all about building your inning
It was a satisfactory start for the Sri Lankans on their tour of
England. It would probably be the easiest opposition they will encounter
during the entire tour – the British Universities team. Nevertheless
in unfamiliar conditions and an early season pitch the positives
batsmen are going to have a tougher task than the bowlers. During
this period, late spring, the quicker bowlers will regularly gain
assistance from the pitch during a long game. Not just on day one,
even on days four and five.
Although out of match cricket for a while Chaminda Vaas got amongst
wickets, bowled economically and had quite a long bowl in both innings
of that opening game. So too was his partner Nuwan Zoysa who has
got another opportunity to stage a comeback. His performance was
also impressive. The conditions are ideal for this tall left armer
and here is a golden opportunity which he must grab with both arms!
Should he be able to bowl in the correct areas he should be able
to trouble opposition batsmen throughout the tour.
Kulasekera started off wicketless. It is going to be a major learning
experience for him. The other quickies, Lasith Malinga, and Fervez
Mahroof will also have to go through the same process. They must
learn from every outing as that will be the key to this tour for
spin department will be in the hands of Muttiah Muralitharan and
Malinga Bandara. Muralitharan has heaps of experience playing in
English conditions, having toured with Sri Lanka and also playing
county cricket. Bandara too had half a season last year enjoying
the task of being a county professional. In fact that spell helped
greatly in resurrecting his career. The experience helped him grow
in confidence and confidence is a huge part of leg spin bowling.
Bowlers depend on the support of the fielders, so catching in colder
conditions will be very much part of the practice routines. The
itinerary provides plenty of time to work on that aspect of the
game and special emphasis must be paid as the hands “sting”
when fielding in these conditions.
biggest test will be for batsmen. Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya
will be greatly missed. The opening partnership is such a valuable
part in any team make up and Jayasuriya and Atapattu rank amongst
the best there has ever been. They have collectively starred in
something like one hundred and eighty eight test matches and amassed
close on twelve thousand runs. There is no way of finding immediate
provides a tremendous opportunity for three young players to cement
a place in the side. Jehan Mubarak is the most experienced of the
three and the player who has got the most opportunities in the past.
He had a very good tour of Bangladesh with the ‘A’ Team
recently. Could he have turned the corner? Time will tell.
has been much criticism of the selectors for not giving Michael
Van Dort more chances to prove himself. He has got the break, it’s
all up to him now. To me Upul Tharanga who is the youngest of the
trio, looks the front runner. He is the best organized, to fill
into an opening berth. He has got off to a good start, becoming
the first centurion on tour. Upul Tharanga must not look back.
For any batsman the early part of an innings is the difficult part.
process of defending and attacking the ball becomes more familiar
as more time is spent in the middle. All the batsmen who get up
to twenty and thirty must go on to convert those scores into big
innings. At least two of the top or middle order batsmen must target
to score centuries every innings. That is the most vital requirement
on this tour.