Sri Lanka have probably gone through everything that they could go through since the familiar Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan a few months back.
They will be in Abu Dhabi in a few days time to seek redemption against the same opponent, though the circumstances will be different this time around (Sri Lanka met Pakistan in the Champions Trophy right after a record breaking run chase against India).
An ODI series loss to one of the minnows in world cricket,Zimbabwe was followed by Angelo Mathews stepping down as captain, before a 0-9 drubbing by India. Even before the Indian series was concluded, the selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya had decided to resign to add to the disarray Sri Lanka cricket was going through. The incident that took center stage though was when the crowd decided to throw bottles on to the field during the 3rd ODI. It pretty much summed up the state of Sri Lankan cricket which affected the Sri Lankan players quite badly.
Sri Lanka Cricket announced the newly appointed panel of Selectors as ratified…
Sri Lanka were hardly competitive against India during the most recently concluded series. But centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis gave SL hope during the test series though it didn’t last for too long. Then came the magical spell of spin bowling during the 2nd ODI by the tiny man with a big heart,Akila Dhananjaya. Once again though, Sri Lanka didn’t finish the job at a crucial stage in the series. The only T20I saw what Dilshan Munaweera is made of before the middle order blew away the start.
Yes, Sri Lanka have played below their potential during the past couple of months. But if you listen to many pundits around the world, you get the feeling Sri Lanka have plenty of talent to work with.
The main area of concern for Sri Lanka has been their bowling. They hardly looked penetrative and never looked like they would get 20 wickets to win a test match. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka their fielders have been having a tough time too which has made life difficult for the bowlers. Statisticians have even come up with the number of drops Sri Lanka have had during the year 2017 and those numbers are heart breaking if you’re a Sri Lankan fan. Would Sri Lanka have won more games if some of those chances were held ?
However, the time has come to move on from the past. The new selection panel headed by Graeme Labrooy’s first assignment will be the Pakistan series which begins with tests and ends with the 3rd T20I scheduled to be played in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka have probably forgotten how to win by now. It’s been a while since they won a game of cricket. But as we all know, all it takes is one win to change the feeling in the dressing room. Players seem to have lost confidence in their ability but they are matured individuals and know that it’s they themselves who have to come out of this situation.
With 30 September 2017 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification, the WindieS..
Sri Lanka’s tour of the UAE & Pakistan presents them with a golden opportunity for redemption. Pakistan will have big shoes to fill after the retirement of their great test batsmen Younis Khan and Misbab Ul-Haq. Sri Lanka will need to expose them early in the series. The Abu Dhabi test will be followed by Sri Lanka’s first ever day night test match in Dubai. Have Sri Lanka been prepared well enough for the pink ball under floodlights? Only time will tell.
It’s high time the Sri Lankans play with their heart again and bring some silverware for this cricket crazy nation and restore some lost faith of their fans. Surely there has to be some light at the end of the tunnel ?