Monday, December 21, 2009

Future tense for Sanath Jayasuriya ?

TROUBLED TIMES : Sanath Jayasuriya is attended to by a doctor in Cuttack on Sunday

Cuttack: The last time Sri Lanka faced India in an ODI at the Barabati Stadium here was on December 28, 1990. Nineteen years on, cricket may have undergone a sea-change, but two characters remain constant: Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar. 

Both featured in that game which Lanka won by 36 runs, and are still part of the two squads — ready to do battle with rivals some of who are half their age. There is a difference in status, though. 

While the 40-year-old Jayasuriya cut a forlorn figure sitting quietly on one side, not even getting a bat, 36-year-old Sachin was the first to get a knock with the bat at nets in the afternoon.
Sachin is still an important member of Team India and will open the batting. Jayasuriya, dropped in the Nagpur ODI, may not get back his berth in the XI. 

Is it the end of the road for one of Lankan cricket’s longest-serving and most efficient soldiers? Was that the message Kumar Sangakkara and the team were trying to convey to the senior citizen? 

“It’s always tough to drop a senior player like Sanath. But whatever decisions are taken are in the best interests of the team. We have to get the combination right. I also believe its important to communicate something like this directly,” said the Lankan skipper. 

Is there any chance of Jayasuriya being in the XI on Monday? “Every player in the squad has a chanced to be there,” he said a trifle curtly. Jayasuriya’s runs have dried up, his utility as a bowler has diminished as well. He took a decision to retire from Tests two years ago, saying that he was still good enough to play the two shorter formats. 

The time may have come for the Matara Marauder to review that decision.

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