Sri Lankan cricket rankings have been fluctuating like Japanese Yen currency, for the past several years. This is a reflection of our teams overall performances in all forms of cricket. It is sad to notice that the team hasn’t got the “killer instinct”. On a good day, the team is extremely good and on a bad day, they are like wooden spoons.
In contrast, teams such Australia and New Zealand have maintained consistency in their performances in all three departments of bowling, batting and fielding. Australia did suffer series of set backs during past 2 years, yet they grouped themselves quickly and adapted to the situations. It is an amazing team, their tactics are by far the best in the world. They never press the “panic” button, placing confidence on all batters. Even in a worst case scenario, Mitchell Johnson can be relied upon to score runs and reach the target. Loss of early wickets is not a worry for Australia in most matches. They do not rely on few “big names”, everyone in the team is a “big name” in all three departments.
Sri Lankan teams main weakness is lack of patience and too much reliance on big names. If big names are back in the shed, the rest of the team becomes extremely exposed and vulnerable. Our strengths associated with the “big name “ players have become our weakness. They all come in a queue one after another, and they all go back to the shed with fewer runs on the board. The batting order is not blended with experienced players and young players. In the most recently concluded T20 semi final, Sanath, Mahela, Dilshan and Kamar all came into bat one after another and they all went back to the pavilion in disgust.
With the world cup of ODI only a year away, we need to build on our strengths and reduce weaknesses. The comments before the commencement of a match by the Skipper shows a glorious picture but without deliverables.
Since the appointment of Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lankan cricket team has performed just as badly as some of the other minnows. Trevor Bayliss in his days was never an elite player in Australia, compared many other top class performers. Never played a test match or an ODI. Since his appointment in August 2007, Sri Lankan team has been struggling to win matches. When compared with the tenure in office of Tim Moody and David Whatmore, Trevor’s performances have so far been a disaster.
Today Sri Lanka is ranked No. 6 in ODI, followed by Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Kenya.
Moving to 2011 world cup competition for Sri Lanka is an uphill battle. The current coach need to be replaced immediately, if David Whatmore is available, he is the best candidate. David prefers Sri Lanka, he loves our country. He should be recruited, not just for World Cup, but for a longer duration.
Finally, our current squad is quite capable of delivering the goods. Though some people are bashing Sanath Jayasuriya, I think we need not just One Sanath Jayasuriya, but we need 11 Sanath Jayasuriya’s.