Dilshan is a Pirate.
From his bear claw goatee to his bandana to his bling. If they ever made a Sri Lankan remake of Pirates of the Caribbean, Dilshan would be Jack Sparrow. But the problem with Pirates is that, by nature, they can’t be trusted.
Dilshan is captain of Sri Lanka because no one else wants the job. Mahela gave it up. And King Kumar wants to become a full time speech writer. In fact the only person other than Dilshan who had a real chance of getting the job was Sanath. As long as he could pass the motion in Parliament.
Like it or not Dilshan the Pirate is what we’ve got. If first impressions mean something, then Dilshan probably wouldn’t have got the girl. If you want to know how Sri Lanka is doing then you’d get all the info you need by looking at his face. Captaincy doesn’t appear to have pulled the plank on Dilshans buccaneer attitude with the bat either. See what I did there. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That 193 at Lords came at almost 80. And the cost of a digit. Could you ever tell Jack Sparrow what to do ? Ok… Would he have listened?
Dilshanis his own man. He doesn’t pretend to be something he isn’t. But right now you can almost tell that the man is torn between kicking a player in the back side for dropping a chance and blowing his cheeks like Mahela used to. Ultimately this will be what makes or breaks Dilshan as captain. Fighting to be someone he isn’t to completely losing the plot to finding something in between. One thing Dilshan outwardly demands from every player on the field is a 150%. He isn’t someone who is going to sit back and let things unfold. That doesn’t become the man. He isn’t arrogant enough to not ask for his peers help. And Mahela and Sangakkara are humble enough to guide him through this transitional period. These are all great signs.
In his first year of captaincy he has already faced the no1 test side in the world at home. Now we’ve got Aus at home. SA away. Aus and India away. Then Eng at home next year. That is as rough a year as it comes. Add to this the fact that the team it self in a development phase, Dilshan’s headaches are just beginning.
In these times of unprecedented number of tests for us in the FTP, Dilshan probably isn’t even the ideal man to lead the side. Sri Lanka lies on the verge of going from an average test side to a good or even great one. There is a big chance that Dilshan might end up falling apart. And along with him, Sri Lanka. But just like every other pirate, he will probably die trying. And his merry men will be expected to do the same.
And that is all really matters. Although winning will also be good.
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Credit to the man though….. Remembering the way he captained a one off T20 against India, (like an overworked Colombo traffic cop who had not collected his quota of bribes) he cuts out a much much more calmer figure on the field. And whilst I was not thrilled with his appointment initially, the guy so far hasn’t done too badly. I would more than happily give him a bit more time on the job.
On a different note…Welcome back Damiths!
Thanks. Good to be back. Missed this to be honest. I agree with you, Although at the start Dilshan didn’t appear to be the ideal choice for me either, he has improved immensely. But like I said, he looks torn doesn’t he. Sometimes he looks like he wants to choke someone to death, but is looking to restrain himself. Test Captain will be interesting. I hope he is a lot more aggressive and Sanga and MJ. I think he showed signs of this in the ODI series as well. If he keeps his batting going I think he has the potential to be one of our best leaders. He will certainly have plenty of chances to get us up the ladder in tests in the new FTP.
I have my reservations about Dilshan, but I would love to see him prove everyone wrong.
I like your comment about Dilshan not the type to sit back and wait for things to happen. This is true. One thing I never could understand with SL cricket in test matches is how the team (and captain) are completely okay with sitting back and waiting for things to happen when the opposition batting doesn’t look like getting out. Everyone from Arjuna to Sanga had that trait and I could never understand it coming from a team that revolutionized ODIs – and possibly planted the first seed of T20 cricket in the minds of administrators. We’ve always placed batting on a pedestal and allowed our bowlers to favour restricting of runs rather than gamble and take wickets – and this goes to Murali as well. He hated going for runs and would consequently rather save runs than raise the stakes and win the wicket. It is said test matches are won by taking 20 wickets and not hitting 600 runs – I truly believe in that.
My original point is I hope, I really hope Dilshan is not that leader. What he may lack in diplomacy and tact (certainly in comparison to Mahela and Sanga) I hope he makes up for with a maverick tactical nous. Because without Murali, Vaas and Malinga, we can’t afford to sit back and wait for the wickets.
Well said Theena, I think everyone is a bit on edge when Dilshan is captaining the team out there. You never really know how things will pan out , which is exciting and petrifying at the same time.
I hope Dilshans natural flair and aggression extends into how he leads the team. We have had 2 good but generally passive sort of captains before him. Dilshan would do well to just be himself, trust his instincts not just be a plain Vanilla leader.
And, while I like Sanga and Mahela helping him out in these early stages, I hope their influence doesnt rub off too much. Dilshan has to forge his own legacy. Lets wait and see.
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