Sri Lanka in South Africa 2016-17 January 10, 2017

Batsmen have let us down - Jayasuriya

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sanath Jayasuriya: "I feel that at least one batsman should have risen to occasion and held on to it, but, sadly that did not happen" © AFP

Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has expressed dismay in the batsmen on tour, and called top order to read match situations better in the third Test in Johannesburg. Sri Lanka have failed to reach 300 in their four innings in South Africa so far, and were dismissed for 110 and 224 in the Newlands Test.

"We selected a side which is a blend of youth and experience," Jayasuriya told Sunday Times. "Besides, even the younger ones have had their own share of exposure in the recent past. Maybe we can excuse misreading the game in the first Test because for most of the players it was their first time out in South Africa. But, I can't understand why they failed in the same way in the second Test also.

"I feel that at least one batsman should have risen to occasion and held on to it, but, sadly that did not happen."

Jayasuriya was especially critical of Sri Lanka's failure in the second innings in Port Elizabeth, after the openers had put on 87, and other promising top-order partnerships had begun to take root. The last seven wickets had fallen for 88 runs, however, and Sri Lanka were all out for 281.

"In that innings most of the top-order batsmen failed to come up with a commanding innings in spite of four batsmen getting in to positions that they could have capitalised on," Jayasuriya said. "Now, at least, in the final Test, it's up to the batters to come up with the much-anticipated satisfactory performance."

More had been expected of the batsmen in this series following their encouraging performances against Australia at home, and in Zimbabwe over October and November. This is in contrast to what was expected of the attack, which appeared by a distance Sri Lanka's weaker suit on pitches expected to neutralise Rangana Herath's spin to some extent.

"The same can't be said about the bowlers," Jayasuriya said. "They've bowled with a lot of purpose and never let the totals rise up to unmanageable levels. The batsmen they have let the side down".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • amindh6043107 on January 23, 2017, 13:28 GMT

    So they let us doen .Dont reward them for doing so by playing the same openers against bd

  • anilpr6034899 on January 11, 2017, 17:55 GMT

    Batsmen who are capable of handlibg rigours of test cricket should have been selected. Open with Dhanajaya as he is comfortable handling pace.

  • sriyantha on January 11, 2017, 15:42 GMT

    It is a must to bring Tharanga to top order and let him bat one down position (same as opening, since it is a certainty to go down our crumbling openers dimuth/silva combo to fall early). After all he has the most experience (7k international runs, 51x50+ scores with 15 tons, best current form in tests (650 runs at 41 av from 9 random tests) among all in top order. Trying everyone else & blocking this guy from batting in top order since 2015 and providing the failing favorites unlimited opportunities at the cost of series losses is questionable.

  • tharan1717595 on January 11, 2017, 11:50 GMT

    Bring in Dikwella and Roshen Silva who are scoring heavily in the domestic scene and good against fast bowling.Kusal Janith is a overated player and Tharanga is not test match material anymore.Give the youth a chance and persist with them if you are serious of building a team for the future

  • Anver on January 11, 2017, 6:41 GMT

    3rd test is another test for these young SL batters in SA conditions... wish they come good and perform better than the previous 2 tests and gain much needed confidence before T20s & ODI's !!!

  • Keith on January 11, 2017, 5:04 GMT

    There's no question that the batting was simply rigid. In any situation the only way to play good cricket is with a positive mind set, yet from the opener till Mathews I see negativity written all over. Dimuth is an experienced campaigner, and a 100 against Zimbabwe is no excuse to stick on in the team if he cannot pick himself up, and motivate Kaushal in the process. Chandimal should be more attacking, than defensive, as that's his strength. Mathews has the technique and the capability, high time he puts up a big century, if not he does not deserve to lead, if he cannot set the standard for the team to follow suit.

  • crick on January 11, 2017, 4:42 GMT

    When Chandimal do not score runs nobody does...if you check past 2 years SL batting collapse took place almost all the matches where Chandi didn't score. SL risen up when Chandi score big. It's high time for Mathews to rise up to the occasion

  • sam on January 11, 2017, 4:41 GMT

    Jayasuriya talks nonsense. The main reason SL cannot compete in SA is their batsmen have poor defensive techniques. In test cricket there is no substitute for a good defensive batting technique especially in SA, Aus, NZ and Eng. Except Kaushal Silva and Angelo Mathews rest of the batsmen do not have a good defensive batting technique. Even among those two Silva finds it difficult to handle extra bounce as he is too short and Mathews for some unknown reason is taking an off-stump guard instead of his leg-stump one and sometimes playing balls way outside off-stump which he should ideally be leaving. Anyway, how will Jayasuriya ever understand that? Technique and Jayasuriya are two things that should never be mentioned in the same breath. Atapattu needs to be helping the current SL batsmen. He had a fine technique.

  • upuler1604594 on January 11, 2017, 3:08 GMT

    Yes...CRICFAN49302113, Yes oir batters have been hopeless in SA for decades. It is time one batter at least Mathews or Chandimal make a century in the last test. SL batting lineip shud hv Chandi at 3 and Mathews at 4. They need to tale responsibility not the new comers. Kusal Mendis shud keep so that Chandi can bat at 3.

  • ausmou8442838 on January 11, 2017, 1:39 GMT

    SL batsmen always let SL down in South Africa except for Thilan Samaraweera and to some extent Sangakkara. Jayasuriya himself averaged just fifteen in all the test matches he played in South Africa while Marvan Attapattu and legendary Mahela Jayawardena averaged twenty two and twenty eight respectively. This is a pattern that just continues always.. Nothing new..

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