Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jayasuriya vows to fight on, facing uncertain future in cricket

With his future as an international cricketer in serious doubt, veteran Sanath Jayasuriya vowed not to give in, saying his international cricket career is far from over. Members of the national selection committee, together with skipper Kumar Sangakkara, said on Thursday that they didn’t believe the 40-year-old has a future as an opener.

The selectors also said that there’s no guarantee that Jayasuriya will feature in all matches of the upcoming ODI series against India and his participation depended solely on conditions and the requirements of the team.

"I am not going to give up. I will keep fighting and the series against India provides me with an opportunity and I am waiting for that opportunity," the left-hander, into the 20th year of his international career told.

"No players’ place is guaranteed in the team. There aren’t free places available in the side and you have to keep fighting. Not just for me, it’s applicable to all the players. You have to consistently perform for the team," Jayasuriya added.

Jayasuriya lost his place in the side last year as well, but was called back to the side ahead of the Asia Cup owing to his good form in the Indian Premier League T-20 tournament and on that occasion he blasted twin hundreds in the tournament, including one in the final, where the rest of batting, with the exception of Tillekeratne Dilshan, failed miserably. Sri Lanka went on to win that tournament.

He also hit a hundred early this year against India and became the oldest player to score a hundred in an ODI just four months before his 40th birthday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jayasuriya to drop down the order - Sangakkara

Sri Lanka, in their forthcoming tour to India, will like to erase the dubious record of never having won a Test match on the Indian soil.

As the men from the Emerald Isles prepare to embark on the tour, skipper Kumar Sangakkara has a short and simple message for his team.

"The attitude should be simple. The first thing we should start with is no complaints with anything," said Sangakkara.

The wicketkeeper batsman has asked his players to concentrate on their strengths and do what they do best, instead of complaining about the uncontrollables.

He urged his men to use their energy in focusing on their game rather than finding flaws in the conditions, pitches and other things about the tour.

The Lankan captain expects the series, which includes three Tests, two Twenty20s and five ODIs, to be “very exciting and also a daunting task” for his side.

Talking about the composition of his team, Sangakkara conceded that the old war-horse Sanath Jayasuriya will drop down in the batting order in order to accommodate young opener Upul Tharanga, who is likely to open the innings along side Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The 40-year-old Matara Marauder has opened the innings in 387 matches out of 441 that he has played, scoring 12,738 runs with an average of 34.


Will this be the end of Sanath Jayasuriya's reign?

Sanath Jayasuriya, the oldest player in modern cricket is to miss his usual position as the opening batsman during the upcoming One day series in India.

Speaking at a press briefing held in Colombo this afternoon, the captain of the Sri Lankan team, Kumar Sangakkara said Sanath will bat at the number six position in the ODI series.

According to Sangakkara this decision was taken due to the need of an all-rounder in the middle order.

The cricket analysts say this would be the first step of removing Sanath Jayasuriya from Sri Lankan squad.

In the ODI series T.M. Dilshan and Upul Tharanga will open the batting for Sri Lanka, Sangakkara added.

However, it was reported that T.M Dilshan has sustained an injury during a practice session this morning, but expect to recover before the Indian tour begins.

Sri Lankan team will play five one day international matches against the Indian team during the upcoming series.

Source : Colombo Page

Sanath Jayasuriya's future under scrutiny

Sanath Jayasuriya's cricketing future has been put in the balance with Sri Lanka's selectors saying today that his days as an opener are effectively over and that following the upcoming tour of India he will be picked on performance alone. Jayasuriya, 40, has been picked in the one-day squad as an allrounder who can bat down the order and bowl left-arm spin.
"What we expect from Sanath is that he should win one in three games for Sri Lanka, which he was doing in the past," Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, said in Colombo. "But now that has reduced and we are a little concerned about it. In the Champions Trophy in South Africa his performance was below par .That's the reason why we have gone in with the option of playing him as an allrounder."
Jayasuriya scored freely during the World Twenty20 in England this summer, where Sri Lanka finished runners-up, and ended as their joint second-highest run-getter with 177 at 25.28. However, he underperformed in the limited-overs fixtures against New Zealand and India at home and in the Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka's selectors have Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan in mind as the opening pair for the future and Jayasuriya's selection will depend on the requirements of the team depending on where they will play. "We have spoken to Sanath on the role he has to play," de Mel said. "He has the option to play as an allrounder. We have considered him for this tour only, after that his selection will depend on his performance. He has to perform to hold his place in the team for the World Cup."
de Mel said the selectors did not have a settled position for Jayasuriya, who was impressive as an allrounder during Sri Lanka's victorious World Cup campaign in 1996, and that his flexibility worked in his favour. "Especially in the batting power play having a spinning allrounder like Sanath is useful in the subcontinent because he can hit the ball. He might bat in the middle or in the top order depending on the situation," he said. "Also, the World Cup will be held in the subcontinent where his left-arm spin can become useful. He can perform that role because in South Africa in the game against New Zealand when they scored 300 runs he was the one who bowled ten overs for three wickets and 30 runs. He has done well in the subcontinent especially with his bowling."
Jayasuriya is the second batsman after India's Sachin Tendulkar to pass 13,000 runs in ODIs and also holds the record for being the oldest batsman to score a one-day century, at 39 years and 212 days against India in Colombo. Of the 13,377 runs he has scored in 441 ODIs, 2841 have come in 86 ODIs against India including seven hundreds at a strike-rate of 97.
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara felt the main factor in Sri Lanka's poor ODI performances over the past two years has been an inconsistent batting line up. "The biggest let-down we had is our batting. We suffered because we had lots of batting position changes up and down the order," he said. "For the batting to improve you must give the players the confidence. They must know what role they are supposed to play. Role identification has been a big problem. Except for the openers no one knew what their role was in the side.
"We have never clicked in all departments those are things the team ignored for a while. The players have now started to realise that they take a lot of pride not just representing the country but to be up to the task that is required of them by the team."
Fielding was one of the key areas where Sri Lanka suffered during the Champions Trophy and to address the poor standards and improve them Sri Lanka Cricket acquired the services of Gavin Fingleson, a former Olympic baseball player.
"He didn't come and change but showed us how do things right. He showed us little points that will make us better and quick fielders, at the same time we also realized to be quicker on the field you've got to be fitter as a side," Sangakkara said. "We started doing a lot of work on fitness running. Gavin showed us a lot of drills and how you can gain that extra second advantage when going for a catch or trying to stop the ball. At the same time the most important point was to make sure at practice you do everything as perfectly, those are the habits we have to build on."

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