at the end of the tunnel
As Sri Lanka edged closer and closer to a resounding win against
South Africa in Brisbane, a huge sense of relief set in. After 3
months of sliding down a greasy pole it all turned around at the
grounds known as the “Gabba” – shortened form
for “Woolongabba” which is the suburb the ground is
located. For all involved in the game in Sri Lanka, finally many
doubts were cleared.
win also consolidated a group of players who could form a squad
for selection for the present and the nine months of cricket in
the near future. The experienced players must draw out of this victory
and approach the future games with confidence in their ability and
the team’s collective ability.
True, the win was against an under strength South African outfit.
What was significant though, was the manner in which the victory
was achieved. There were worthwhile contributions from all. The
South Africans were strangled to the maximum and were outplayed
in all departments of the game. All that was reason to be satisfied
with this performance.
top seven batsmen must continue from where they left off when they
play the next innings. Upul Tharanga and Jehan Mubarak have shed
their beginner board. Mubarak has been around for a while and now
has plenty of ‘A’ team and domestic cricket experience.
The 61 he made must now dispel any doubts, if he had any, of his
ability to perform at the highest level. Tharanga must get rid of
the habit of slashing at deliveries too far outside off stump. He
has an array of strokes and it is a matter of occupying the crease,
then there will be the big scores, similar to the century against
Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardena have to form
the core of the top order. They have plenty of runs under their
belts and must now get on with it. Select the correct delivery for
shot making and the runs will come. T.M. Dilshan and Russel Arnold
are as good as any top order batsman on their day. They must strive
to make those good days happen more often. Dilshan has been batting
at the top of the order with some success. Arnold too should be
shunted up when there is a possibility.
Jayasuriya has found his way back into the side. The happenings
of the last couple of months has in some ways given him a wake up
call. The ‘master blaster’ has still life left in his
cricketing body. He is no doubt keen to squeeze every bit out. Michael
Van Dort had a cruel restart to his international career. He may
have taken a lot of deliveries to get upto 48 runs, but the value
was in that he stood upto all the Aussie bowlers.
in itself was a good achievement. He must be perceived within both
forms of the game. Ruchira Perera and Malinga Bandara have added
the much needed punch and also support for Vaas and Muralitharan.
They are both attacking bowlers and that makes them great value.
On his return, Nuwan Kulasekera also performed satisfactorily. Physically
he has got stronger and that has helped him gain a yard of pace.
A good sign, also indicating that he is working at his game.
the names of Tilan Samaraweera, Lasith Malinga, Fervez Mahroof,
Sajeewa Weerakoon, Akalanka Ganegama, there is talent, ability and
allround strength for Tom Moody to work with. The entire list mentioned
are players capable of performing against the best of international
cricketers. Proper preparation and utilizing them to get the maximum
in match situations is what is now required. Now we can certainly
see some light at the end of the tunnel!