Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd Test, Pallekele, 1st day

Dilshan demands batting improvement

Daniel Brettig in Pallekele

September 8, 2011

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Trent Copeland celebrates the dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd Test, Pallekele, 1st day, September 8, 2011
Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled shouldering arms to Trent Copeland in the first innings in Pallekele © AFP
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Sri Lanka's captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has demanded more from his batsmen following their first-innings surrender for 174 in the second Test against Australia in Pallekele. He threatened numerous changes to the team if performances did not improve.

Dilshan was one of a series of batsmen dismissed cheaply as Sri Lanka lurched to 76 for 5 at lunch on the first day, a position from which they never recovered despite an excellent batting pitch. The start seemed to reflect the chaotic nature of the hosts' lead-in to the Test, with Rangana Herath (finger) and Ajantha Mendis (back) ruled out on the morning of the match due to injuries.

"Definitely there is something wrong in the batting," Dilshan said. "We are talking, discussing, we are doing a lot of hard work in the training and we are discussing a lot of things, but now is the time to deliver.

"We can't say the wicket is bad. They've bowled really well but we've played the last series in England, where there was a better attack, and on a difficult wicket we batted really well. Now the players should put their hands up and deliver, they have to deliver, now is the time, we can't wait anymore.

"This is the third time we've got out cheaply [including 82 on the final day against England in Cardiff]. They bowled really well in the start but our batsmen didn't bat well, that is why we got out. It is a good wicket, we are playing seven batsmen, we can't expect 174 all out."

Several ideas have been tossed about in Sri Lanka's dressing room, including the employment of the sports psychologist Rudi Webster at the conclusion of the series. Dilshan also said the older batsmen, including himself and Thilan Samaraweera, had to take more responsibility or risk being dropped. Their struggles contrasted with the success of Angelo Mathews, who followed a second-innings 95 in Galle with 58 here.

"He's batted really well in the No. 7 position," Dilshan said. "We have problems with the middle order and the top order. We don't want to change someone batting really well at No. 7, but we have to think about the second innings. Maybe change the batting line-up and send someone in top."

Dilshan described the changes to the side minutes before play as "unfortunate". They necessitated the inclusion of the offspinner Suraj Randiv, who was going to be dropped, and the legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna, making his debut.

Herath was struck on the finger during a fielding drill on the eve of the Test, while Mendis had a back problem that worsened in the lead-up to the game. "We thought he [Herath] would be okay but today he tried to grip the ball and he couldn't, his finger was very sore," Dilshan said. "Ajantha had a back injury in last one-dayer but he managed to play, but today morning he talked to the physio, he was worse than the last few weeks. I don't want to take a chance and play him, so that is why we gave a youngster a chance. Unfortunately we had to make two changes in the morning."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (September 10, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

nice bowling england-with sirilanka.......................................................

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 10:12 GMT)

I think Sri Lankans play to much of 1dayers and now 20/20 mentally their cricketers have no staying power or when to hit the right ball .the aussies do,do their home work on each batsman and they with the help of technology have worked out the lankan bowlers this is smart cricket

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

I think Dilshan should stand down as Captain of Tests and 1dayers keep him as 20/20 captain as his record shows .you need a good stratergic cricketer to lead The Sri-Lankan team in tests

Posted by Nathan_123 on (September 9, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

Congratulations to Shuan Marsh he is 60 not out and batting well. It does not surprise me why Australia, England and S Africa are the best team in the world whether playing at home or away. Because their youngsters' talent and their confidence. In Srilanka no doubt there are lot of young talent. But these youngsters take years to mature and play confidently. I believe ICC should invest some time and resources to study why this is happening in Srilanka and help the cricket board to eradicate this problem. If this does not happen soon, Srilanka will slip in to the 2nd tier of the world ranking.

Posted by DINESHCC on (September 9, 2011, 8:39 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

Dilsahn is a good batsman not a good Capt.....he should live up to his reputation with an example, if you take Tendulka he is the best batsmen in the world but the worst Capt for Dilshan should take a feather from Tendulka.

Posted by crickstats on (September 9, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

Dilshan should drop himself for 3rd test and give the captaincy to Mathews to see what different it makes to have a technically sound opener in tests

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

Clark is a thinking smart Capt…..Aussies put in 200%, Dilshan is not a motivating or a good Capt but is a good batsman……All ICC cricket boards should impose a fine to any player who fails to perform in any series in batting or bowing…….This would get the best out of each player as they highly paid anyway.

Posted by sAiyAnstAr on (September 9, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

Upul Tharanga deserves a go at opening. Dilly should drop down to 5 and have a slog when there have been some runs established. The reason the middle order is failing, is because the top order is getting out early and leaving putting pressure on them. It is ideal for number 4,5 and 6 to come in with at least 100+ on the board and the ball a bit older.

Posted by Itchy on (September 9, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

Methinks Dilshan might be the first head on the chopping block.

Posted by 9ST9 on (September 9, 2011, 3:10 GMT)

well hope this disastrous tour marks a turning point, and SLC invest in Matthews as skipper, Dilshan is too old an option for the long term. However he should be kept in charge of the T20 team if SL are hoping to win next years T20 WC.

Posted by praful_cric on (September 9, 2011, 2:46 GMT)

IPL... IPL.. IPL... thats what spoiling the cricket in Ind and SL.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

How can Dilshan say this when he has not performend as well, me be he should be droped first.

Posted by Sidura on (September 9, 2011, 0:19 GMT)

Dilshan, with all due respect, before your batsmen start piling up runs, your need to get your bowlers to bowl Autralia out cheaply.

Posted by Deepfreezed on (September 8, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

Disappointing batting performance. Prospect look very bleak for Sri Lanka now. No new talent. Zimbabwe can beat this team easily playing at Sri Lanka. Dilshan should go down to number 5 and bring solid openers into the team.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 22:34 GMT)

I think the rest of the team should demand a batting lift from Dilshan...or resignation .... Dilshan is not Skipper meterial.!!

Posted by Roshini on (September 8, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

"Tigers at home and Lambs abroad" was how Sri Lanka were called at test cricket. Having held that mantle proudly for a long long time it just seems now a half cooked Australian side has managed to turn tables on Sri Lanka and successfully re-phrased that to "Near Lambs at home and full lambs abroad" Well played selectors and captain. Having said that need of the hour is not to embark on a frantic search for a replica of Muralidharan, Jayasuriya, Vaas or Aravinda but for a captain like Arjuna. Will us be lucky? Roshini Vaas - Homagama Sri Lanka

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 8, 2011, 20:20 GMT)

ASIAN cricket as a whole needs to ask serious questions of itself. Does it want its countries to stay in the top 5 or the middle or the bottom ?? With all respect to Bangladesh, the 3 Asian countries who can become serious world beaters are India, Pakistan and SL. Sadly though, India and SL both are SPOILED by too much T20 cricket. India are becoming a question mark in tests. From what I have seen so far from SL in this series is that they simply DON'T have the quality to score 300+ runs unless Sanga and Mahela make BIG scores. SL are suffering from the same cancer plaguing Indian cricket; lack of quality middle order and lack of LETHAL bowlers. Adding to that, I seriously question Dilshan's appointment as captain. e

Posted by Saichandm on (September 8, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

I find few of the comments illogical. First of all it doesn't matter whether the conditions r home or away. if the bowling is good,u tend to lose wickets.Australia made the most of the conditions. They bowled consistent lines got movement both ways and applied pressure at both ends.some SL batsmen got out to good deliveries and others got out trying to impose themselves on the bowling. Some ppl have made easy judgement calls like the batting order has to be changed and others said players should have been replaced as if this lineup has been failing for ages. Angelo played 2 good knocks n ppl want him to suddenly shift his position ahead of others who hv played in those positions and have made a mark there. Chandimal has a genuine flaw in his technique against lefties which was exposed in the ODIs.why should he picked suddenly unless it is corrected?

Ppl should realize that change is not always the answer. have faith in ur players.Btw..I believe they r being ouutplayed by a better team

Posted by SL_A_kumar on (September 8, 2011, 20:05 GMT)

There are no good excuses. Captain and coaches need to get some professional advise.

Posted by chandau on (September 8, 2011, 18:47 GMT)

hmm interesting comment from the skip :) here's a revised batting lineup for u. Tharanga, Samaraweera, Sangakkara, Jayawardena, Mathews, Dilshan, PJ, Suraj, Prasanna, Lakmal, Chanaka. not sure if this OZ team is into sledging in a big way but in case Dilshan drops down the order he will cop it sweet for sure:) Only other option is for Marvy to come out of retirement and open LOL From a psychological point of view Dilshan is a hyper guy and not a good choice for skipper. it is not nice for the skip to be waving arms and shouting at the team; he needs to learn from gayle to be koool. Sadly there is no one else who will captain this team; well done SLC , for making the most coveted position in cricket a poisoned chalice!!!!!

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

Are Lankan players too suffering from too-much-cricket syndrome?Top players especially haven't had any rest since the WC.Sanga's dismissal particularly indicates something like that. IPL, a tough series in England, having to play rearguard action time and again, having to switch between formats,all the travel and other pressures would take their toll ultimately.Even if you can push your body, the mind will just refuse at a certain point.This rebuilding is going nowhere.Aussies in contrast have had rest and in preparation mode since winter other than a half hearted WC.Some kind of rotation policy needs be implemented resting top players and trying out promising youngsters. You could also try out a standby squad mainly with youngsters and a couple of experienced hands now that this series doesn't promise much. Anyway, Sri Lanka A could not do much worse.

Posted by ChandraPrince on (September 8, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

I'm disappointed with Dilshan. Any good captain leads by example. I feel Dilshan doesn't have a good strategy in place. The best plan that Dilshan can offer his team is to be consistently put a big score on the board, by tearing up his opponents-- the way only Dilshan can.

Posted by charitha.i on (September 8, 2011, 15:34 GMT)

i think they shud bring mathews at no 1 ( as in as opener with dilshan ) and tharanga at 7!!!! well h iz a test player!!!!

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

Errr I think the rest of the team should demand a batting lift from Dilshan...or resignation

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

Before he threatns any one/thing, he needs to threatn him self!! I mean, come on, being an attacking batsman, are these the way to get out? Bowld between bat and pad.... Leaving a ball on off stump?? Who does he think he is? Marvan? OR IS OUR BATTING COACH TRYING TO MAKE OUR BATSMEN DIFFERENTLY??

Posted by randikaayya on (September 8, 2011, 14:38 GMT)

Looked like mission suicide to be honest. most of all, Dilshan shouldering arms to a straight one and getting castled was frustrating. Of the entire top order only samaraweera got out a delivery that demamnded a wicket. Others played extremely carelessly and the general tight lines and discipline of Aussies did the rest! Not a very good time for sub-continent teams these it would seem.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (September 8, 2011, 14:37 GMT)

Looks to me like Sri Lanka wants to help Australia become a good Cricket nation again. Sri Lanka seems to have no motivation to play well against Australia. Yeah Dilshan is right only when the opposition team has the name called England to it, does Sri Lanka fight tooth and nail to make sure they don't lose. It seems Sri Lanka doesn't mind losing to Australia. This rate Aussies will win 3-0, giving the Aussies a confidence boost going forward in their efforts to build a good team again. Seems Australia are well on the way to doing that judging by the evidence and reports coming from Sri Lanka, notoriously a very tough place to play cricket in the past for opposition teams.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (September 8, 2011, 14:24 GMT)

sack this guy as the captain.he is useless.

Posted by Ravenous on (September 8, 2011, 14:00 GMT)

Pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by ThusithaHettigama on (September 8, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

Very poor performance SL. Looks like they cannot get over T20 mentality.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

What an idiotic comment by Dilshan provong he is not fit for captaincy as he lacks a cricketing brain. Who in their right mind would say that he is going to leave Angelo MAtthews batting at 7 cos he has done well there? Matthews is a technically only behind Mahela in the current team and a complete batsaman who has a 270 as a top first calss score with a string of big scores. Send him in at 3,4 or 5 now. He will reel centuries. What kind of a narrow minded near sighted idiot would say that they would leave him at 7. He never gets to complete a century cos he is always stranded ithout partners and look how well he has done still. Sending him at 7 in ODI is one thing (cos of his big hitting) which I still dont agree with. But in tests he needs to be in top order at least 5 before Thilan for me. Whats going to happen when one day Sanga, Mahela and Thilan alll retire together having hogged the 3,4 n 5 positions for so long. Dilshan may be canny but definitely not wise...

Posted by Charindra on (September 8, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

Dilshan himself should stop talking and start delivering in test matches. I wasn't a big fan of Sanga and Mahela's captaincy, although they are two fantastic batsmen. But at least during their tenures we were virtually invincible at home, although our away record only improved marginally. I thought Dilshan did well in England against the swinging ball and almost drew the series 0 - 0, but at home we expect SL to win, no matter what the opposition. But all credit to Clarke and his men, they've come here with a plan and executed it, and SL has had no answers so far. Very sad situation.

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (September 8, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

Dilshan, why not demand yourself for very poor captaincy. When you can not produce, how come you expect from the others. I was also wondering, people kept on blaming on to the middle order, what about the top order. Dilshan, why not you and our so called best ever batsmen produced in SL play down the order and build when the top order collapses? What really bothers me is that, SL has very talented players, but they are not managed well. We need a good captain like Arjuna who can bring up in born talents of players rather than just not blaming players for their under performances. I agree that leading is not an easy task, but we need a good leader.

Posted by karl43 on (September 8, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

It's hard to tell whether australia are very good or just punching above their weight or whether it's just that sri lanka are playing very badly and devoid of confidence but australia are already in a winning position after only day 1 and I can't see this test going as far as day 4 on current evidence.

Posted by WPDDESILVA on (September 8, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

Drop Paranavithana and bring in Thirimanne. Also drop that god forsaken Samaraweera and bring in Chandimal. These guys will at least have the hunger to prove a point!!

Posted by VincentSunder on (September 8, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

and he himself has to perform!! Sounds more like Dhoni during the Tests!

Posted by CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on (September 8, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

Well is the pace bowling of harris,copeland,johnson too much for hosts or they are incompetent in batting dept apart from sanga and mahela ? whatever it may be u can lose to this bowling attack of australia particularly at home

Posted by Meety on (September 8, 2011, 13:03 GMT)

The changes shouldn't of affected the batting as it was bowlers who were replaced! == == == Even after lunch when the pitch appeared to be easier, the Sanga dismissal was tame, particularly after playing really well for 48, they should of been say 7/220 at stumps (after their Lunch score). They really have their backs to the wall, I think they'll need a minimum 3 wickets before Lunch tomorrow (& another 3 by Tea) or Oz will bat them out of this game.

Posted by ratedstfu44 on (September 8, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

srilanka facing mental problem....

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

Dilshan.You do it first!Be a example! Sadly i'd say i'm losing the faith of you as a captain.

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