Will Sri Lanka end up the next Bangladesh?

A rather depressed SL fan sends this one in

by IBA

It was on the 22 of July 2010 that Sri Lanka defeated an Indian team that had a supreme batting line-up. 14 months later, they don’t look like winning a Test for a while.

Sri Lanka’s saviour Muttiah Muralitharan finished his Test career with a bang.  Subsequent retirement of Lasith Malinga hasn’t helped Sri Lanka since other pace bowlers and the mystery spinner have failed to perform. Even batting seems to be in a shambles these days. Sri Lankans were saved by rain when a weak West Indian team was just about to humiliate Sri Lanka at home.

Under the new captain Tillekeratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka’s pathetic plight continued as several senior players had given no importance to England tour when they signed lucrative IPL contracts. Their 2 best players arrived in England late & failed miserably when it mattered. One of them seemed to be more interested in writing how good England were rather than getting some real match practice. The other somehow managed to save Sri Lanka from a 2-0 defeat when he scored a hundred in the 3rd Test and later admitted that one needs more time in England to get used to conditions. He blamed hot IPL cheerleaders for his late arrival in England.

After a disappointing Test series in England, Sri Lankans were set to trouble Australians at home to win The Warne-Muralitharan Trophy. All the talk was about how Sri Lankan spinners were going to bamboozle the Aussies. Dilshan praised Sri Lankan spinners a day before the 1st Test and didn’t forget to say how mediocre Australian spinners were. Off spinner Nathan Lyon’s 5-34 to restrict Sri Lanka to 105 made Dilshan look like a fool. The World’s best wicketkeeper recorded 2 ducks at no.6 when he was sent to bat in front of Angelo Mathews. Despite the defeat, coach Rumesh Ratnayake called their team mechanics “wonderful”. Sending the wicketkeeper at 6 again in the 2nd Test must have been a result of those “wonderful” team mechanics. It’s not a surprise that Dilshan is asking for a psychiatric.

The Bowling is a big worry. Suranga Lakmal needs some healthy food to keep his rhythm going for 3-4 over spells. Sri Lanka should give him whatever Duleep Mendis is eating. It’s a guarantee that you won’t get any smarter but that food will help Lakmal to bulk up. Prasad is a full time pie chucker with a rare good spell. What can Pradeep & Eranga do at this level? It was a matter of how long teams would take to start reading Mendis. Randiv & Prasanna don’t seem to be Test material. Will Senanayake ever get a chance to play for Sri Lanka now that his action is reported? Obviously they don’t have anything even remotely close to Muralitharan, Vaas & Malinga.

If batsmen can pile up on big scores, you don’t always need quality bowlers to win Test matches, goodish ones will do. The problem is that even the batting might become a big worry in 3 years. Sangakkara, Mahela, Samaraweera & Dilshan might retire in 3 years. Do they have players ready to replace these seniors at Test level?

The future looks bleak for Sri Lanka. Are we the next  Bangladesh?



  1. thimal said:

    i think we just need to get over the WC defeat and get sane selectors and a coach in.we’d probably never be a “great”side unless we do a major overhaul but thats unlikely.But i think we’d bounce back to that team that beats good teams on a good days.

    September 16, 2011
  2. shine said:

    SL cricket is not gonna go down hill because Murali isnt there anymore. You cant replace someone like murali. but I have been watching our cricket team for too long to believe that SL cricket will collapse cos of murali’s absence. Every time I thought it was going to, it just came back up. We wondered these things when other greats like aravinda, arjuna and vaas retired too. But with time, we just learned to cope without them. every team goes through a lean patch and you just need to give them time. We havent played many tests since murali and malinga retired. I’m sure we will find some good bowlers to fill the void left by these two.

    I expect Mathews to have become a world class batsman by the time sanga and mahela retires. Havent seen much of Chandimal but I expect him to have settled in to the international scene by then too. Other than those 2, we have other good players coming through so I dont think we need to panic just yet!

    September 18, 2011
  3. damiths said:

    Thimal> I think we are well past the WC loss now. The problem I see is we are hanging on to too many non performers because we are too scared to put in some young guys are stick with them. We are expecting immediate results and I doubt we will get them. It’s a two sided blade for us, We want to win, but we also want to rebuild. The two can exist mutually exclusively with time.

    September 18, 2011
  4. damiths said:

    Shine> Good point about Murali. I think the issue here is that we have lost the X factor in Murali, Malinga and now Mendis whose form has gone limp. The one thing I am a bit unhappy about with Mendis is that we have been too harsh on him. He had a great start but now he needs to come up with better skills to trouble batsmen consistently. I just dont think we are giving him that chance. When we saw that Murali had potential we stuck with him. I think we need to do the same with Mendis.

    Batting wise it’s the same, we need to give these kids more chances. It’s time we got rid of Thilan, he has been ok but he is not the future, Might as well blood in some kids and give them a go.

    The blue print is not too far away – just look at what Aus is doing. Marsh, Copeland, Lyon, Usman. If you back peoples skills and give them a fair shake, they will respond eventually. Hopefully it wont take long.

    September 18, 2011
  5. IBA said:

    SL did give Mendis a decent run (12 Tests after IND series 2008) till the 2nd Test v ENG.

    Mendis’ top performances were to do with batsmen’s uncertainty. They didn’t try to attack him because they weren’t reading him. Now the problem is he doesn’t seem to possess a plan when batsmen who read him well & use their feet start to attack him. Ends up with too many short deliveries. Doesn’t even believe in a stock ball. Even a coach may not be able to help when you are that silly.

    September 18, 2011
  6. sateesh said:

    wtf!! Do you enjoy cricket watching or looking stats and history?? Srilanka is a great cricket team and will continue to be. — a Srilanka cricket fan from India

    September 19, 2011
  7. IBA said:

    @ sateesh – What stats & history? I worry about future of SL cricket.

    September 21, 2011
  8. James said:

    I sometimes wonder whether people who ‘write’ about the game have ever held a bat in their life. I use to think Sri Lankan cricket fans are an intelligent bunch but when I read garbage like the above I really do wonder whether that is indeed true. But then again I would not want to use the rubbish written above as the standard by which the cricketing nous of the Sri Lankan cricket fan should be measured.

    September 22, 2011
  9. IBA said:

    @ James – Any Tom,Dick or Harry can come up with the load of bollocks you have written. Any arguments on points (Weak bowling, batting after 3 years & a winless streak of 11 matches ATM) I’ve mentioned?

    September 23, 2011
  10. IBA said:

    I never said that we are definitely going to be next Bangladesh, but there are signs. IMO, SL need a strong mentor now. Hope Geoff Marsh can help them.

    September 24, 2011

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