South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Durban December 25, 2011

'The fewer excuses we make, the better' - Sangakkara

50

As a new year approaches, there is usually a desire to reflect on the one that is about to come to an end. For the Sri Lankan cricket team, that reflection has been both a want and a need.

Since losing the World Cup final, the zip of their bridesmaid's dresses has been caught and they have been unable to escape from them. They ended second best in the series against England, Australia and Pakistan. When they arrived in South Africa, the underdog label came with them and they stitched it on even more firmly after being crushed inside three days in the first Test. The other two days, they used for training and then they took some time out to work out how to improve.

"It's been the same mistakes repeated quite a few times," Kumar Sangakkara said. "Those are things we can't excuse. When you have a lot of excuses around you it really doesn't work."

"We've made the guys understand and move on from there. We need to work as hard as we can on every aspect of our game - from physical fitness, to skill work, to the mental side of things and to have fun while doing all of that."

Although Sri Lanka's lack of bowling depth was talked of as their major weakness, it turned out to be their poor application with the bat that cost them the Centurion Test. Everyone, from former captain Sanath Jayasuriya to batting consultant Marvan Atapattu and even captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has said the batsmen need to step up, and now Sangakkara has added his voice to that chorus.

"We have to bat well in our first innings and fight for every opportunity," he said. "Everyone is not going to be successful on the day, but you have seven batsmen, three of them need to fire and everyone else bats around them." Sangakkara's failure in both innings in Centurion, exposing the lower line-up to a South African attack who showed no mercy, was a big blow for Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan batsmen's insecurities are magnified in conditions which offer pace and bounce. Sangakkara said one of things the team has spent a lot of time working on is confidence. "Once we get them [the batsmen] believing in themselves, we can turn these results around," he said. "It's great to talk romantically about this but at the end of the day it's about sweating it out in the nets, being as tough as you can to deliver the 30 that might win you a game. Every day it won't be a 100 that will win you the game. Cricket is very old fashioned in that sense, it hasn't changed, it's just hard work."

Their training sessions are long, gruelling and intense. They wasted no time after being humiliated in Centurion and were back the next day to start over. When it rained in Durban, they used the indoor facility. Now, Sangakkara hopes that the regularity with which they do things in practice can be mirrored on match-day.

Sri Lanka have not delivered much in the latter part of this year but Sangakkara said their failures should motivate them to get better. "Like winning, losing can become a habit," Sangakkara said, and it's a habit that could poison the transition phase that Sri Lanka are currently in. "For new players to be coming in and for them to be in an environment where we have lost more than we have won is also not the ideal place to be."

Perhaps the only way to create a better team culture will be to rectify one of Sri Lanka's most glaring errors - the one of yesteryear that hindsight cannot fix. An over-reliance on record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has never been more obvious than now, because Sri Lanka have failed to win a Test since he retired last year. Although all the senior players, including Sangakkara, have stressed the country's cricket, as a whole, needs to move on from the days of Murali, it's one of those things that is far easier said than done.

"It's time to forget all of that," Sangakkara said. "That's the way cricket works. Bradmans come and go. There are people who will take their place. They may not be as good as them but they will win matches in their own way. For us as a unit, the fewer excuses we make, the better it will be. The responsibility is on us now."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 27, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    ahmed afker firstly let me clear you who is best outside allover india far away this decade 2003 drew in aussies drew in england 2002 won netwest third team lanka smashed 2006 won in durban fastest in sa again seagain series won in england 2007 again won in perth 2008 no subcontinent team has won there dude lanka pak has not wona single test in austrlia decades lanka neva won lolzzz again india won cb series third team lanka smashed again 2011 drew in sa won in durban no subcontinent team wonthere lanka not won even a test in africa so clearly tells who is better lanka not even won in india instead of comparing to india do spmething both pan andlanka toreach india acheivements 20 percent

  • Habi on December 26, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    @Ahamed Afker, Agreed that SL started to win more matches than IND & PAK but the point is that the present team is just going thru the motions. SL did managed to win matches only due to the fact that ICC allowed Murali to bowl by mending the rules (Its a different matter that IND & PAK supported Arjuna just to get SL's support. Before 2005 Murli took 532 wickets in 91 matches. Its only after ICC allowed for his doosra that he took 268 more wickets in 42 matches. ICC had set a dangerous precedent i.e. suppose if a bowler is diagnosed with low eye sight since his birth, will he be allowed to overstep. Its ridiculous to amend rules just to satisfy some boards. Anyway talk about the present SL team apart from Sanga no world class players. Its also true that IND will face same problems once Sach, Dravid, Lax retire but they have groomed Virat and Rohit. Also how SL can say it is a transition when the entire is same except for Murli & Vaas was long gone and Malinga is always prone to injurie

  • Zafar_Abbas on December 26, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Sanga, you are one of my all time favourite batsmen, but you know what, Dilshan doesn't deserve captaincy... You need to take back the reigns and build the team... it's that simple...

  • on December 26, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    @Amol_Ind_SA . You know very well SL had a problem at the moment within the team as well as management.So we cant expect any results right now that is understandable.May be SL ended this series with 0-3 because of internal issues. But that is better results than 0-4.You know one important factor so far SL played 29years of Test cricket and IND 79 Yrs and PAK 59Yrs. Within first 30 years results for those 3 countris as follows: Mts,win,loss,draw/nr for SL180-39-73-68 for PAK 122-26-33-63 for IND 82-8-34-40(all are excluding BAN,ZIM).Out of which for SL 11 away win and PAK 10 and IND 0.Now tell me who is the better team.1.PAK 2.SL 3.IND. India need 36 years to win a away test.Then how could expect from SL to win AUS,SA like that. But SL achieve much more than IND and other teams in first 3decades.So SL is better teams in that aspects.

  • on December 26, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    @Tamil_SL: i agree with you..and i also know that some indian fans here troll here..now on this..i will say that again, the analysis is being done for batting..where as sri lanka needs bowlers who can bowl out the opposition twice..but the same mindset which indians have..that batting is important...same goes for sri lanka..if sri lanka has good good bowling unit..then even batsman will deliver

  • on December 26, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Presently Sri Lanka is missing one Key bowler and a Consistent opener, individually everyones trying there bit and have been failing. I dont see any team in World Cricket can fit into present Sri Lankan's shoes, never ending political interferences, 8 months without their salaries.. Sri Lankan team is in their worst compared to last 08 years, the team hasn't clicked still, many spaces to fill in to be competitive, forced to play with a limited resources, seniors are under tremendous pressure.. back to back unpleasant defeats.. and they are against the best in not so friendly and unfamilar tracks. I'd say all the best guys!!Naturally Sri Lankan's have been good under pressure, we need one player to lashout with his frustration, would be ideal if a low key player can do this.. I'd then love to hear what the Pollocks and Vessels got to say.. Win or Lose we are there with you Lions cheering and Singing "I get knocked down, and I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down...

  • on December 26, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    All Senior players need to support Dilshan. Lets stop politics and play for the country. Giving interviews and talking like masters wont help country. Now this has become like an election time. talk nice nothing delivered.

  • mrgupta on December 26, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @bMike, @Lillian: Why do you bring India in this debate? Isn't this column about SL-SA series? Why you bring India in all your comments? India has a bad bowling, bad fielding, bad betting yet they have Won more than SL and defeated both SL and SA at their respective homes, please end this and discuss only SL and SA here.

  • on December 26, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    Hang in their SL players and fans. Things will change around sooner than all the naysayers make out. Fight hard and compete in every session. Sanga as usual is spot on "no excuses" and have the self-belief you are good enough to do the job. Don't worry about the haters, they will still talk you down even long after you start winning games.

  • Tamil_SL on December 26, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Saddened by some of the comments by some SL and PAk fans. Please keep India out of SL series. Don't act on react to comments about India. When PCB and SL Cricket is not run properly why comment on BCCI. when Malinga doesn't want to play tests why blame Indian players. When SL is not winning abroad why compare with India. Our problem is to replace Murali and Vaas. Second Challenge is to get acountability to batsmen other than kumar (who has been playing well for the team). Other batsmen keen to be playing thier "natural" game with not much success and not willing to adapt.

  • on December 27, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    ahmed afker firstly let me clear you who is best outside allover india far away this decade 2003 drew in aussies drew in england 2002 won netwest third team lanka smashed 2006 won in durban fastest in sa again seagain series won in england 2007 again won in perth 2008 no subcontinent team has won there dude lanka pak has not wona single test in austrlia decades lanka neva won lolzzz again india won cb series third team lanka smashed again 2011 drew in sa won in durban no subcontinent team wonthere lanka not won even a test in africa so clearly tells who is better lanka not even won in india instead of comparing to india do spmething both pan andlanka toreach india acheivements 20 percent

  • Habi on December 26, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    @Ahamed Afker, Agreed that SL started to win more matches than IND & PAK but the point is that the present team is just going thru the motions. SL did managed to win matches only due to the fact that ICC allowed Murali to bowl by mending the rules (Its a different matter that IND & PAK supported Arjuna just to get SL's support. Before 2005 Murli took 532 wickets in 91 matches. Its only after ICC allowed for his doosra that he took 268 more wickets in 42 matches. ICC had set a dangerous precedent i.e. suppose if a bowler is diagnosed with low eye sight since his birth, will he be allowed to overstep. Its ridiculous to amend rules just to satisfy some boards. Anyway talk about the present SL team apart from Sanga no world class players. Its also true that IND will face same problems once Sach, Dravid, Lax retire but they have groomed Virat and Rohit. Also how SL can say it is a transition when the entire is same except for Murli & Vaas was long gone and Malinga is always prone to injurie

  • Zafar_Abbas on December 26, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Sanga, you are one of my all time favourite batsmen, but you know what, Dilshan doesn't deserve captaincy... You need to take back the reigns and build the team... it's that simple...

  • on December 26, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    @Amol_Ind_SA . You know very well SL had a problem at the moment within the team as well as management.So we cant expect any results right now that is understandable.May be SL ended this series with 0-3 because of internal issues. But that is better results than 0-4.You know one important factor so far SL played 29years of Test cricket and IND 79 Yrs and PAK 59Yrs. Within first 30 years results for those 3 countris as follows: Mts,win,loss,draw/nr for SL180-39-73-68 for PAK 122-26-33-63 for IND 82-8-34-40(all are excluding BAN,ZIM).Out of which for SL 11 away win and PAK 10 and IND 0.Now tell me who is the better team.1.PAK 2.SL 3.IND. India need 36 years to win a away test.Then how could expect from SL to win AUS,SA like that. But SL achieve much more than IND and other teams in first 3decades.So SL is better teams in that aspects.

  • on December 26, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    @Tamil_SL: i agree with you..and i also know that some indian fans here troll here..now on this..i will say that again, the analysis is being done for batting..where as sri lanka needs bowlers who can bowl out the opposition twice..but the same mindset which indians have..that batting is important...same goes for sri lanka..if sri lanka has good good bowling unit..then even batsman will deliver

  • on December 26, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Presently Sri Lanka is missing one Key bowler and a Consistent opener, individually everyones trying there bit and have been failing. I dont see any team in World Cricket can fit into present Sri Lankan's shoes, never ending political interferences, 8 months without their salaries.. Sri Lankan team is in their worst compared to last 08 years, the team hasn't clicked still, many spaces to fill in to be competitive, forced to play with a limited resources, seniors are under tremendous pressure.. back to back unpleasant defeats.. and they are against the best in not so friendly and unfamilar tracks. I'd say all the best guys!!Naturally Sri Lankan's have been good under pressure, we need one player to lashout with his frustration, would be ideal if a low key player can do this.. I'd then love to hear what the Pollocks and Vessels got to say.. Win or Lose we are there with you Lions cheering and Singing "I get knocked down, and I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down...

  • on December 26, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    All Senior players need to support Dilshan. Lets stop politics and play for the country. Giving interviews and talking like masters wont help country. Now this has become like an election time. talk nice nothing delivered.

  • mrgupta on December 26, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @bMike, @Lillian: Why do you bring India in this debate? Isn't this column about SL-SA series? Why you bring India in all your comments? India has a bad bowling, bad fielding, bad betting yet they have Won more than SL and defeated both SL and SA at their respective homes, please end this and discuss only SL and SA here.

  • on December 26, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    Hang in their SL players and fans. Things will change around sooner than all the naysayers make out. Fight hard and compete in every session. Sanga as usual is spot on "no excuses" and have the self-belief you are good enough to do the job. Don't worry about the haters, they will still talk you down even long after you start winning games.

  • Tamil_SL on December 26, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Saddened by some of the comments by some SL and PAk fans. Please keep India out of SL series. Don't act on react to comments about India. When PCB and SL Cricket is not run properly why comment on BCCI. when Malinga doesn't want to play tests why blame Indian players. When SL is not winning abroad why compare with India. Our problem is to replace Murali and Vaas. Second Challenge is to get acountability to batsmen other than kumar (who has been playing well for the team). Other batsmen keen to be playing thier "natural" game with not much success and not willing to adapt.

  • AWET on December 26, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    When we consider several years of past test matches we have won only barely. We have won 1 test match in series with others drawn (lost ones are mostly saved by Sri Lanka) These statistics are for matches played specialy in Sri Lanka. We have gone down a little bit now so we are losing that 1 match also. We are famous for one day matches. We have to improve specialy in test matches. The players must bat when playing test matches as to cause boredom to spectators as possible. That way of batting is best for test matches

  • Deepfreezed on December 25, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Honestly, it is not a matter of application. It is a matter of talent. SRI can practice all they want but no amount of practice can counter talent needed to become a solid player.

  • Amol_Gh on December 25, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    I think SRL should learn to win a test first and then try to check how long they have to go before they match with IND, SA, AUS and RNg. Meanwhile their fans can do all the fantasizing. But... I believe these SRL-fans won't learn their lessons until SA beats them 3-0.

  • Amol_Gh on December 25, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    bmike: ("Sri Lanka have always had a better bowling attack than South Africa") That was a nice invention from u because don't u know that SRL yet are to win even a single Test match in IND, SA and AUS ???!!! May be u r trying to embarrass SA supporters.

  • tanstell87 on December 25, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    @Alex Kulev & hashabjp - oh guys common u couldn't beat that average Australian team with 310 runs....just like every other average team, SA too roars at home & are lambs away....but off late that roar has been restricted only to lower-ranked sides...read-3 tied series against Eng/Ind & Aus & losses at SA hunting ground in 90's - The Kingsmead !!!

  • Danksl on December 25, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    If Sanga, Mahela or Dilshan reads this comment please guys. If there is anything happens in the team. Politics or any sort of issues please let the nation knows. If one of you are the issues please retire. Now we fans had enough waiting for miracles. it's not the transition period it's something else. Please give us what we deserve.

  • on December 25, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I'll scream if I hear this "since-Murali" talk one more time. True he was a match winner but there were others who contributed around him. SL has won without him and they have lost with him. My advice to the players is not to listen to all the chatter and let the pressure get to the head, play your best game, have fun and let the results speak for themselves. To take on the topmost sides in the world while you are still experimenting with your side isn't easy for a country of under 20 million. It all takes time. To be fair, they fared creditably in England and the losses were all 1-0. If you want inspiration from Murali, remember he always had fun, bowling, fielding or batting.

  • ShehanJay on December 25, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    All the confidence in the world won't help if your batsmen can't play fast bowlers. The only place Sri Lanka has consistently won is in the sub-continent on flat wickets. Tomorrows match, not withstanding rain, might end in 4 days. If SL is able to drag it on and lose on the 5th and final day, that would be a victory of sorts.

  • SnowSnake on December 25, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    It is one thing to give excuses and it is another to not reflect. SL needs to reflect over their poor past performance to improve in the future. Otherwise, it will keep losing.

  • Mfalme on December 25, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    I am sure friends and foes alike want SL cricket to improve and deliver a contest every time they get on to the field. It was a curse in disguise that the previous 3 series were lost by mere 1-0 margins. What is needed is a radical change and a complete overhaul of SL cricket. This can forth come only if their team losses 3-0 not just once but a couple of times back to back. Haven't we seen that in every sphere in life; success has brought only corruption, mismanagement etc. like dog mites feeding on them till the eventual downfall. Only failure,like a dead dog, can get rid of those dog mites in cricket too - hopefully. So a 3 - 0 whitewash could be a blessing in disguise for SL cricket.

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    Wish they could find another bender

  • satish619chandar on December 25, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    @Mayan Mansilu: No need to provoke INdian fans here.. India has a far far better record in overseas(Apart from ONE series which everyone will hold like a golden cup).. IF a bowler bowling in 150 cant pick wicket, there is no use.. @LillianThomson : Australia are just lucky that India are not producing 145km/h bowlers.. Otherwise, no way they can compete with them.. We need to wait and see whether their fading batting lineup is good enough to face the 120 km/h atleast..

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    Just win and then talk.No wins since Murali retired!

  • tennakoon63 on December 25, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Yes. SL is in a transition period from Murali days. But there are senior players including the captain can show some leadership to the youngsters. That is lacking. Dilshan should not play shots like in the T20s. Come on boys the 7 days you guys had since the first test should be enough to prepare you guys mentally and physically.

  • Tjoeps on December 25, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Article well written, Firdosa Moondra, and for those who does not know she is a lady with an exceptional understanding of the game called Cricket, loves your articles and point of view... After Pieter Roebuck, you rock sister! Then there is Chass Naaido, awesome! I am a Saffer, and will stand by the Proteas thru jokes and chokes, they are MY team... Sure they disappoint, but sometimes they do remarkable things... World Cricket be aware, the Garry & Protea combo are slowly but surly begining to gel, be afraid, be very afraid....

  • KingOwl on December 25, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    It's getting rather boring hearing the same thing from players, administrators, and the journalists as well! I think based on current form, in test cricket, SA and England are at the top, Aus and Pakistan next (although they are two very different sides). SL and India next, and then WI, followed by Bangladesh and Zim. Pakistan could be the best if they could bat in seaming conditions, but they cannot. India and SL have the same problem: Weak bowling and batsmen used to flat tracks (same with Pakistani batting, but they have got a great bowling unit). Now, what is new in this scenario? Nothing really. So the only difference is the conditions. I think when the cricketing circus comes back to the sub continent, things will go back to normal. SL and India will steadily climb the rankings and SA/Eng will come down. Aussies will take advantage and reach the top. Pakistan will go down due to some scandal or other. We will all be happy!

  • on December 25, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    tanstell87, oh please -we are the better team and if we play you in sri lanka, we win easily 1-0 or 2-0. however right now you are in sa and you will get beaten 3-0

  • hashabjp on December 25, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    @tanstell87... i didnt see Sri Lanka beating them in any major tournament... let me recollect ...ah none... This South Africa team or which ever team will demolish this Sri Lankan team. I think even with second best bowling line up of tsotsobe, Merchat de lange, wayne parnell will demolish this team.. oh third bowling line up of Ryan Mclaren, J theron, F de wet will demolish this Sri lankan.. so just say pray that this misery gets over soon. My second best lineup would be 1) dean elgar 2) s van zyl 3)colin ingram 4) rilee russow 5)David miller 6) obus piennar 7) dane vilas 8) johan botha 9) wayne parnell 10) Merchant de Lange 11) tsotsobe

  • on December 25, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    i know bring ajanta if he can get 6 wickets in 4 overs well basic maths says he will get 10 in 9.2 overs

  • on December 25, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    NEEEEEEED PLAY CHANDIMAL HE IS A CLASIC PLAYER

  • on December 25, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    sanga only says things..never does it actually.......doon't talk, just bat when u got the chance

  • Mutukisna on December 25, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan Cricket fan, but also a realist. Whilst we are in transition attempting to unearth match winning bowling talent, it is obvious that in the interim we do not possess a bowling attack which is capable of getting 20 wickets in order to win a test match. However, it does not prevent Sri Lanka from playing for draws during this period of transition. Please Sri Lankan batsmen, can you show some grit, determination and fight and thus ensure we do not lose any test match by putting up some defendable scores. Until this match winning bowling talent is found, I will be happy even if all their test matches end in draws. Lets start this process with the next test against South Africa.

  • Sinhaya on December 25, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Come on boys! Go all out tomorrow and bring us pride! Hope the last 7 or 8 days was useful to plan and deliver on Boxing Day!!

  • tanstell87 on December 25, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    guess LillianThomson still living in 2005.....dude Australia is now an average team who gets bowled out under 100 very often....& India are world champions with SL just behind....

  • tanstell87 on December 25, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    this SA is average & only roars in SA that too against lower-ranked sides...SL will carn SA in SL....

  • g.narsimha on December 25, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    LILIAN THOMSON,cant live without draging INDIA ,in each & every metter , day dream will not turn in to reality , we have been no-i, now no-2 in both the format, your team is presently not only languishing in ZIM,BD COMPANY but also distined to play with them only , if your spinners, fai to l perfom iam sure you will loose to them also, at present we have 145+ bowlwers in YADAV& VARUN but your bowlers in uae& bd were hardly touching 130+ mark , reg our batting can you name any new comer with half the talent of OUR KOHLI,ROHIT,from ypu team cric info pl publish

  • on December 25, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    The Sri Lankans certainly can put up a fight . . . there is no doubts about it, but I cannot see them beat South Africa here. Go Proteas, we are behind you. Please do not allow the Sri Lankans back into this series, especially after you have won it. You have to win this series 3-0. This is the ONLY way you will begin to move up the test match ladder, i.e. by ruthlessly finishing off teams and not allowing them a comeback as was the case with Australia at the Wanderes. The Ausies should NEVER even have sniffed a score of 310 in their second innings.

  • hashabjp on December 25, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Boucher needs to go... the guy is a baggage and scores only against weak sides.. like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. In the last test i was astonished to see him protect Imran Tahir who was timing the ball better than Boucher. Sad to see Imran Tahir not getting a century against that attack :( all because of Boucher. Sad Dane Vilas, Heino Kuhn, Quiton De Kock, or Morne Wyn Wyc not getting their fair chance of international call up. No wonder keiswetter opted for England. BOUCHER NEEDS TO GO.

  • hashabjp on December 25, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    flat track bullies talk too much and score less.. instead of spending time giving interview shouldn't he be in nets practicing and at least post decent scores so that we can see the torture for at least five days instead of three.

  • on December 25, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Sri Lanka has failed to win a Test Match since Murali retired yet their only potential bowling matchwinner Ajantha Mendis has played in less than 20% of those Tests. Herath may well be consistent but he's not a matchwinning spinner. Bring Ajantha back for the 2nd Test!!!! He's the only spinner who can win matches.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 25, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    SL batsmen have always been poor outside sub-continent, with India being the only country producing batsmen who can play on all surfaces....

    I have mentioned here before that even Sanga and Mahela have scored only 3-4 centuries outside the sub-continent in their long careers.....

  • josh2david on December 25, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Well said Sanga, he is really a thinking Cricketer like Dravid, I think if batsmen perform well and put 400+ on the board in first innings more likely can avoid the defeat even though you have an ordinary bowling attack

  • on December 25, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    That's a better analysis Sanga.Fight for it.Even if you loose,it should be after a spirited fight.Dilshan should bat with more responsibilty and he should determined to stay in the crease rather that going for silly shots.As you said there are seven batsmen and you and Mahela cannot carry the weight all the time.Bowlers did a decent job and if batting clicks we should be able to put up a competitive display.Play your natural game without getting pressurized and who knows,you may come out with a surprise.

  • bMike on December 25, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    @Lillian Thomson : don't agree with you. Sri Lanka have always had a better bowling attack than South Africa until last year. SL was the only team to have a competitive bowling attack to great Australian MacGrath, Warne + attack. When their best 3 bowlers Murali, Vaas, Malinga retired at the same time it's not easy to find replacements quickly. Anyway I agree with your point that India always have had a rubbish bowling attack & Indian batting will also become rubbish as old trio will retire soon

  • vallavarayar on December 25, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Ms Moonda has hit the nail on the head. The absence of murali is the vital factor. The Sri Lankan camp's failure to admit that is seen by the way they frequently add others like vaas and jayasuriya to this list. The latter two are good players who had a few exceptional matches, but murali was the lynch pin, around whom all their victories were based on. The current SL team simply is not good enough at test level.

  • on December 25, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Sanga, come out with some positive words, time to do some good, time to think something good & time perform good from tomorrow....All the very best

  • on December 25, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    @ LillianThomson, dude we are not like india, we do have bowlers who can bowl 145+, dilhara,malinga,suranga lakmal,nuwan pradeep are few of them

  • on December 25, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    As always,no matter what's the situation,win or lose,post match or pre match,Sanga is the best man for the talking job.Even Mr.Moonda's writings suddenly become interesting.lol.But it's the time to let bat to do the talking Sanga!

  • sankar8000 on December 25, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    I hope Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan take responsibilty and play well ....If don't another defeat for lanka...

  • LillianThomson on December 25, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    Sri Lanka is India's long-lost twin: good batting, rubbish bowling attack. India and Sri Lanka are destined to languish in Test cricket just above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe until they can produce tall bowlers capable of bowling over 145 km/h. And both teams are in the awful situation of having most of their batsmen nearing retirement too.

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  • LillianThomson on December 25, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    Sri Lanka is India's long-lost twin: good batting, rubbish bowling attack. India and Sri Lanka are destined to languish in Test cricket just above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe until they can produce tall bowlers capable of bowling over 145 km/h. And both teams are in the awful situation of having most of their batsmen nearing retirement too.

  • sankar8000 on December 25, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    I hope Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan take responsibilty and play well ....If don't another defeat for lanka...

  • on December 25, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    As always,no matter what's the situation,win or lose,post match or pre match,Sanga is the best man for the talking job.Even Mr.Moonda's writings suddenly become interesting.lol.But it's the time to let bat to do the talking Sanga!

  • on December 25, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    @ LillianThomson, dude we are not like india, we do have bowlers who can bowl 145+, dilhara,malinga,suranga lakmal,nuwan pradeep are few of them

  • on December 25, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Sanga, come out with some positive words, time to do some good, time to think something good & time perform good from tomorrow....All the very best

  • vallavarayar on December 25, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Ms Moonda has hit the nail on the head. The absence of murali is the vital factor. The Sri Lankan camp's failure to admit that is seen by the way they frequently add others like vaas and jayasuriya to this list. The latter two are good players who had a few exceptional matches, but murali was the lynch pin, around whom all their victories were based on. The current SL team simply is not good enough at test level.

  • bMike on December 25, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    @Lillian Thomson : don't agree with you. Sri Lanka have always had a better bowling attack than South Africa until last year. SL was the only team to have a competitive bowling attack to great Australian MacGrath, Warne + attack. When their best 3 bowlers Murali, Vaas, Malinga retired at the same time it's not easy to find replacements quickly. Anyway I agree with your point that India always have had a rubbish bowling attack & Indian batting will also become rubbish as old trio will retire soon

  • on December 25, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    That's a better analysis Sanga.Fight for it.Even if you loose,it should be after a spirited fight.Dilshan should bat with more responsibilty and he should determined to stay in the crease rather that going for silly shots.As you said there are seven batsmen and you and Mahela cannot carry the weight all the time.Bowlers did a decent job and if batting clicks we should be able to put up a competitive display.Play your natural game without getting pressurized and who knows,you may come out with a surprise.

  • josh2david on December 25, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Well said Sanga, he is really a thinking Cricketer like Dravid, I think if batsmen perform well and put 400+ on the board in first innings more likely can avoid the defeat even though you have an ordinary bowling attack

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 25, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    SL batsmen have always been poor outside sub-continent, with India being the only country producing batsmen who can play on all surfaces....

    I have mentioned here before that even Sanga and Mahela have scored only 3-4 centuries outside the sub-continent in their long careers.....