Home » My two cents worth/Commentaries » Gone for a six?

Gone for a six?

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Saturday’s match wasn’t the best of matches to be at. It was more like being a spectator to a scene where a talented, but helpless group of people were ripped, demolished and made a mockery of by the “more powerful people” – or seeing the extent to which they have.

Ok, maybe that was too harsh. The match wasn’t that bad. The Australians struggled too. We just didn’t bat enough.

But the funny thing was this. I came to realize this later, but watching our team struggle to make 133 on the ground wasn’t half as bad as watching them on TV! My brother said the same.

Had I watched it at home, there would have been a 90% chance of me shutting down the TV the moment A-Mat got out. Had I watched (a 10% chance) I would have sworn and kicked at the screen. On the ground however, the atmosphere got the better of me. The wickets didn’t stop the whistles or the band. The people wanted the papare to play on each time a wicket fell or dot balls passed us by. There were the cheers, the jeers, the laughs, the food, the drinks, the beautiful sky, a creative mix of blue and gold, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnston and of course Malinga and Matthews! Plenty to keep me occupied and take our attention away from the realities in the middle.

Isn’t it amazing how we’re blinded by these trivialities (for the lack of a better word)? Isn’t it amazing how these succeed in taking your attention away from “the real thing?” Isn’t it amazing how they keep your spirits alive no matter how horrible or pathetic certain situations might be?

Anyway, getting back to our cricket – has it gone for a six, really?

Why is that our batsmen bat well in one match, and they don’t in the next? The pitch? Why do they keep playing a certain middle order batsman even though he fails every match, but doesn’t give youngsters that many chances? Is that the new way of identifying talent? Why is that some people are kept to warm the benches and carry water after they play just a few games, but have performed exceptionally well?

Oh well!

On another note, did the Australians really struggle against our bowling, or were they merely taking a more cautious approach?

According to my Australian friend – well, not the born-and-bred-in-Australia type, but rather, local in every sense but supporting Australia because they are more competent, they fit as a unit, fast bowlers have a tougher job, Ricky Ponting fields well even with a broken finger and I don’t remember what else – Australians were being ‘nice’.

Like, hey! Messing up in the field and struggling to get to 100 – that was once heard of when you said Australia. What’s up with them?  I think they are no longer feared as they once were. There was a void created when some of their top cricketers retired. Yet, keeping aside those little creative stunts they used to pull off once in a way (like playing with a tennis ball hidden in your glove or resorting to sledging), they still have people who are capable of filling big shoes and who are assured of getting a few runs on the scorecard every time they come out to field. They are a bunch who is hungry for victory, for revenge. Are we?

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2 Comments

  1. Ok… The “Australian Friend” responds: he thoughly enjoyed Sri Lankan batsmen getting a good work over by the Aussie bowlers.. I am not going to glorify the Australian team, they lack the greatness of McGrath, Ghilchrist, Gillespie, Hayden, Martyn, etc.. etc,, Ponting, Lee and Hussey will be gone before long too.. But i am optimistic they will again if not great, be mighty competitive. They have good neculues of young players coming thorugh — and established leaders emerging within the team like of Clarke, Watson and Jhonson. To talk about them in detail is besides the point.

    What actually gives me more confidence, in comparison to SL and Asian counterparts is that — they have a system — of accountability and leadership.For instance they have a shrewed leader in Clarke, and the Watson under the wings. In the follow up of the Ashes debacle they have been bold enough to look at thier systems to have a revamp on the way things work — not just within the team but within Cricket Australia as a whole.

    I am not sure i can say the same about SLC — the management changes once a month — strategy has been absent, prolly since Tom Moody quit as the coach in 2007. In the recent world cup — form me this lack of strategic thinking cost SL the world cup. Add to that little has been done to give confidence to younger players (Thushara, Chandimal,Randiv) , or at times established ones coming back from injury (Malinga in 2009, Attapattu and fernando in 2007). Cricket Australia has made simillar mistakes — which has cost them — names such as Huaritz, Stuert clark and Ferguson, are examples. But the difference is, atleast now they are correcting course and, thier is a sense of accountability for the management.

    As per desire to win i am 100% cirtain all the playeres in the squad do posses that.. however i’m not too sure thiers strategy to back this out. If you remember the moment i saw the squad i said take the top 4 out, and aussies are into the tail — and SL will struggle to get 200 — well they proved my point, and did worse than even i expected. For the life of me i cant figure out why an allrounder of the caliber of Randiv is ignored. I can’t understand how a millitary medium bowler such as Kulasekara is a stricke weapon. And with picth preperation, it was a slow low pitch — in fact all in Sri Lanka has been that — For me what makes the aussie win more impressive is thier pace bowlers had the better of SL batters — even in games SL won. While thier spinner was newbie, didnt have anything special about him, he applied him self way better than SL spinners — and so did thier batsman.

    In a nutshell — a more settled SL lost to an Aussie team in building phase — in familliar home conditions in a series which they started as favorites. for the tests i’d say odds are even — that’s given Sri Lankas’ on paper stronger batting line up. However if Jhonson and Harris run through the top order — Austrlia will dominate.

    but here’s my real worry — with the strategy and approach we have — i can never see SL win outside subcontinent. Barring a miracle change to such — The upcoming series in South Africa should be a white wash in hosts favor, and forget about 2015 world cup. I am sure given the type of pitches they’ve been greeted to here in subcontinent, other teams have everyright to reciprocate by giving greentops — and i hope that Sri Lanka is greeted with them in south Africa later this year. ** Liks lips sadistically anticipating a total collapse at d hands of Steyn, Morkel & Co**

  2. Oh and well written piece btw.. Specially coming from a lion supporter! 🙂

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