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Friday, 10 February 2012

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Changes likely after a look at the wicket:

Lankans upbeat although losing first game

Sri Lanka although they got beaten by four wickets by India in their first outing of the Commonwealth Tri series, did not lack for want of trying.

Sri Lanka had India on the ropes at 181 for 6, still needing another 52 with the muscle of the batting gone and only Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to be knocked out.

But that they failed to knockout the rest of the Indian batsmen were just one of those things. But the Lankans must take heart and take the field against the Australians with that second to none feeling in the second game.

Lankans lacked support

The cricketers did not have enough Lankan support spectator wise. The Lankans here are more keen to see and will be over the moon if they can stuff the Australians. A bigger Sri Lankan contingent is expected on Friday.

As admitted by skipper Mahela Jayawardena, where the Lankans went wrong was that they fell 30 to 40 runs short after deciding to bat first on a wicket that was good for batting.

The Lankans missed these runs because in the first power play yielded only 11 and in the second 20 runs. That is one area that the batsmen will have to work on. Also the leading batsmen must make big runs. Getting 20s and 30s is insufficient.

Great catch

Tillakaratne Dilshan seemed to going well until a great catch at point by Virat Kholi cut short his innings. Kumar Sangakkara also seemed headed for a big score until Dhoni grabbed another blinder.

Young Dinesh Chandimal played another good mature innings for 64. If he can curb his impetuosity should make a lot of run. He is sound in technique and temperament and has the strokes. He needs to be guided. Jayawardena also defended his decision to go in with four seamers saying he thought they had the fire power to knock aside the Indian batting. ‘If we had taken the last four wickets, you would have said ‘good combination’, was the sensible answer given by Jayawardena to a question by a media man at the end of the game.

Not the end of the line

Even in defeat Jayawardena and his team were upbeat. One defeat does not mean the end of the line for the Lankans. They should take heart from this defeat and move on and they have it in them to make it to the best of three finals. Skipper Jayawardena has been saddled with the responsibility of putting things that were wrong, right in the recent past which led to defeat after defeat, other than the two victories in South Africa in the final two one day games.

Jayawardena does not still seem to have fully recovered from the back injury he suffered in South Africa where he had to stay out of the last two games. Yet being the team man that he is he handled things right in the middle.

Possible changes

When asked the manager of the team and media spokesman Charith Senanayake, said that there is the possibility of a change or two being made for the game against the Aussies.

‘But that decision will be made only after a look at the wicket’, he said Australia after their convincing win over India will take the field favourites. They seem to be a good all round side handled efficiently by Michael Clarke. David Warner will want to make amends for his first failure.

New wicket keeper batsman Matthew Wade will want to add to his growing stature with another swashbuckling knock. It is the seam attack of Richard Harris, Mitch Starc and Clint McKay that could cause headaches to the Lankan batsmen with their wicket to wicket bowling and ability to get the ball to climb off a good length.

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