Sri Lanka v India, 2nd Test, SSC, 2nd day July 27, 2010

Batsman Sangakkara remains a stylist

In either liking or hating the captain, the statesman, the keeper with the irritating shouts, we tend to forget the reason why we liked Sangakkara in the first place
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For the last year or so we have known the man who repeatedly questions cricket's lopsided scheduling. The man who has perhaps strived to make Australia out of Sri Lanka, and perhaps cutting down on some of the Sri Lankan flair. The man who complains about the inconsistent use of Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS). The man who has had to make bold decisions regarding Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas. The man who keeps saying Ajantha Mendis is not over, and answering questions about life after Murali and Vaas. The man who has become insufferable with his incessant and excessive appealing from behind the stumps, for LBWs that don't exist. The man who made Tillakaratne Dilshan keep wicket in Tests when Prasanna Jayawardene was injured. Somewhere in all that, we tend to forget Kumar Sangakkara the batsman.

In either liking or hating the captain, the statesman, the keeper with the irritating shouts, we tend to forget the reason why we liked Sangakkara in the first place. His batting has all that grace, style, and also the aggression. The drives still flow beautifully all through the cover field, the whip-flick between mid-on and midwicket that he plays even as he is moving across the stumps is still a joy to watch, the sweeps to all parts of leg side still negate the spinners.

Silently, as a captain, Sangakkara has scored five centuries in 10 Tests, three of them in his last three games against India, the latest being his seventh double-century, putting him behind only Don Bradman and Brian Lara on that count.

When he came in to bat on Monday, on his beloved SSC pitch and against an average attack, a century was there to be taken. Still, how you got there, and how far you took it beyond 100 mattered too. This innings had all the hallmarks of a Sangakkara special. The intent was clear from the first over of his innings: when Pragyan Ojha was slightly short, he was cut away; when he flighted he was lofted over mid-on. From thereon until he was caught by an alert Rahul Dravid - and it's a task to stay alert after you have spent one-and-a-half days without anything remotely resembling an edge - Sangakkara owned the attack.

Even with the deep point in place, India struggled to keep Sangakkara quiet. Though Tharanga Paranavitana was 34 when Sangakkara came out, it wasn't a surprise that he was overtaken. No scoring opportunity was missed. There weren't shots that stood out for audacity, but there weren't any that stood out for being inelegant either. Even as Mahela Jayawardene struggled in the final hour on the first day, Sangakkara kept getting the runs, scoring 34 off 58 in that period.

How he played on the second day, though, was going to determine how well Sri Lanka could time their declaration. The first two balls of the day brought clear indications. Two of his favourite shots got him boundaries: the drive wide of mid-off, and then the whip-flick through midwicket. Five overs later, the same bowler, Abhimanyu Mithun, was hit for three consecutive boundaries. After a relatively quiet spell, he showed Ojha the complete range of sweep shots in one over: slog-sweeps to cow corner and midwicket, and then two regulation ones to square leg and backward square leg. That over took him from 183 to 199.

The platform was set up again, the bowlers had been deflated again, and Jayawardene did the rest. When Sangakkara got out, though, the reaction was of acute dissatisfaction. The double-hundred wasn't nearly enough. The reaction was of a man who has scored seven of them, a man who wants more.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • South_Indian on August 3, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Tendulkar is just hopeless when it comes to "winning test matches" for his side. Sangakkarra is better and Lara was the best.

  • Agnar on July 31, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Thejana, The most important point I was trying to make was that subcontinent pitches are different and not inferior. Your point that Sanga has skills to deal with different types of pitches is well taken. But why it is accepted without a slightest argument that pitches in England and Australia are superior? Most cricketers of any country do well on their home grounds. Why an Australian player who does better on their grounds than in Sri Lanka or other subcontinent grounds is considered better than a Sri Lankan player who does better on Sri Lnakan grounds than in Australia? Thank you for your response.

  • on July 31, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    @ USMAN NILE The fact you have pointed out is only valid for Jayawardena. You are simply going nowhere regarding Sangakkara. Sangakkara out of his 90 tests has only played 39 tests away and has an avg over 50. His average in aus is over 65 with his memorable 192 in hobart which would have been a double ton very easily inspite of rudy koertzens crappy decision. Sangakkara has 2 centuries in NZ out of 4 matches. In one of them he was 100* from a team total of 160 and in the other 150* odd in a team total of 260. These simply highlight the lack of support he gets from his fellow batsmen in away conditions. Infact he and sachin are the only subcontinent batsmen to average over 39 in south africa.

  • on July 30, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    @ Agnar.. People can put down Mahela with his away sats but you cannot put down Sanga from his away stats.He thrives better outside sub-continent tracks.

  • Agnar on July 29, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    I am sick and tired of reading that subcontinent pitches are inferior to those of England and Australia. Cricket is an international game and not just an Englishman's game anymore. In fact the game now is played in subcontinent more than it is played in England. So if one kind of pitch is favored or considered superior, it should be subcontinent type. Pitches in different countries have different characteristics. To do well on different pitches require different sets of skills and almost all cricketers do better on pitches similar to their home pitches. Nobody is talking about English and Australian cricketers records on away records. If you are a fan from subcontinent trying to put down Sanga and Mahela by pointing to their away records, you should ask yourself what you really are feeling inferior about?

  • satotheend on July 28, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Why has this suddenly turned into a "who is a better batsman"-row that Indian supprters just LOVE! C'mon guys... What I am thinking about is how you guys should rather worry about your BOWLING attack.. Not your batting. Whats more is that you better enjoy Sehwag, SRT and Dravid while they still play. Maybe when they retire you will be begging for a batsman like Sanga! You can score 900 runs every time but you still need the BOWLERS to perform. It is typical that EVERY batsman in the world is always compared to SRT by Indian supporters! Guys, SRT is a legend... We get that.... We respect that. Just STOP dissing other brilliant batsmen because you ALWAYS compare them to SRT. Sanga is a brilliant batsman. He is a very good and astute thinker of the game. And I am a South African supporter! To me India has MAJOR other problems. You guys do not even have a decent spinner!! Fix that, your fast bowling line-up and your replacement batting if the stars retire... Then you are No 1!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 28, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    @Usman_nile. Dravid and Sanga are both very good tourists. SRT is not the only 1 good in all conditions, only the most celebrated, that is why persons like u believe he is the only 1. Avg, only tell part of the story but they will show Dravid is a good tourist.

  • Rogue777 on July 28, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    @ Ignorant people like sinxad: Sanga's away record..... He has a 50+ average in 39 away tests. He as an ..... Average of 65 in Aus including a brillaint 192 at Hobart where he was only dismissed when the umpire made an error in very seamer friendly conditions. Average of 66 in Nzl where where he has 2 hundreds. And we all know how fast bowler friendly it is over there. In Pak he has an average of 86! So please look into data before you go around creating lies! And Sanga is right in spite of all of that we hardly get a long away series in SA and Aus so how are we to get accustomed top laying there! India has played so many 5 test series in SA and Aus how many do you think Srl have played? ZERO!

  • jaggss on July 28, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    If sangakkara believe they are a great team,why did the team messed up in Australia & india.They can score well only in flat pitches and claim to be great

  • aimnov on July 28, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Sangakara and Mahela are surely going to make some high notes in test cricket with amazing high battnig average - demolishing the indian bowlers all around the ground - and scoring 100's..

    No Doubt Srilankan players batted way much better as compared to the Indians..Indian batsman really to learn how to play aggressive aswell as sane cricket on the ground (batting).

  • South_Indian on August 3, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Tendulkar is just hopeless when it comes to "winning test matches" for his side. Sangakkarra is better and Lara was the best.

  • Agnar on July 31, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Thejana, The most important point I was trying to make was that subcontinent pitches are different and not inferior. Your point that Sanga has skills to deal with different types of pitches is well taken. But why it is accepted without a slightest argument that pitches in England and Australia are superior? Most cricketers of any country do well on their home grounds. Why an Australian player who does better on their grounds than in Sri Lanka or other subcontinent grounds is considered better than a Sri Lankan player who does better on Sri Lnakan grounds than in Australia? Thank you for your response.

  • on July 31, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    @ USMAN NILE The fact you have pointed out is only valid for Jayawardena. You are simply going nowhere regarding Sangakkara. Sangakkara out of his 90 tests has only played 39 tests away and has an avg over 50. His average in aus is over 65 with his memorable 192 in hobart which would have been a double ton very easily inspite of rudy koertzens crappy decision. Sangakkara has 2 centuries in NZ out of 4 matches. In one of them he was 100* from a team total of 160 and in the other 150* odd in a team total of 260. These simply highlight the lack of support he gets from his fellow batsmen in away conditions. Infact he and sachin are the only subcontinent batsmen to average over 39 in south africa.

  • on July 30, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    @ Agnar.. People can put down Mahela with his away sats but you cannot put down Sanga from his away stats.He thrives better outside sub-continent tracks.

  • Agnar on July 29, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    I am sick and tired of reading that subcontinent pitches are inferior to those of England and Australia. Cricket is an international game and not just an Englishman's game anymore. In fact the game now is played in subcontinent more than it is played in England. So if one kind of pitch is favored or considered superior, it should be subcontinent type. Pitches in different countries have different characteristics. To do well on different pitches require different sets of skills and almost all cricketers do better on pitches similar to their home pitches. Nobody is talking about English and Australian cricketers records on away records. If you are a fan from subcontinent trying to put down Sanga and Mahela by pointing to their away records, you should ask yourself what you really are feeling inferior about?

  • satotheend on July 28, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Why has this suddenly turned into a "who is a better batsman"-row that Indian supprters just LOVE! C'mon guys... What I am thinking about is how you guys should rather worry about your BOWLING attack.. Not your batting. Whats more is that you better enjoy Sehwag, SRT and Dravid while they still play. Maybe when they retire you will be begging for a batsman like Sanga! You can score 900 runs every time but you still need the BOWLERS to perform. It is typical that EVERY batsman in the world is always compared to SRT by Indian supporters! Guys, SRT is a legend... We get that.... We respect that. Just STOP dissing other brilliant batsmen because you ALWAYS compare them to SRT. Sanga is a brilliant batsman. He is a very good and astute thinker of the game. And I am a South African supporter! To me India has MAJOR other problems. You guys do not even have a decent spinner!! Fix that, your fast bowling line-up and your replacement batting if the stars retire... Then you are No 1!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 28, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    @Usman_nile. Dravid and Sanga are both very good tourists. SRT is not the only 1 good in all conditions, only the most celebrated, that is why persons like u believe he is the only 1. Avg, only tell part of the story but they will show Dravid is a good tourist.

  • Rogue777 on July 28, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    @ Ignorant people like sinxad: Sanga's away record..... He has a 50+ average in 39 away tests. He as an ..... Average of 65 in Aus including a brillaint 192 at Hobart where he was only dismissed when the umpire made an error in very seamer friendly conditions. Average of 66 in Nzl where where he has 2 hundreds. And we all know how fast bowler friendly it is over there. In Pak he has an average of 86! So please look into data before you go around creating lies! And Sanga is right in spite of all of that we hardly get a long away series in SA and Aus so how are we to get accustomed top laying there! India has played so many 5 test series in SA and Aus how many do you think Srl have played? ZERO!

  • jaggss on July 28, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    If sangakkara believe they are a great team,why did the team messed up in Australia & india.They can score well only in flat pitches and claim to be great

  • aimnov on July 28, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Sangakara and Mahela are surely going to make some high notes in test cricket with amazing high battnig average - demolishing the indian bowlers all around the ground - and scoring 100's..

    No Doubt Srilankan players batted way much better as compared to the Indians..Indian batsman really to learn how to play aggressive aswell as sane cricket on the ground (batting).

  • serene_nal on July 28, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I don't think where Sanga (& to a lesser extent, Mahela) is concerned, fast tracks is an issue. You are talking of Sanga, who had the Australians under his control, with Ponting biting his nails to bleed, absolutely clueless, until Rudi Koertzen decided to help him out, cutting Sanga short at 192. He has also made enough & more runs in South Africa, New Zealand etc. So He IS a great, don't try to take away that with lame excuses. In the same manner, look how South Africa, England, even Australia to a much lesser exteent suffer in sub-continental pitches against spin ? I feel it is more to do with one's perception..

  • nshhamit on July 28, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    I agree Sri Lanka and India should play other nations in cricket. Because India gets more lucrative contracts and sponsorships, they are for the most part warmly welcomed with open arms by other countries. Sri Lanka on the other hand, does not get that same reception. Pressure needs to be put on the ICC, and subsequently on national boards to stop shutting out teams because of revenue-related reasons! Ten Sports reported that South Africa and Sri Lanka haven't played a test match since 2002. What about Australia, England, New Zealand, the West Indies? This is ridiculous! While I love cricket and really enjoy watching Sehwag, Tendulkar, Sanga and Mahela, I'm sick of seeing India-Sri Lanka encounters. I want to see Sri Lanka at Lords', or a good series down-under, or an African test match tour. Come on ICC, get your act together!

  • whyowhy on July 28, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Irritating is the correct word to describe Sanga behind the stumps, remember he wanted the Pakistani captain to walk when he snicked the ball but IPL dollars influenced his attitude when the Indian batsman snicked a ball to him not long after. Every man has his price and this probably applies to Sanga too.

  • usman_nile1994 on July 28, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Sangakkara and Jayawardene had both scored most of their centuries at home. I realized yesterday this fact and my respect for these batsmen have been lowered. They are good batsmen but not that great. I will not prefer them over the 1970-2000 batsmen who averaged 40 (or even 35) as they faced more diffucult bowler and conditions. Indian and Pak team is also filled with these players who hit centuries at subcontinental pitches and average 50 but at Aus Eng Sa their average is 30-40. Only Tendulkar is the batsman who can play in all countries. (not sanga jayawardene sehwag dravid younis yousuf gambhir etc)

  • cricPassion2009 on July 28, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Sanga's 7 double-tons is probably highest in today's cricket. His batting ave of 55+ makes him formidable, and being wicket-keeper batsman he's the best in that position.

    And Mahela, you never realize he's already scored 28 tons.. all-time highest for SL. A terrific, elegant batsman.

    Great players both.. take a bow guys !

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 28, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    @cheeseburgers. If you think pitches in the W.I. and NZ can be mentioned in the same breath as pitches in SA, Eng and Aus...you haven't been following the game enough. I'm tired of people saying that. You have to make up your mind dude. The pitches world-wide are becoming increasingly batsman friendly and in W.I. and most of NZ when the weather doesn't play a part, they aren't much different from the subcontinent. If we are going to voice our concerns about it, we should do so consistently. Even if it means u have to RISK down-grading IND's overseas victories in W.I. and NZ of late. I even recall a poor NZ batting line up making 500-600 in the 2nd match vs Ind and the match was a bore draw. A win is a win n Sri Lanka were poor being the only top 4 team not to win a series in the W.I. of late, Eng worse losing BUT the pitches there are quite flat also, there is no way u can criticise subcontinental pitches and leave out the W.I. and NZ pitches of the past 7-8 yrs or so.

  • cricPassion2009 on July 28, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    @sinxad, that's strange comment on Viru.

    Viru was Wisden's leading cricketer two consecutive times, 2008 and 2009. He has scored tons in Pak, NZ, WI, Ind, SL. 3 triple tons. world's fastest triple ton and 250. He broke cricket's sound barrier consistently scoring at more than a run a ball. He's done 6 double tons as well.

    He is a passionate, unique-styled player who plays with merit and deserves more respect than your casual put-off.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 28, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    @Yashas Hosur, look at his reaction when he got out,he was upset, he wanted a triple! That's the measure of the man. He may not be in the same class but he's not that far off and who knows ,if he had the media hype those 2 had, maybe he would have been mentioned in the same breath by a minority. Flat track?Yes. Was his 192 vs Aus in Aus better?By far. Any less a batsman because it is a pitiful track?NO! Still right up there, just a millimeter behind the likes of Lara,Ponting, SRT. SRT and Lara had their fair share of flat tracks too. Lara in particular was superb in that he got 375 and 400* when they dished them up to him. 200 runs is always going to be an achievement no matter the turf, there will be innings under 200 which will be better due to conditions but 200 will always be a great knock.

  • KAIRAVA on July 28, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    One look at Sanga's stats gives a revealing picture. Currently, Sanga does indeed have a higher average than the any of the best contemporary batsman like Sachin, Kallis or Ponting. But an incredible 18 out of the 23 centuries scored by him have either come at home(in SL) or on placid pitches in Pakistan!!! Is Sangakkara really a world-class batting legend????

  • BillyCC on July 28, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Yashas Hosur, please don't comment on something you know nothing about. Have you ever scored a Test double century? Please don't tell me or anyone else how they should react. Sangakkara is allowed to react the way he chooses just as Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara are. The fact is, Sangakkara now averages approximately between two to six runs more per innings than all of the great batsman you mentioned. And he did this having kept wicket for half his career. He averages 77 when not keeping! So for me, I would let him celebrate how he wants to. He deserves it.

  • on July 28, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    Stubborn facts about an awesome batsman. Sanga and Mahela will reach great heights in the cricketing arena.

  • Agnar on July 28, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    I like what is described as "irritating" about Sanga. ICC must listen to everything he has mentioned recently. Every game is using new technology in judging process. Since cricket is an international game the governing body, ICC, must make sure technology is used consistently. Australia and New Zealand must nominate a smart person like Sanga. Not an unpopular and opinionated politician. They say Sri Lanka has not won a series in Australia and in South Africa. How many series has Sri Lanka played there? So Kumar Sangakkara, "irritate" them more. Remember the last time Sri Lanka had an "irritating" captain we won the world cup. After his retirement from cricket Sri Lanka can nominate Sangakkara for the presidency of ICC.

  • thenkabail on July 27, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    These high scoring tests are going to kill test cricket. There ought to be contest between bat and ball. Anytime bring in fierce 80s west Indian fast-mean bowlers. Runs scored against them meant a lot. Test cricket is fun to watch then. However, in this case it is poor quality of Indian bowling- the worst bowling attack in the world. Ishant should be dropped, Harbhajan is an over rated bowler, Ojaha is Ranji quality and should be dropped. But by all means continue Mithun. He needs to learn how to be mean. He needs to use bowncers and bowl to a mean field and create fear in batsmen. Test cricket is not for weak minded. Bring in bowlers like Unadkat, Harmeet singh, Piyush Chawla, Murali Karthik and look for those with fire in stomach. I am fed up with Indian bowlers. All credit to Sanga and Mahela. Congrtulations Sri Lanka.

  • sinxad on July 27, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    its funny that even if sangakkara has 2 end with an average of 65 he will never be considered a great batsman.any Tom,Dick and Harry can score runs on flat tracks.its a shame they dont play more test outside the subcontinent.whats it like the 500th time they playing india in the past 12mths.lol.what a joke.mark my words Viru will be named ICC test player of the year when was the last time he scored runs anywhere besides india and sri lanka.he was a flop in bangladash but it wont matter.

  • mamboman on July 27, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Ho hum! Another meaningless non-contest on rigged Sri Lankan wickets. You can't help but think these constant meaningless test matches are part of some grand plan to kill off test cricket and hand the game over to the even more meaningless 20/20.

    Test cricket needs neutral groundsmen as much it needs neutral umpires.

  • manasvi_lingam on July 27, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Even though the pitches have eased and the bowling attacks become weaker, the quality of batting has fortunately not gone down. There are many world class batsman around, at least 2 in each major team. Ex: Sachin and David, Jayawardene and Sangakkara, Yousuf and Younis, Kallis and Smith, Ponting and Clarke,etc

  • Tiptop32 on July 27, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    It is high time ICC declares this pitch unfit for test matches ban this ground from conducting tests in future. The game is poised to end in dull draw. This will only help the batsmen to inflate their average. Money minded greedy boards like SLCB, BCCI want to extend the match for full 5 days so that their commercial commitments doesn't get affected and ICC is watching it as a mute spectator. Instead of preparing sportive result oriented pitches the curator was advised to prepared flat dead cement tracks. This is a mockery of test cricket. The shameless cricket boards and ICC will talk nicely about test cricket and its survival but when it comes to reality they put money over the game and ultimately they are all set to cut the golden egg yielding hen. Is test cricket going to survive with these kind of cheap cricket?????

  • mps400 on July 27, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    It is often enjoyable to watch batsmen play well and dominate the ball when they are on song, but these pitches are ridiculous. I say the same for most of the Indian and many of the Pakistani pitches as well. Having watched the Australia-Pakistan series, in which each session swung back and forth, having pitches that allow batsmen to pad their averages are abysmal.

    I love test cricket, but this borders on the inane. I felt that same when SL toured India last year, so this is not a national issue as some may construe. If the changes needed are those related to climate such that the only competitive pitches that can be offered would be dustbowls, then so be it. But to sit through this type of torture is unacceptable and, more importantly, terrible for the future test cricket.

  • nshhamit on July 27, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    I don't think Sri Lankans have forgotten how stylish and potent a batsman Sanga is. I take it the Indian team has.

    Sanga - as a captain - goes against the grain. His unorthodoxy sometimes puzzles us, but it is still refreshing in its unpredictability. He isn't afraid to contest or challenge - not complain about - the cricketing establishment. I say more of the same, Sanga...more of the same.

  • cheeseburgers on July 27, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    All Sri lankan batsmen(except Sanga) are prone to choke when playing outside sub continent. players like Jayawardene, Samaraweera, and cos having s poor track record outside sub continent and then they compensate themselves by playing in BATTING HOME CONDITIONS against (mostly against Bangladesh, NZ West Indies, 2nd string Indian bowling line up on a flat unsporting pitch...)

  • on July 27, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    Very good Article! and very good to see My Favourite Cricketer doing well again!

  • cricpolitics on July 27, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    These recrods are may be good for personal achievements but these sort of wickets where over 700 runs are being scored at the loss of just four wickets in two days time is trouble for test cricket. The subcontinent mentality of slow and dead wickets is really ruining the already troubled test cricket. Authorities need to wake up and do something about it. No wonder when two subcontinent teams are playing in a test the game of cricket just looks so dull.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 27, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    No Mongia, "we" don't tend forget, maybe you do but many of us fans never forget how brilliant Sanga is, was and will be. Stats only tell part of the story and it won't tell us that in the opinion of many, he is a fair touch better than Mahela Jaywardene and he is also the best wicket-keeper bat that just no longer keeps. I still remember his 190+ on a burning deck vs. Aus in Aus and to me that knock is better than any of his doubles. He really deserves to tour Aus, SA and Eng again before he goes past his prime. Much respect for this modern legend.

  • neutral_boy on July 27, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    Sanga is a classy batsman. I can remember he scored 192 in Austrailia vs Aussies.He batted under pressure with low order batsman. He got out by real poor decision by umpire.Finally Sri Lankans lost the game about 40 runs.I believe that is one of the greatest inning by Sri Lankan batsman .Also in Pakistan in greenery pitch he scored 231 runs .That is another great innings by him.When first wicket down in first over and wicket was really helping to Pakistan fast bowlers.(Wasim and Waquar are the opening bowlers in that match). I backing him about UDRS and match scheduling. what is the wrong about using UDRS ? UDRS rectify the human errors doing by umpires.So If you dont need UDRS , it means you are hoping to win matches by errors do by umpires nah.

  • nikhilpuri on July 27, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    This just shows that Sri Lanka will never be the best team in the world, because all they can hope to do is build useless batting tracks on placid surfaces where there is no match for bat and ball. Horrible advertisement for test cricket. And then Sangakarra talks about equality in the FTP. No one will want to play Sri Lanka because their corresponding tour to Sri Lanka will be so dull and meaningless it can't be called Test Cricket.

  • on July 27, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    ICC please schedule a Srilanka's tour to England, Australia and South Africa. Only that can show the true abilities of Lankans. Not on these deadly pitches. I am interested to see how SL manages to take 20 wickets without Murali. Test matches increasingly becomes no contest. Save test cricket. Dambulla could be a good venue for tests.

  • kurtisMcgurtis on July 27, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    4 wickets down for 800 runs scored. cant read too much into averages on the subcontinent.

  • on July 27, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Both days I witnessed the match at SSC and Sanga's inning was marvelous. He scored his seventh double hundred in quick time with total aggression. He is a run hungry batsman and i'm sure one fine day he will surpass number of double hundreds scored by Sir Don Bradman and genius Brian Lara.

  • satotheend on July 27, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Well it seems we are in the same boat again as the 1st Test. I stick with what I posted in the previous match saying that India lack the attack to sustain a long run at No. 1. Sanga and Jayawardene were simply superb and on this track good batsmen will get runs. To me the problem with the Indian attack is the lack of imagination. Without the retired Kumble and the injured Zaheer India has really offered NOTHING. True, its a tar-road of a pitch but still I think they struggle too much. I think SL will also struggle to pick up wickets and THAT man Sehwag which I just LOVE to watch is at it again. He truly is the world's No. 1 batsman. And he is a legend. But I fear for India in the long-term. Their bowling attack is poor and fielding is not at its best. Personally I think this match will end in a draw but with Mendis and Co. it might turn out otherwise. SL need Sehwag and Tendulkar otherwise they will be chasing leather for a while. Just wish they can unearth a Sehwag-like bowling star!!

  • kurtisMcgurtis on July 27, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    You have to start putting an asterisk next to all sub continent batsmen and their average. each innings is 600-700. There averages are over inflated. They come to australian pitches or south african and they are a different player.

  • on July 27, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Mr. Monga... If you think Sangakkara is irritating (as a person) what word would you use for someon like Ricky Ponting?

  • on July 27, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    perhaps the only one whom i like to see in difficult times, a real class players

  • cheeseburgers on July 27, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Wht's the use of a 600 plus score on a flat pitch...srilankans has this history of piling runs when on pitches are flat (thereby increasing their batting averages- sounds boring). Barring Sanga..nobody has an healthy average while playing outside the sub-continent. Mahela scores only in dead rubbers (that 275 odd runs in Motera - again in sub continent, Samraveera a dead duck outside sub continent too...Si lanka might have win matches overseas but not the series and that's where the real test lies and NOT HERE IN HOME CONDITIONS. India have won overseas series recently which they deservedly became No 1(Series in England, in NZ, West Indies) all outside sub continent....thanks nd all sarcastical comments are welcome after reading this one..regards, a cricket lover :)

  • dilscoop on July 27, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    These sort of pitches akin to the one in SSC will spell death knell to test cricket sooner than later. If ICC questioned the rank turner of a pitch at kanpur vs South Africa, they need to question pitches like the one at SSC - which do more harm to test cricket than a rank turner. ICC needs to ban test centers for a year or two - if scores like 600+ are scored for just the loss of 4 wickets. Watching the test match at leeds between aus & pak - the pitch had bounce, seam movement & swing, produced an enthralling test match despite the fact the game was over in less than 3 & half days. Test cricket will be at its best when 2 evenly matched teams play the game on a pitch which provides an even contest between the bat & ball. Pitches in australia & england are loaded evenly in favor and batsmen & bowlers & produce some fascinating contests unlike in the subcontinent when toss plays a vital role in determining the result of a match. Who would want to be a fast bowler on these pitches.

  • on July 27, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Can one honestly remember a worse Indian attack (ha! what a travesty indeed!!) ever fielded? Messrs Cheeka & co have now officially undone all the good work of DBV & co!! Thank you IPL, this is just the begining, mark my words. India is doomed, who would want to bowl quick when one could just bowl 4 mediocre overs and pocket money and enjoy post game parties with the birds and booze in full flow.......Harbhajan is the most overated bowler around. Swannie is the best and the cleanest spinner in the world, period. As for SL, they are at best a joke! When did they ever win a single test in Aus/SA/India with or without the spear chucker!! I cant remember a single game in these countries when the self proclaimed Lankan Tigers ever managed to stay in the game for two days running! But all that pales into insignifcance with India's impotence. Shameful is not the word. MSD's bubble is all but burst. Shame on India with a population second to China and unable to bowl quick, what a joke :)

  • on July 27, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    All the front-line SRL Batsmen had a good outing.

    However, the man who dismissed Sehwag twice in the FIRST TEST isn't playing.

    The best TEST spinner after Muralitharan, Rangana Herath isn't playing either.

    Expecting Mr. VIRU SEHWAG to score his 3rd TEST TRIPLE CENTURY and may even go on to break Lara's RECORD!!!

    A high-scoring draw is on the cards!

    TEAM INDIA will be the no.1 TEST TEAM at least until the THIRD TEST MATCH when Herath, Lasith Malinga and Welagedera return.

    Until then, JAI HIND!

  • pakspin on July 27, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Experts are wondering why test cricket is dying. Took a good look at this test and you will find most of the reasons. Asian teams, especially India, always want to make extremely dead tracks so that their batsmen who are vulnerable to bouncy deliveries can prosper. What they end up achieving is pointless tests where batsmen from both teams score meaningless centuries-or double centuries for that matter-and the viewing public is cheated. This is also the reason why, as according to Imran, fast bowlers are dying. I wouldn't want to be a fast bowler if I were a young in India because of the condition of the tracks -fast bowler's nightmare Pak-Aus the excitment matched that of a t20 and both tests ended up with results. The class of batsmen also was tested on the tracks of England, and some batsman were exposed, and I think that this is the reason why India refuses to make bowler friednly tracks. Indians follow cricket because of their batsmen and their failure will dent the biggest market

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Well..Someone during the commentary on cricinfo asked why K. Sangakkara wasnt regarded as one them in the League of extraordinary batsmen (Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara etc). Did that person see the reaction of Sangakkara when he reached his double?That was a reaction like he had overcome a perth like or a headingly like pitch against the likes of wasim akram or mcgrath or warne(dont really want to mention the cliched garner, holding etc-they were not from our gen). If Sangakarra finds scoring a double, against a bangladeshic proportions of an indian bowling attack on a cement like pitch and not to mention the "SSC" ground and the toss, exciting enough...he definitely cannot be considered in the same breath as Sachin, Ponting, Lara, Dravid etc..

  • dg43nb on July 27, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Sangakaara u r an amazing batsman..until u get to 36 to 37 u wud hav finished off a fine career a legendary career and certainly till then u will have taken over frm sachin tendulkar in all records eg.most hunderds in test and most runs...and the big one most double tons beating the legend SIR DON BRADMAN..INSHALLAH WE PRAY FOR U FRM PAKISTAN,KARACHI. cheers

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Way to go Sanga boy !!! u hve kept up the reputation of your courage !! well played...

  • BillyCC on July 27, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Sangakkara now averages 57 in test cricket having played almost 100 tests. When he doesn't wicket keep, he averages over 75. When he keeps wicket, he averages around 40. Absolutely extraordinary. Possibly the most outstanding batsman in this decade if you look at those numbers which outshines Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis over the last ten years.

  • Woody111 on July 27, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    Perhaps by being in Aus I haven't seen or heard any 'dark' side of Sanga whereby someone would hate him. I think he's good for Sri Lankan cricket. He's clearly intelligent and measured in his ponderances of the game, as good as any with the bat. If only his and Jayawardene and co. would tour Aus, England and South Africa 1/3 of the amount Sri Lanka play India we could see one of the best bats going around play against a variety of bowlers on different surfaces. Sri Lanka may well benefit through having their younger players competing away from the sub-continent. You can't rely on first time touring players to make a ton or take 5 at Adelaide Oval, Capetown or Lords. Clearly some do as we have seen recently with Aamir and Barath in Aus last summer. But consider how little Mendis has bowled outside of the sub-continent and look at his development. The reason I like Sanga as a captain is that he is astute and unafraid to voice his opinions on big picture cricket issues - such as the UDRS

  • vivek464 on July 27, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    They could easily gone on to score a thousand. India's bowling attack is pretty bad, but these pitches have absolutely no help. Anyway, a good innings by Sangakara.

  • binkaf on July 27, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Absolutely, Sanga is of that rare breed of batsmenship who makes batting look so easy. He bats wid such elegance tht u jus can't keep yr eyes off him. He surely is destined to break even more records, of Lara perhaps, but won't quite surpass him in terms of Class and Elegant. My best wishes with ths modern genius though.

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Sehwag is going to be the man to watch out if anyone likes to see good batting. Everyone claims or says Bradman is great due to his record or Tendulkar is great due to his batting prowess but Sehwag is miles ahead of these two and is the best batsman ever to have visited the game

  • SnowSnake on July 27, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    There is no reason to celebrate batting of any batsman in this test. So far only 4 wickets have fallen in 2 days. This includes Indian and SL bowling with approximately 10 bowlers balling-- so balling is not really to be blamed. This tells you the nature of the pitch. Given that pitch will only diteriorate over time, batting first was easier than batting second. There is serious inequity in pitches across the world. In England, 40 wickets were lost in less than 4 days. Giving an average of slightly over 10 wickets/day. In this test that average is 2 wickets/day. Had it been a different pitch, we would not have the number of centuries/half centuries that were scored in first two days. As far as Mendis is concerned, he should be relabled as a slow baller as opposed to a spinner. He does not spin the ball at all. Randiv is probably the best spinner in the both sides that are playing. He can spin the ball really well.

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  • SnowSnake on July 27, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    There is no reason to celebrate batting of any batsman in this test. So far only 4 wickets have fallen in 2 days. This includes Indian and SL bowling with approximately 10 bowlers balling-- so balling is not really to be blamed. This tells you the nature of the pitch. Given that pitch will only diteriorate over time, batting first was easier than batting second. There is serious inequity in pitches across the world. In England, 40 wickets were lost in less than 4 days. Giving an average of slightly over 10 wickets/day. In this test that average is 2 wickets/day. Had it been a different pitch, we would not have the number of centuries/half centuries that were scored in first two days. As far as Mendis is concerned, he should be relabled as a slow baller as opposed to a spinner. He does not spin the ball at all. Randiv is probably the best spinner in the both sides that are playing. He can spin the ball really well.

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Sehwag is going to be the man to watch out if anyone likes to see good batting. Everyone claims or says Bradman is great due to his record or Tendulkar is great due to his batting prowess but Sehwag is miles ahead of these two and is the best batsman ever to have visited the game

  • binkaf on July 27, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Absolutely, Sanga is of that rare breed of batsmenship who makes batting look so easy. He bats wid such elegance tht u jus can't keep yr eyes off him. He surely is destined to break even more records, of Lara perhaps, but won't quite surpass him in terms of Class and Elegant. My best wishes with ths modern genius though.

  • vivek464 on July 27, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    They could easily gone on to score a thousand. India's bowling attack is pretty bad, but these pitches have absolutely no help. Anyway, a good innings by Sangakara.

  • Woody111 on July 27, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    Perhaps by being in Aus I haven't seen or heard any 'dark' side of Sanga whereby someone would hate him. I think he's good for Sri Lankan cricket. He's clearly intelligent and measured in his ponderances of the game, as good as any with the bat. If only his and Jayawardene and co. would tour Aus, England and South Africa 1/3 of the amount Sri Lanka play India we could see one of the best bats going around play against a variety of bowlers on different surfaces. Sri Lanka may well benefit through having their younger players competing away from the sub-continent. You can't rely on first time touring players to make a ton or take 5 at Adelaide Oval, Capetown or Lords. Clearly some do as we have seen recently with Aamir and Barath in Aus last summer. But consider how little Mendis has bowled outside of the sub-continent and look at his development. The reason I like Sanga as a captain is that he is astute and unafraid to voice his opinions on big picture cricket issues - such as the UDRS

  • BillyCC on July 27, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Sangakkara now averages 57 in test cricket having played almost 100 tests. When he doesn't wicket keep, he averages over 75. When he keeps wicket, he averages around 40. Absolutely extraordinary. Possibly the most outstanding batsman in this decade if you look at those numbers which outshines Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis over the last ten years.

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Way to go Sanga boy !!! u hve kept up the reputation of your courage !! well played...

  • dg43nb on July 27, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Sangakaara u r an amazing batsman..until u get to 36 to 37 u wud hav finished off a fine career a legendary career and certainly till then u will have taken over frm sachin tendulkar in all records eg.most hunderds in test and most runs...and the big one most double tons beating the legend SIR DON BRADMAN..INSHALLAH WE PRAY FOR U FRM PAKISTAN,KARACHI. cheers

  • on July 27, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Well..Someone during the commentary on cricinfo asked why K. Sangakkara wasnt regarded as one them in the League of extraordinary batsmen (Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara etc). Did that person see the reaction of Sangakkara when he reached his double?That was a reaction like he had overcome a perth like or a headingly like pitch against the likes of wasim akram or mcgrath or warne(dont really want to mention the cliched garner, holding etc-they were not from our gen). If Sangakarra finds scoring a double, against a bangladeshic proportions of an indian bowling attack on a cement like pitch and not to mention the "SSC" ground and the toss, exciting enough...he definitely cannot be considered in the same breath as Sachin, Ponting, Lara, Dravid etc..

  • pakspin on July 27, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Experts are wondering why test cricket is dying. Took a good look at this test and you will find most of the reasons. Asian teams, especially India, always want to make extremely dead tracks so that their batsmen who are vulnerable to bouncy deliveries can prosper. What they end up achieving is pointless tests where batsmen from both teams score meaningless centuries-or double centuries for that matter-and the viewing public is cheated. This is also the reason why, as according to Imran, fast bowlers are dying. I wouldn't want to be a fast bowler if I were a young in India because of the condition of the tracks -fast bowler's nightmare Pak-Aus the excitment matched that of a t20 and both tests ended up with results. The class of batsmen also was tested on the tracks of England, and some batsman were exposed, and I think that this is the reason why India refuses to make bowler friednly tracks. Indians follow cricket because of their batsmen and their failure will dent the biggest market