The Sri Lankan brand of cricket

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Sri Lankans have finally found the Sri Lankan brand of cricket. No one gave them a chance against South Africa who dominated the 1st Test. They ended the winless streak in great fashion by recording one of the greatest Test wins in Sri Lankan history. This victory has certainly brought a breath of fresh air in times of hardship.

Dinesh ChandimalWho brought this breath of fresh air? Yes it was a team effort all right, but Dinesh Chandimal was special on his debut. He is somewhat different from the traditional SL cricketer. He brings energy and excitement to this sport. His style of batting unsettles opposition bowlers and his energy behind the stumps annoys opposition batsmen. Some might call him stupid, but his fearless approach has already made an impact. Some people deemed him as a "sh*t wicketkeeper" even before giving him a chance. His performance in this match was easily the best performance by a Sri Lankan wicketkeeper in last 3 years. It's not a secret that Prasanna Jayawardene hasn't been himself since the home Test series against India in 2008. Chandimal should be given a decent run in Test cricket hoping that he will improve his wicketkeeping to a certain level in 2-3 years like Kumar Sangakkara did.

Thilan "The Bullet" Samaraweera proved to be the catalyst. He took Sri Lanka to a competitive 1st innings total (something that Sri Lanka have been struggling to do) while slapping those selectors in the process. Well, retarded selections have always been a part of Sri Lankan cricket, but the time has come to change the selection policy. Yes, young players should be given opportunities, but not over performing seniors. How about putting more pressure on Dilshan and Mahela who have been getting free rides? Does Paranavitana have what it takes to be a decent Test opener? Why can't they consider Sachithra Senanayake even when he's been cleared? Letting him play 3 Test matches wouldn't hurt anyone for fuck's sake!

Kumar Sangakkara must be the most committed Sri Lankan cricketer. The way he worked hard to change his technique was a good lesson to young cricketers out there and to a certain senior cricketer who has been writing useless blogs in past few weeks. Talent, class and elegance are useless if they can't be used to perform when it matters. Sangakkara may not be the most talented, but he has become a quality Test batsman through sheer hard work and dogged determination.

Most people had doubts about Sri Lanka's bowling attack for obvious reasons. The fact that they won this match without their 3 top bowlers (Muralidharan, Vaas and Malinga) makes this win such a significant win in Sri Lankan history. Sri Lanka had not won a single Test match in SA even with the great Muttiah Muralidharan. Although average, these bowlers have shown that they can make a difference if the batsmen can put on a decent total. They may not have bowlers who can win matches single-handedly, but still they can put pressure on the opposition on responsive tracks if they work as a team. Chanaka Welegedara seems to be getting better and Dilhara Fernando can bowl a spell here and there. Not many thought Herath would have an impact in SA, and then he went on to trigger South African collapses.

Tillakaratne Dilshan's performances in England while Sangakkara and Mahela were failing looked heroic. Sadly, he's been a pale shadow of himself ever since. Some can use the cliché "You are only as good as your team" to talk about his captaincy, but some of the team selections and tactics have been clearly questionable. Sacrificing Samaraweera to go down the order ended up being a disaster. However, his 47 (69) in the first innings helped Sri Lanka to get off to a decent start. Sri Lanka always need that start because Paranavithana gives control to bowlers. His captaincy was good in patches during the 2nd Test where he applied pressure on batsmen by setting attacking fields. Sri Lanka need this man to fire with bat in near future more than anything else.

Just let bygones be bygones and continue to play positive cricket. There is no shame in losing to a better team after trying your best. Hopefully Sri Lanka will compete by playing the Sri Lankan brand of cricket in years to come.

Comments

SunJ's picture
Member since:
25 January 2010
Last activity:
5 years 15 weeks

Top post Iba,very well written.agree with several points here,
if some of the other cricketers had Sanga's work ethic,we would be a much better team.
I think Chandimal brought a new energy to the team and the fielding unit,he never let the fielders relax even in the second innings.and while Sanga and Samare played beautiful knocks but we would have inevitably collapsed in both innings if not for Chandi.so to him on a great debut,and hes not bad for a "shit wicketkeeper" .

I dont see any logical reason why Senanayake hasnt been tried out yet,Selecturds

That last paragraph,sums it up beautifully,all we can ask as fans is for them to fight every inch of the way,theres no shame in losing to a better team as long as we give a helluva fight!

Thanks for posting and keep sharing :)

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
13 hours 32 min

Chandimal did make a huge difference when compared to Kaushal. But to be honest PJ won the man of the series in England just a few months ago, so he has performed since 2008. It's a good problem to have - two good keeper-batsmen fighting for their place.

Ibada's picture
Member since:
3 November 2010
Last activity:
5 years 6 weeks

Hilal, I was talking about PJ's Wkeeping there. I don't have a problem with his batting. He's been below par from the start of that Indian tour.

ROAR OF LANKA's picture
Member since:
4 July 2011
Last activity:
6 weeks 5 days

Well written article Ibada..Bravo...HAPPY NEW YEAR....

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
3 days 17 hours

Great read and the salient points of the win are well captured. I just want to harp in on the case of Chandimal and the potential issue when Prasanne comes back. With 4 of the top 7 over 34, Chandimal must play as a batsman regardless of if he keeps wickets or not. We are desperate for the next Mahela and Sanga and Chandimla showed plenty of class and technique to be the future. His talent was obvious but shot selection was going to be the issues in test cricket but he put that fear to rest.

Yes Sanga's work ethic was fantastic and in the last few series, he has made hundreds that made a difference to the outcome of the game. In Eng and UAE, he played for draws while in Durban it resulted in a win. In all this time Mahela made one hundred in a loss at Galle and little else and lots of writting! Mahela needs to stand up and delivery in the 3rd test with everything to play for. First innings runs will be vital to ensuring SA feel the presure and its time for Mehela to deliver.

Ibada's picture
Member since:
3 November 2010
Last activity:
5 years 6 weeks

Thank you guys. Happy New Year :D

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
36 weeks 1 day

Ibada, good read and excellent points.

Chandimal even deserved to be man-of-the-match for his two 50s and being involved in two century partnerships. If not for his contribution, it could have been another collapse after 5 wickets.

I always felt that Chandimal was not good enough to keep wickets in Test cricket but he proved me wrong. I particularly liked his energy behind the stumps - the guy is like a cat on a hot tin roof, jumping up and down like a yo-yo. Good to watch his every movement.

Having said that he should play as a specialist batsman with PJ back in the side. Mahela is under pressure now.

Anonymous's picture

Well said Marcian. It's long time since somebody like Chandimal be in the side.It's like new Aravinda or Arjuna.
And it's not PJ being under pressure but MJ. False masterclass who could not score a fiffty over 2 years in overseas.Now some people try to make him captain again. Only because he does not to be deserve to be in the side.
Please do not sacrifise these young talented players for the sake of Dollar hungry, corrupted guys.

Anonymous's picture

Mahela is a poor-average batsman outside the subcontinent despite a quality knock here and there.

maestro_of_cricket's picture
Member since:
2 October 2010
Last activity:
4 years 16 weeks

Nice writeup Ibada. What I feel too is that more than Thilan, Sanga, Herath or Wele, it was Chandi who made the difference. We were in a similar situation in our first innings in both matches when the 5th wicket went down...

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