most of the other teams's. Its a proven fact , if you guys can't give credit where its due, please at least stop making ridiculous comments.thanks

  • warneneverchuck on January 14, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    SL bowlers r as ordinary as their batsman. I dont see them in top 3 in test ranking in near future

  • whiskeysour on January 14, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    I'm a Lankan fan. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It appears that the pitch was seamer friendly. Let's see if the Lankan seamers can be consistent in multiple pitch conditions over the year.

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    now sl test team more balance and may be we can win test serise out of asia.india only they can win in their soil and last time they whitewash in asusi and england.also we couldnt win in india becz their and our pitch are not good for test matches.hope our players more genuine than other teams (newzeland also better)

  • Vilander on January 14, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    yup Sl pacers are much quicker and much more skilled than Pak and BD pacers..infact they are on par with Aus and Eng almost there with SA. And all this in quick time not so long before SL pacers were only slightly better than Indian ones..which is like the worst in the world..speed demons they are now.

  • LoveLanka on January 14, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    I am really delighted with the effort of our young pacers. after Vaas we were really struggeling to take wicket with the new ball where we finaly ended loosing the match or settle for a draw. our ICC test ranking reflects the outcome of above issue. but now with Vass working with our pacers, we can hope for a better future and we hope that this team will be able to add the venom for the bowling attack that need to win matches. this is only the beginning all will depend on how this bunch of players and staff will work in future to maintain the developments. at the same time i feel that eigher Senanayake or Dilruwan Perera should develop them a bit more to play the second roll to Herath as well. overall, i am very much pleased and wish all good luck to TEAM SRI LANKA. Jaya Wewa!

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    AB de Villiers Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 89 148 16 6827 278* 51.71 12455 54.81 18 34 782 47 161 3

    Cook

    102 183 10 8047 294 46.51 17124 46.99 25 35 923 10 96 0

    Yunus kHan

    88 156 14 7353 313 51.78 14177 51.86 23 28 827 44 96 0

    Clarke

    102 174 18 8019 329* 51.40 14327 55.97 26 27 903 36 119 0

    bEll

    98 170 22 6722 235 45.41 13636 49.29 20 39 790 31 78 0

    pIeTERSEN

    104 181 8 8181 227 47.28 13255 61.72 23 35 985 81 62 0 who iz beeter

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    SriLanka's fast bowling attack was very good. They bowled on right length and got swing as well. Lakmal, Pradeep and Eranga were more energetic then Pakistani pace attack. Junaid khan was the only bowler who bowled extremely well. Bhatti got injured and Rahat was nowhere. Talha will be a good inclusion in 3rd test because he is quick and performed well in current domestic season. Wish you good luck team Pakistan

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    malinga also brilliant fast baller.reason is if player become senior or playing well he should condescending.but malinga didnt showed that..nice hear that vaasi help to junior ones and share his knowledge.

  • Nuwas on January 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Wish our pacers all the very best in all their endeavors. Hopefully the new era of SL pacers begins hence. would love to see all those newly selected pacers at provincial level tournaments soon enough.

  • on January 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Vass is one of great bowler in world and he can improve ability of SL young cricketer. Malinga shoul get advice from Vass and Join with Test team...!Good Luck..!

  • Uppercut07 on January 14, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    finger prints of Chaminda Vaas was all over that bowling effort! No prodigious swing or seam but enough with impeccable line and length.

    if we can't find that 150+ bowler i would gladly settle for 3 Chamindas! :) especially in tests

  • on January 14, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Indeed Good Bowling Performance By Lakmal And Eranga But really Missing Swing and Line length of Vaas.Even In Batting No one is able to Take the position of Sanath Jayasuriya From Where He Left..I think Srilanka Needs a Fast Bowler who can Bowl at 150kmph..

  • 6pack on January 14, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    yes well done in the 2 tests thus far, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet Andrew. One tour doesn't erase a decade or two of poor record carried by Sri Lankan fast men. Let's hope this is the beginning of something good.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 14, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    SL cricketers talk so much but they never win anything. I remember Sanga once said they are best among ASIA. And I checked some stats which where mindboggling. SL HAS NOT WON A SINGLE TEST SERIES OUTSIDE SL(FORGET ASIA) SINCE 2001/2002(If we don't include Bangladesh and ZIM). They make fun of two whitewashes India has got in last 2 years. How about the uncountable whitewashes SL has got for last 10 years. YET TO WIN A SINGLE TEST MATCH IN AUS AND IND. Way to go LIONS.

  • Lion83 on January 14, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    This is great for Sri Lanka cricket with young energertic fast bowlers with the master chaminda vaas as a bowling coach who know everything about seam a, swing and reverse swing and how to bowl on flat pitches. The biggest test for them will be the England tour in this summer if they stay fit they can beat already wounded England team.

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  • Lion83 on January 14, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    This is great for Sri Lanka cricket with young energertic fast bowlers with the master chaminda vaas as a bowling coach who know everything about seam a, swing and reverse swing and how to bowl on flat pitches. The biggest test for them will be the England tour in this summer if they stay fit they can beat already wounded England team.

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 14, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    SL cricketers talk so much but they never win anything. I remember Sanga once said they are best among ASIA. And I checked some stats which where mindboggling. SL HAS NOT WON A SINGLE TEST SERIES OUTSIDE SL(FORGET ASIA) SINCE 2001/2002(If we don't include Bangladesh and ZIM). They make fun of two whitewashes India has got in last 2 years. How about the uncountable whitewashes SL has got for last 10 years. YET TO WIN A SINGLE TEST MATCH IN AUS AND IND. Way to go LIONS.

  • 6pack on January 14, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    yes well done in the 2 tests thus far, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet Andrew. One tour doesn't erase a decade or two of poor record carried by Sri Lankan fast men. Let's hope this is the beginning of something good.

  • on January 14, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Indeed Good Bowling Performance By Lakmal And Eranga But really Missing Swing and Line length of Vaas.Even In Batting No one is able to Take the position of Sanath Jayasuriya From Where He Left..I think Srilanka Needs a Fast Bowler who can Bowl at 150kmph..

  • Uppercut07 on January 14, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    finger prints of Chaminda Vaas was all over that bowling effort! No prodigious swing or seam but enough with impeccable line and length.

    if we can't find that 150+ bowler i would gladly settle for 3 Chamindas! :) especially in tests

  • on January 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Vass is one of great bowler in world and he can improve ability of SL young cricketer. Malinga shoul get advice from Vass and Join with Test team...!Good Luck..!

  • Nuwas on January 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Wish our pacers all the very best in all their endeavors. Hopefully the new era of SL pacers begins hence. would love to see all those newly selected pacers at provincial level tournaments soon enough.

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    malinga also brilliant fast baller.reason is if player become senior or playing well he should condescending.but malinga didnt showed that..nice hear that vaasi help to junior ones and share his knowledge.

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    SriLanka's fast bowling attack was very good. They bowled on right length and got swing as well. Lakmal, Pradeep and Eranga were more energetic then Pakistani pace attack. Junaid khan was the only bowler who bowled extremely well. Bhatti got injured and Rahat was nowhere. Talha will be a good inclusion in 3rd test because he is quick and performed well in current domestic season. Wish you good luck team Pakistan

  • on January 14, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    AB de Villiers Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 89 148 16 6827 278* 51.71 12455 54.81 18 34 782 47 161 3

    Cook

    102 183 10 8047 294 46.51 17124 46.99 25 35 923 10 96 0

    Yunus kHan

    88 156 14 7353 313 51.78 14177 51.86 23 28 827 44 96 0

    Clarke

    102 174 18 8019 329* 51.40 14327 55.97 26 27 903 36 119 0

    bEll

    98 170 22 6722 235 45.41 13636 49.29 20 39 790 31 78 0

    pIeTERSEN

    104 181 8 8181 227 47.28 13255 61.72 23 35 985 81 62 0 who iz beeter