Losing an ODI series to minnows like Zimbabwe, captain relinquishing the captaincy due to poor result, chief selector gets involved in a sex scandal, your best former wining captain put allegations on management and players, this what a team never wants when they are in a rebuilding phase. And after all this the results in India vs Srilanka test series currently taking place in Srilanka is what most people expected for. But the manner in which Srilanka got beaten in both the test matches is not acceptable for the fans.
Losing 1st test by more than 300 runs and second test by margin of an innings is not what we would except from Srilanka especially at their home soil. After the retirements of batting stalwarts Kumar Sangakara & Mahela Jayawerdene who were the mainstay of their batting during the 2000’s it seems that backup talent was not up to the same level consistently. The duo had amassed more than 53,000 international runs and had an experience of more than 1200 international games combined. It is evident that Srilanka still not able to fill the big boots made vacant by those two modern batting giants.
Champions of 1996 one day international World Cup Srilanka is currently at their all time low. Since retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan from international cricket left arm spin of Rangana Herath was saving the face of Srilankan bowling unit who lacked wicket taking options. 39 year old Herath will be sitting out for the final test starting from tomorrow due to an injury which will stole experience of 89 test matches and close to 400 test wickets from the Srilankan bowling unit.
Rangana Herath who looked out of sorts during the series so far with just 5 wickets an expense of 347 runs which gave him the bowling average of almost 70 runs per wicket which was way above his overall bowling average in test matches of 28.25 runs per wicket; but his presence in the field can give some strength to the inexperience bowling lineup of Srilanka.
Since 2000 Australia is the only team who has white washed Srilanka at their home soil and with outstanding performance of Virat Kohli & co. from India so far in the series making it more than likely that they will become the second team in 17 years to embarrass Srilanka once again.
Srilanka needs to put their A game at any cost at Pallekele as this will be the first that Indian’s will be playing on this ground. Angellow Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal & Kausal Mendis have to convert their starts in something big just like Chateshwar Pujara is doing it for India through the earlier matches in the series.
Srilanka is one of the entertaining sides of world cricket and they need to have their heads held high and have to put behind the tamed performance to match the Indian’s and sae some pride for themselves and fans at home.