Blind strategy: Sri
Lanka didn't see the changes
Sri Lanka's unceremonious exit from the ICC Champions
Trophy tournament here in India has raised many an eye-brow with
questions on why the team management and establishment was averse
to making changes.
More than any other team the Sri Lankans were
caught on the blind-side or some may argue caught with their pants
down unable to cover the shame having entered the championship as
one of the favourites with an unprecedented five match-winners in
Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara
and Muttiah Muralitheran.
But while the old guns failed to fire, two junior
players, batsman Chamara Kapugedera and allrounder Malinga Bandara
were wasted without playing a single shot or bowling a single ball.
The team management will argue it was just one
match, but Sri Lanka in fact had no strategy for the second round
of matches and in reality lost out on a semi final berth with defeat
against lowly rated Pakistan and not against South Africa for want
of a player in the mould of Bandara.
Despite being the water boy of the team Bandara
was in high spirits and kept hitting the single stump at warm-up
time on match days. The reason given for Bandara's exclusiion from
the team was the frivolous dew factor which made no sense to the
"Whatever the conditions, dew or no dew,
batting first or second or playing under lights, does not matter.
The team that plays better cricket wins", said West Indies
captain Brian Lara whose team is in the semi finals after a remarkable
According to team sources there had been discussions
on the composition of the team and Sri Lanka's coach Tom Moody was
not able to pull the trigger.
"He is no different from some of his predecessors",
said a team source.
In hindsight Sri Lanka were unable to defend a
254 target against Pakistan for want of an additional spinner in
Bandara and lost to South Africa without a batting strategy which
Kapugedera could have played a part in had he been selected.
Ex-Indian batsman Navjot Sidhu found a convenient
way to describe Sri Lanka. "They (Sri Lankans) are poor and
sick", he said in a television talk show.