Galle wicket a result-oriented one :
Sri Lanka out to spank England
GALLE, March 24 - The first of two Test matches between Sri Lanka and
England beginning at the Galle International Stadium on Monday will be
played on a result-oriented wicket. A glimpse at the wicket shows that
curator Jayananda Warnaweera has done a lot of work on the strip, and
got into top condition, where the team playing the more aggressive and
disciplined cricket will finally emerge victorious.
The previous Test match played at this venue against Australia ended
in disaster for Sri Lanka losing the game inside the distance and with
match referee former England opener Chris Broad complaining to the ICC
that the wicket was of poor quality.
Wicket fit for cricket
That is history now and this time round Warnaweera has burnt the
midnight oil and seen to it that a wicket fit for cricket and
result-oriented has been prepared to last the full five days and at the
end of the game, it will be cricket lu'verly cricket in Galle where I
saw it and enjoyed it.
With the present dry weather prevailing, the possibility is that the
wicket will take spin as the Test progresses. In the circumstances, the
side winning the toss will certainly be at an added advantage and must
Sri Lanka will not name the playing eleven till they have a look at
the conditions and the wicket. But the gut feeling is that they will go
in with six batsmen and a wicket keeper who can bat, two pacemen and two
Likely playing eleven
To hazard a guess then the playing eleven will be - Mahela
Jayawardena, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitarne, Kumar
Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardena, Chamara Silva,
Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welegedera and Suranga Lakmal.
The Sri Lanka cricketers who have feasted on one-day cricket in the
recent past will have to quickly adjust to the longer version of the
game. This game requires a different technique, temperament and the
ability to last longer. It will be interesting to see how the Lankans
Jayawardena who took over the captaincy when the game was in the
basement in both versions, turned the fortunes round in the tri series
in Australia by performing magnificently and entering the best of three
To the top
Although he did not have a satisfying run in the Asia Cup, will be
determined to take the game to the top in the longer version starting by
demolishing the high riding England team led by Andrew Strauss.
The selectors have given him a formidable and well balanced squad. If
each player believes and performs the way we know they can, then there
is no reason why they should not draw first blood and dominate the Two
Batsmen Tillakertne Dilshn, Tharanga Paranavitarne, Kumar Sangakkara,
Mahela Jayawardena, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva and Prasanna
Jayawardena must make it a point to score runs, while the bowlers -
pacemen Chanaka Welegedera and Suranga Lakmal and spinners Rangana
Herath and Suraj Randiv must get among the wickets.
Clueless against doosra
The England batsmen were running scared and clueless against the
doosra specialist Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, so much so that they even
queried and reported his action to the ICC who cleared the bowler. Sri
Lanka also has a doosra specialist in Suraj Randiv and he could lure the
England batsmen to their destruction.
England won their two practice games without raising a sweat. But
that does not mean that they cannot be beaten. Their top order batsmen
Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ravi
Bopara have all been in the runs.
James Anderson will spearhead the England new ball attack with Stuart
Broad or either Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan for support. Spin will come
in the form of off spinner Graeme Swann and left armers Monty Panessar
and Samit Patel.
The Decision Review System (DRS) will be used for the two-Test
series. However, the 'Hot Spot technology' will not be available, making
Snickometer the only tool to support decisions on catching.
Over then to picturesque Galle and for an interesting game of Test
cricket which is what the game is all about.
SRI LANKA (from):
(Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitarne, Lahiru
Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal,
Prasanna Jayawardene , Chamara Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad,
Chanaka Welegedera, Suraj Randiv and Rangana Herath.
Andrew Strauss (Captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin
Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Steven
Davies, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven
Finn, James Tredwell and Monty Panesar.
Field umpires: Asad Rauf and Rod Tucker.
Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford .
Referee: Javagal Srinath (India).