Blaming Bayliss is the easy way out

I was reading a comment on a cricket forum the other day about Trevor Bayliss’s record as Sri Lankan coach. The guy took over in August of 2007 and has been in the job for a good year and a half now.

The records not that flash.

4-4-2 in test cricket.
16-14-2 in ODIs.

The obvious thing is that Sri Lanka have become inconsistent during his rein. This year alone the test match record reads WLWLW. Every win is usually followed by a loss.

That is bad cricket. Meaning we are never in control or dominating enough in the 15 odd sessions in a game.

We have been embarrassed at home by England and India in ODIs.

So the question is, should we be lining up Bayliss for the firing squad.

I say No. Its so easy to blame the coach when things go wrong. But how much of an influence does he have once the game has started.

Our batsmen have been pretty abysmal this year. Its definitely been a year to be a Sri Lankan bowler.

Once the blame game starts the next step is comparing him to Moody.

Everyone in Sri Lanka loved Moody.

Fans adored him.

Adminstracrats were jealous of him.

Sangakkara and Mahela wanted to make love to him.

Chamara Silva worshipped him.

Moody was god.

So what chance does Bayliss have, he’s like the new boyfriend, who keeps getting compared to the ex. No matter what he’s done you question your self.

Is this working out ? Are we compatible. Do I see my self having his baby.

You want to believe you do. One thing is certain though, the comparison is pretty fucked up for Bayliss.

Trevor is a quite sorta fella who shuns from the limelight, Moody had charisma which propelled him through your TV screen with that cheeky smile he flashed.

I like Bayliss though, he has finally got rid of Sanath from the test team. Brought in Malinda Warnapura, Dammika Prasad, Thilan Thushara.

Developed Nuwan into a fine bowler. Even Mubarak seems to be going somewhere, much to our annoyance.

Given the world Splendid Mendis and tried to blood in the players that have been outstanding in domestic cricket and in the A team.

Which is what you really want to be seeing from a coach. That the players have gone out and fucked it all up is not his fault.

See, he is good, you are starting to change your mind arnt you. So now you are hoping he will turn this around cuz you feel like you are falling in love with him.

How sad it is then for Bayliss that till June-July next year we have no cricket. And his 2 year term ends in August.


  1. Sachintha said:

    There’s only so much a coach can do…

    Btw, on a different note, shouldn’t you be limiting the use of the word ‘God’ a bit?
    I mean that’s where Indians go wrong. Sachin’s a god. Saurav’s a god. And then they fail, god forbid!

    We do not have gods mate, Moody was never a god for us, we just liked the guy.


    December 16, 2008
  2. damiths said:

    Who else did I call a God other than God himself- He the preacher of Sehwagalogy and destroyer of whinny spinners.

    Besides, I am a distinct advantage in calling Moody a god since he cant fail us anymore.

    December 16, 2008
  3. raj said:

    Two points:
    1. “The obvious thing is that Sri Lanka have become inconsistent during his rein. This year alone the test match record reads WLWLW”
    Now, WLWLW is a beautiful consistent sequence. You know that you will be getting a Win after a loss. That is consistency by definition, mate!
    2. How do you mean Bayliss gave the world Splendid. I thought Splendid decided to announce himself to the world – whts bayliss got to do with it?

    December 16, 2008
  4. damiths said:

    1. Love the spin, but thats not the sort of consistency I prefer, I like WWWWWWWWWWWWLWWWWWWWWWWWW.
    Now thats consistency.

    2.You are right, Splendid did announce himself on his own terms. Bayliss just gets credit for being coach at the time. It could have been anyone really, but it was Bayliss.

    That is all.

    December 16, 2008
  5. insideEdge said:

    Sri Lanka is currently a slightly above average team:
    1) Sanga and Samaraweera aside the batsmen are only consistent in being inconsistent

    2) The quick bowlers are a combination of raw and inexperienced (Thushara , Prasad & Welagedara), injured (Maharoof), at the end of the road (Vaas) and suffering from fame gone to head and hair (Malinga). Then there is Dilhara – all the talent but no brain or heart.

    3) Two brilliant spin bowlers.

    4) A tactically incoherent captain

    Trevor Bayliss too has fitted in to this averageness. He was always going to suffer in comparison to Moody with Sri Lanka needing to transition from the likes of Sanath, Marvan, Vaas and Murali (in that he can no longer bowl 50% of overs) to a new generation. Whenever there is a transition there is pain – Australia in 80s and again now, West Indies seemingly for ever – its’ a given in any sport.

    Blaming the coach is the easy option and it will unfairly absolve the senior players from the blame for their inconsistency and to gloss over the fact that Sri Lanka first class cricket does not groom players to step up to the national team.

    Where Bayliss is at fault if for a lack of charisma and authority and for some of Mahela’s tactical incoherence. I genuinely feel he has not been able to control the big names and have them focused on cricket.

    Tom Moody had, and still has, one enormous advantage when it comes to coaching. He is the owner of two World Cup winners medals as a player. This gains him credibility and respect from even big names and he was able to have a quiet authority over the team. I am told that when Malinga once argued with Moody he was told to earn the right to argue by getting one World Cup winners medal. It would appear that with Bayliss the players rule the roost.

    Off the field, SL has no cricket adimins/bearaucrats/politicians of any substance, the coach can not control the team, the captain is arguably making decisions on non-cricket grounds (Was Tharanga dropped due to form or because Mahela disapproved of his alleged involvement with the wife of a team mate?)

    On the field, the captain is tactically incoherent and the coach is either incapable or unable to influence him.

    I would make Sanga captain now. Then observe if there is an improvement in performance and tactics. If there is no improvement in consistency we will need a tough disciplinarian to succeed Bayliss.

    December 16, 2008
  6. insideEdge said:

    Is Tom Moody the smartest man in world cricket?
    1) He left SL at the peak – even tho we lost in the final there wasn’t a similar peak for him to experience in the near term.

    2) SL team needed to transition to the next generation. Read above for the pain of this process.

    3) He turned down the Australia job – another team in a transition phase.

    4) He didn’t chase the England job.

    5) When Tim Neilsen leaves or is sacked after revising Aus expectations down and blooding the talented crop of young players they have, Moody can walk in to that job and take them to success again.

    6) He was lucky not to be given the India job in 2005

    A general must not only be good he must be lucky.

    December 16, 2008
  7. damiths said:

    First, a brilliant analysis.

    Second, Moody clearly put everyone in their place when he came on the scene. He was toughened in those 80s Aussie teams and tempered under Border and Co. Playing alongside players with balls of Titanium, like Steve Waugh Border will make anyone an authoritative figure.

    The story you tell me Malinga is just one of those instances.

    The biggest disappointment under Bayliss has been that we are still relying on Sanath, Vass and Murali(to a less extent). Once the dependency on Sanath is taken out, we can truly be on the road to growth.

    You reckon his contract will be renewed ?

    December 16, 2008
  8. scorpicity said:

    Sl needs top unearth more quality batsmen as you pointed out it is clearly in the batting where the inconsistency factor rubs in. There is two much over-reliance on j’wardne and Sanga. If they get one more of their quality, it should do enough for the rest to rally around them.

    December 16, 2008
  9. insideEdge said:

    Problem with replacing Sanath is we do not have any replacement for him – even this year Sanath has done more than Udawatte, Malinda and Tharanga combined.

    The sad case is Tharanga who had the ability and temperemant and was more or less established as an opener. True he has some technical issues outside off – but to be honest is it anymore than Mahela – but it is the damage to his confidence and sense of belonging that is tragic. All because those who are hardly paragons of virtue chose to be moral arbiters in what is a private matter.

    Given the current state of cricket here, I can’t think of any credible coach wanting to come here. If it’s a discliplinarian the players are likely to run off bleating to someone and get him removed. We will end up choosing from the second or even third tier of coaches. That said each power that be will want to appoint his own coach so I don’t expect Bayliss to be renewed.

    December 17, 2008
  10. damiths said:

    Inside> I was really annoyed to find that Udawatte had been dropped from the Bangl series for Sanath in the ODIs. Ok the guy dint do too well in Zimbabwe, but dropping him just hurts his confidence. He is a pretty good player and since being dropped has reeled off a 100 in a club game.

    Everyone argues that we cant drop Sanath because we cant replace him but its sad when players who deserve an extended run dont get it and are dropped after one bad series. Surely you’d have to back Udawatte to score runs against Bangl !

    Sanaths avg at his 100th ODI was 15 or something at the 150th it was still 20. These kids might never get such loving treatment to prove themselves.

    December 17, 2008
  11. insideEdge said:

    The best solution would be Sanath to retire. I would have loved to see him go out after Asia Cup final…the brilliant hundred to rescue SL from the dumps would have been a fitting finale to his career.

    Selectors, Captain, Coach will all keep him going for short term results.

    I see two problems with Udawatte – outside off and his fielding. Perhaps we need to have him work on these first as he’s still 22 rather than let him get cheap runs while having a weak technique.

    Similarly Kandamy needs to lose weight before he’s allowed anywhere near the team again.

    Btw, does Splendid Mendis have a cricket playing cousin – Balapuwaduge Manukulasuriya Amith Jeewan Mendis

    December 17, 2008
  12. jdgoal said:

    I think the batting needs to toughen up!! Since all the pressure falls on Sanga and Mahela. Players like Kapugedera, Kandamby and Udawatte need to step-up. Also, groom someone such as Angelo Mathews, since he has shown a lot of potential.

    The bowling is great now, just need everyone to be fit. Maharoof is good and if he stays injury free he just might be the next spearhead in our attack along with Malinga when he comes back. Also, Dhammika Prasad should be given more playing time. Kuleskera could be a one-day specialist since he seems ineffective in test matches.

    December 17, 2008

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