Lankans have it in them to win CB series
The Sri Lankan cricketers are on the verge of an epoch making tour of
Australia. They have once before entered the Tri series tourney finals
here in 2005/2006, but never won. But this time round they are nicely
poised to savor the sweet smell of success by bashing the hosts and
flying back proudly holding aloft the Commonwealth Bank Trophy.
With that confidence boosting victory in the second of three games
here on Tuesday, the Lankans have the Aussies groggy and on the ropes
and now all what they have to do is to deliver the knockout punch and
make the Aussies kiss the canvass.
But one thing the Lankans must guard against is complacency.
Complacency has led to the best of teams losing. They must also not bask
in the glory of having completely annihilated the Aussies.
They must take the field today, with great determination, stay
positive at all times and play the ruthless cricket that they have been
playing in winning game after game.
But the Lankans were lucky to win considering that their
butter-fingered fielders dropped six regulation catches. Never before as
such disgraceful catching been seen in the history of Lankan cricket.
That they still went to win was a miracle. That is why it is said
that wining is 10 per cent skill and 90 per cent luck. They can treat
the disgraceful catching as a bad day in the office and not repeat.
Not so long ago when former Aussie cricketer Trevor Chappell was our
fielding coach we were the best fielding side in the world.
On the poor catching Jayawardena said they can now laugh over it. But
admitted it could have cost them the match and the series.
It is best that if Jayawardena wins the toss, he sends the Aussies
in, because like the Elephant House blurb on soda goes – they are the
kings of the chase Jayawardena’s clever and intelligent
captaincy will tilt the scales in Lanka’s favour. It was his move to
open the bowling with off spinner Dilshan that upset the Aussie.
The Lankans are likely to go in with the same match winning
combination. But with the match being played on the same wicket on which
Tuesday’s game was played might have something in it for spinners.
After having a look at the wicket and if that is the case, the
selectors might be tempted to go in with an extra spinner in Sachitra
Senanayake. But that will depend on the morning of the match, the
wicket and the conditions.
Jayawardena and Dilshan who made his second century in the series
must do a repeat and make a big opening for batsmen of the caliber of
Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga,
Farveez Maharoof and the new arrival Chamara Kapugedera to revel.
Dilshan, now that he has been relieved of the captaincy burden is
batting with a lot of confidence and freedom.
The bowlers now that Lasith Malinga has got back to his wicket
talking ways, getting his feared Yorkers on target and Nuwan Kulasekera,
Farveez Maharoof Tillakaratne Dilshan and Rangana Herath, need not bend
their backs but must bowl wicket to wicket for success.
The fielders must contribute by being excellent on the ground and in
the air and supporting their limited bowling attack that is sans Angelo
Mathews and Thisara Perera.
The Aussies are no doubt wounded tigers. Wounded tigers could be
dangerous and the Lankans must be wary of a backlash. Skipper Michael
Clarke and David Warner are nursing injuries and are not fully fit.
Attacking stroke play
Although both scored centuries, it was apparent that they did not
have the freedom of movement and could not give free rein to their
natural attacking stroke play.
Warner could not unwind and play the big shots he played in Brisbane
where he made his first of two back to back centuries. He to an extent
slowed the rate of scoring. He is nursing a groin injury.
Clarke was carrying a back injury and with a tour of the Caribbean
next week, should not have risked aggravating the injury. The manner in
which he was run out proved how serious his injury is. He is not likely
to play in this crucial encounter which means Shane Watson will lead.
The Aussies have enjoyed a wonderful summer of cricket and would not
want to spoil it by losing the tri-series.
Fast bowler James Pattinson will also not play suffering from a sore