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  Post Second Test Cricket Talk And What Happened To The Sri Lankans?

Sunny The Seeing Eye-Sightscreens Unlimited for LankaWeb

The Sri Lankan Cricketers have been humbled at Edgbaston and humbled they were with hardly a resistance considering their World No. 3 ranking by a lesser ranked English squad, the significance of which they almost seemed to ignore with a near nonchalance as the post-mortems begin in trying to establish a cause for the humiliation. It certainly is unfair to Dav Whatmore whose dedication and inspiration to the team deserves better and the recently recruited former South African cricketing whiz. Barry Richards who must surely be wondering in bewilderment at the apathetically irresponsible display of negative cricket which seems to have originated in the First Test at Lords when Lankan Skipper apparently Jayasuriya lost the grip on a game which in reality Sri Lanka should have won having had England with their backs to the wall.The trend seems to have followed the Lankans into Edgbaston with disastrous results and they can only redeem themselves in the single remaining Test where England now go into as favourites.The rot which has set into the Lankan team needs to be stemmed quickly and positive steps need to be taken.
This victory must be sweet in the English Camp as they have beaten a Sri lankan side which included Muttiah Muralitharan admittedly an enigma to the English players and despite his having claimed 5 wickets and having bowled his heart out.

What then seems to be the dilemma facing the Sri Lankans who have almost converted England into a hoodoo team which somehow seems to be able to jinx them? Does it have anything to do with the lacklustre unimaginative captaincy of Sanath Jayasuriya whose personal performance level too has dropped drastically and has shown rather poor cricket savvy in recent times much in the manner of many other past greats such as Sachin Tendulkar, David Gower and Brian Lara to cite a few examples who have been individually brilliant players but not exceptionally great captains and in relinquishing their respective captaincy duties have turned up great performances.

To have a 5 day Test Match end in 3 is rather ignominious considering the semantics of the Longer Game and suggests that perhaps Sri Lanka 's approach to Test Cricket differs little from how they play the limited overs game and that a complete overhauling of the team may be needed to set right their lapses where captaicy may need to be replaced together with the batting order which seem to be the foremost grey areas presently.The heroics of Arjuna Ranatunga that glorious past skipper is remembered whistfully as he surely, being one of the greatest Sri Lankan captains ever if not the greatest was equipped to handle both versions of the game and steered Sri Lanka to great heights during his tenure and all future captains should model themselves after him as a role model which he surely was and let nothing stand in his way in his relentless quest for victory and something which Jayasuriya seems to lack sadly, being the magnificient individually brilliant player he is.

The opportunism of the English has also been a factor detrimental to the Sri Lankans as this then is the earliest time of year ever where a tour to England by a visiting side has been called and the time available for acclimatization and orientation very limited albeit there being no excuses required from the losing side, cold hands and dropped catches put into perspective! where both games were played on perfect batting wickets and the winning edge in the Second Test snatched by England through the lacksadaisical approach by the Sri Lankans where Marvan Attapattu, Mahela Jayawardena, Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Tillekeratne flattered and failed and Muttiah Muralitharan's brilliant comeback effort was of no consequence and purely academic. And the inevitable feeding frenzy of the sharks of the British Press which will surely follow is going to be awesomely hilarious to say the least.

Coincidentally the disastrous loss and the previously lost opportunity to beat the 'Pommies' apparently follows the confusion and discontent within the BCCSL whose once prudent management changed hands and consequently the selection committee headed by Michael Tissera and co. One ponders also upon the wisdom of excluding Kumar Dharmasena's experieced and spirited personality from the test squad as well as the reluctance to include either Upul Chandana or Thilan Samarawera whose talents could easily havemade a difference in boosting the paltry performance of the Sri Lankan Team now faced with many re-considerations prior to the final Test where the team management need also to look into a feasible response to the Ruchira Perera controversy in hindsight and in his support and a means to address the wretched umpiring of the likes of the hearing and vision impaired Harper whose ludicrous decisions or at least some of them currently are all but ruining some of the better aspects of Test Cricket.

In conclusion, on a sadder note, Sightscreens Unlimited pauses for a moment to reflect upon the life and times of former South African Captain Hanse Cronje who passed away under tragic circumstances a few days ago, and was dogged by controversy and ultimately banned from cricket, as regardless of the grave human errors of judgement he commited, he nevertheless was a magnificient cricketer, a once wonderfully respected and motivating captain of South Africa who steered his Nation to great heights and there must indeed be many Sri Lankans who remember him during his playing days, on behalf of whom condolences are sent to his family and loved ones.

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