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Tuesday, 28 February 2012






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To cement their place in finals:

SL needs to beat India

Barring some major mathematical quirk of results in which India might make the finals, the Sri Lanka cricketers will take their rightful place in the best of three Commonwealth Bank Tri series finals against Australia beginning early next month.

Here in Australia, it was a day of reckoning for incumbent Prime Minister Julia Gilliard and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The Federal Labor Party was going to vote as to who the next candidate for PM would be. Gilliard won the vote by 71 votes to 31.

However the Lankans must not let complacency set in when they front up to India at the Bellerive Oval, today. To make doubly certain that they play in the finals, the Lankans must win this game.

If the Indians are to keep their hopes of playing in the finals alive, they must beat Sri Lanka and with a bonus point at that. If that happens mathematicians will be called into play. Still the Lankans can scrape through because they have a better run rate.

As the table of points table stands now Australia have 19, Sri Lanka 14 and India 10. Australia made certain of a final berth by stuffing the Indians by 87 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

When the Lankans lost the first two games to India and Australia, many began to write them off, saying that they are here only to make up the numbers. But the defeats went o inspire them, and not wanting to have the tag ‘also rans’ stuck on them, began to believe in themselves.

What got them firing was the tie against India. From there they mounted their big guns and began firing missiles and shot down India and Australia twice to showcase three straight wins, which was great.

Lankans out to win

Now the Sri Lankans are the most attractive, most feared and most watched team in the tournament with the Sri Lankans domiciled in each state where the Lankans play flocking in their numbers to cheer them to greater success to carry away the trophy.

Speaking to Manager Charith Senanayake he said that the Lankan cricketers are not keeping their eyes on the points table. ‘We are out to win. Now that we have got the momentum, we intend to keep it going.

‘The players are all fired up and can’t wait to get on the field.

Every member is fit and well and available for selection’, said a jubilant sounding manager who was a dashing left handed batsman who played for Ananda College, CCC and Sri Lanka.

The weather here in Hobart is a bit worrying. It was sunny on Sunday. At the time of writing, it is gloomy and showers are expected.

But hopefully when playing time comes around the weather should be okay. The wicket will not be affected.

The Lankans will want to stick with the team that has brought them victory, unless a member suddenly falls ill or complains of some niggle. At the time of writing the ‘Magnificent Eleven’ as the Lankans in Australia tag them are fit and rarin’ to go.

Since taking over the leadership of the team that was in a crisis with a string of losses, Mahela Jayawardena has been able to get them to play as a team which is most important for success by getting them to be ruthless.

Jayawardena who has tremendous experience is a thinking and a captain who dares. When the top was shaky with the constant failure of opener Upul Tharanga, he dared and took on that responsibility and by example has got the starts that are required to instill confidence in the batsmen following.

Special mention must be made of Dinesh Chandimal who is having a dream tour. The youngster shows a lot of maturity, is not overawed by the occasion and his technique, temperament and shot selections are amazing. If he could curb his impetuosity, it would not be long before he is bracketed with Sri Lanka’s best batters.

All rounder Thissara Perera seems to be believeing in himself and his amazing ability and is showing responsibility and is performing all three aspects of the game. That’s good for him and the game.

Indians jaded

As for the Indians, it is apparent that they are a jaded lot.

Too much of cricket has gone to dim the zest for the game, where at one time they were the best in the world, even winning the 2011 World Cup. Great Sachin Tendulkar has been a complete flop. After being deprived by England of making that dream 100th hundred, he made it ‘down under’ looking to realise that dream.

The Aussies deprived him of that milestone in the Test series.

Now in the tri series Sri Lanka and Australia have frustrated and kept him waiting and if his body language is an indication, he will not achieve his dream as the Lankans too are determined not to allow him that record.

Critics here say that the 37 year old should be dispensed the Ricky Ponting treatment by being dropped from the limited overs game.

But the Indian selectors will not dare, hence they earn the wrath of his millions of fans in India.



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