[Discussion Thread] Sri Lanka in West Indies 2018

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Discuss Sri Lanka's tour of West Indies here.

Schedule

Tour match: May 30, Brian Lara Cricket Ground, Trinidad

First Test: June 6, Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad

Second Test: June 14, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia

Third Test: June 23, Day-Night Match, Kensington Oval, Barbados

Anonymous (not verified)
Offical Squad

Offical Squad: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23471109/udawatte-rajitha-vandersay-picked-west-indies-tests

Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews (subject to fitness), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal (subject to fitness), Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando

My playing 11 (Depends on conditions, but I am assuming fast bowling pitches):

Mahela Udawatte
Kusal Mendis
Dhananjaya de Silva
Roshen Silva
Dinesh Chandimal
Angelo Mathews/Kusal Perera
Niroshan Dickwella (wk)
Rangana Herath
Suranga Lakmal/Kasun Rajitha
Lahiru Gamage
Lahiru Kumara

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Must win tour

Is it correct we have never won a series in the Windies? Regardless, we need to win this series and after back to back away wins against Pak and Bang, I am fairly confident. Also the Windies have some major issues but we are also carrying some injuries to key senior players.

Expect then to prepare green wickets but the Windies wickets of late favor spinners a fair bit too. We have an openers slot open which is a major issue as Dimuth was doing really well lately. Lakmal I am hoping will play the first few tests atleast as on a helpful wicket, he will be a major threat.

Anji needs to stand up too, he cannot be limping in and out of the team and struggling to score runs. He must make it count when he is in so he can come in and out. The other interesting selection would be the wicket keeper. Looking forward for the boys making 3 away test series wins.

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Dhana must play.

I reckon despite missing the warm up game Dhananjaya must play. He has shown some good form in the previous series and has earned his spot which should only change if he fails over a period of time - not just one test or because he missed a warm up game.

Not sure what the wicket is like but unless it's a green top, we should consider playing Akila alongside Dilruwan and Herath as attacking options as the pace bowling stocks are very low. Without Dimuth, lots of pressure on Chandi and Anji and really looking for Anji to make a statement and dominate a series and stamp his authority on the batting order. We may have a awkward selection with the wicket keeper with possibly three making the starting line. My call is best keeper must keep and lets not fall in the to the trap of using Chandi as the keeper which can affect his batting.

This is a series we cannot afford to lose so looking for the lads to make a good start to the series.

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That was piss poor!

Lets first give the Windies some credit, they were 145/5 on the first day and tried desperately to bat like SL by gifting wickets but we managed to out do them by dropping vital catches on the first day. It was yet another case of when the time came to take control of the game we simply imploded. At 145/5 the Windies had a finger on the self destruct button and offered two really easy slip catches which would have probably seen us bat on day one despite losing the toss. But we dropped the catches and that was the last we had control of the game.

Our batting was atrocious on day 2 when the wicket was flat and calm. The Windies lower order just made over 300 on a wicket which we exploded for less than 200, mainly to poor shots. Chandimal, these day very responsible, played possibly the worst shots in the game. Angi was not far behind and in short selection. As I have said losing is not a problem, after all there are better teams out there but playing poor cricket and losing to a weaker team is another thing. The Windies have only beaten Zim in recent times and they played good cricket but only because we let them.

On the positive side were the two youngest members of the team, Mendis made a great hundred and Kumara bowled with fire - why do we not play this guy more often? He bowled well when the wicket was flat and with genuine pace. Why do we play all these other pie throwers when we have Kumara?

The Black Hawk (not verified)
I am quite sure...

I am quite sure Hathurusinghe did not coach Chandimal and Mathews to play the strokes they did at crucial times, nor to encourage Dikwella to saunter between wickets, nor Mathews to drop two simple game defining catches. The coach is always an easy target when the team is losing. Not so much praise when they are winning. Once players cross the white line, it is up to them to perform.

Kumara bowled with pace and aggression. Lakmal was unlucky on the first morning. Hopefully, Kumara is used as a strike bowler and not a stock bowler. Herath and Dilruwan were OK on an unhelpful pitch.

The batsmen can expect a lot of " chin music" from the WI quicks. Mendis apart, no batsmen were really comfortable against the quicks. Chandimal in the first innings did look at some ease. If we do not get good opening partnerships, we could be in deep trouble on quick wickets.

One loss, although big, does not spell disaster. However, more fight is needed from the team.WI are not that great a team and can be beaten. The margin of defeat in the first Test, is not a true reflection of the difference between the two sides The series is not over.

Anonymous (not verified)
Your right Stormy...

Your right Stormy our batting in the first innings was not good; however, our bowling unit needed to do a bowl WI out under 350 runs. Kumara was exceptional Lakmal and Hearth did good. Chandimal did was defensive in situations where he should have been attacking, but he will learn as time goes. I was disappointed but not surprised that Lahiru Gamage didn't take any wickets. He was not accurate enough to bowl at 120kph and take wickets. I would like to see Kasun Rajitha instead, but Gamage did take a lot of first class wickets and deserves a chance.

All in all we can take some positives from the game. Hope they can make a comeback.

Kusal Mendis
Kusal Perera
Dhananjaya de Silva
Dinesh Chandimal
Roshen Silva
Angelo Mathews
Niroshan Dickwella (wk)
Rangana Herath
Suranga Lakmal
Kasun Rajitha/Akila Dananjaya
Lahiru Kumara

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Needed more time!

Did the debating of the ball tampering allegations cost us a test? Should we have declared over night on the 4th day? Probably yes to both and rather disappointing in not getting the win as we did everything up to lunch time on the 5th. Then the time had arrived to deliver the knock out punch and we just couldn't. Strangely the spinner got very turn and I thought Kumara was under used on that 5th day too. I was also disappointed with Lakmal this whole series actually. He is the senior pro and getting good bowling conditions but not really making a difference. Sure he has got a few wickets but hardly impacted the game.

We have been sleep walking in this series till we were effectively 1/4 in the 4th innings of the 2nd test. Thanks to a brilliant counter attack by Mendis and Dickwella we managed to get on top. There's a point to note here in that the value of playing positive cricket as opposed to aimlessly stonewalling. The only way were going to get in to a position of strength was quick runs and Mendis and Dickwella obliged.

Rajitha was encouraging I thought and lets not forget Chandi's hundred which was simply brilliant. However, for me lots of negatives. Won the toss and we should have been out for less than 200 had the Windies held their catches. Not sure why don't open the bowling with Kumara? Yes he can be expensive but why not try him? I also thought Chandi's captaincy reactive and negative. We really should have declared over night with 280 on the board and 8 down. Also where was the short leg on a bouncy track on the 5th day.

Bottom line is Windies had the first opportunity to win this game in the first day but dropped catches and then they had us 1/4 and we managed to bat them out so decent result in the end.

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No captain, no Herath, no Anji (where is he?)

Well we could not have ended up in possibly a worse situation coming in to the 3rd test with key players missing and what's more, it's a must win. The key players are out and Angelo is no where to be seen? Seriously is this guy part of this outfit or does he need time off for private matters. If he does, just take the whole series off so we could have selected an experience hand (like the inform Tharanga) to cover him. He comes and goes, in and out, he is injured then he is not, now he has other commitments (which we understand) but this is a national test team and we are not playing for a cheese sandwich.

I expect the most seam friendly wicket at Barbados so no changes to the side unless we want to consider an all seam attack which is not out of the question. The spinner had no role even on a 5th days wicket in both the previous tests. Someone please give Lahiru the new ball - just once. How many times have we seen a SL fast bowlers bustling in at 145 KMH? If you have a guy who can bowl that fast, don't mess around, just give him the new ball! It's like if you have a lead of 280 on day 5, just declare...what are we waiting for.

I presume everyone wants to drop Kusal and bring in both Danushka and Shanaka. This would also offer bowling options including a spinner and 4 seamers. For me Danushka does not have a test technique and should not be on tour - this guy averages in the the low 30's at first class cricket in SL. So Shanaka for Chandimal and Kusal to be given a full series to make a mark.

The rest of the plan is simple as always - don't be chasing the game from the first morning! Secondly, lets do the simple things like take our catches - mind you if the Windies caught Chandi before he was 20 in the 2nd test we would have probably folded for less than 150 and lost that game. This is the crazy thing, the Windies have given us every chance to beat them but we insist we want to do worse. In the first test, we should have been batting on day 1 if we held two simple catches. No wonder this is a bottom of the table clash but still a gripping contest. And that folks is the key - we are only just competing against a very poor Windies team who have only beaten Zim in recent times and could add SL to that!!!

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What a crazy test?

This was one crazy test played on a very poor wicket but provided plenty of action. Both teams were well in front on a few occasions only for the other to get ahead. I thought the Windies done enough thanks to the vital first innings 50 run lead and yet another lower order fight in the second. The highlight for me was Holders bowling which was virtually unplayable in both innings and the SL slip catching! But the decisive move was the SL fast bowling blow out of the Windies for 93 - basically that was our only hope and I thought they had done enough after we were 5 down with Kusal in hospital. There was some very poor shot selection by our batters which continues to disappoint.

I felt Dilruwan was a strange selection for this wicket, surely it should have been Dasun but apparently this is why I am a key-pad selector. But what a vital knock by Dilruwan on a really tough wicket to hang around with KJP. Finally KJP makes an impact on a game and he looked in pain through out the knock. It was an impossible stand after being 5 down, one injured and the other looked lost against some serious bowling but somehow they hung on and full credit for pulling off the win.

I felt SL were unlucky most of the series and could have won 2 tests and even had their chance in the fist test but took the foot off the accelerator. In the end it was a competitive series played on wickets very alien to us and we did well to come away with a draw. Bottom line is we should have won the series and could have done so with a bit more discipline in shot selection and fielding.

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