Sri Lankans will not be that threatening | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankans will not be that threatening

From the looks of it, the Sri Lankan cricket selectors have played their best stroke by picking the best squad possible. However it’s evident on form that the chances of repeating the 1995/96 success are bleak.

Local cricket fans are die hard enthusiasts. But they are realistic too. Facts are stubborn and denial only makes the fans cynical. Lining up our players against the best that other formidable countries offer, it will be seen that none of our players could be bracketed with them and their excellence.

Nonetheless cricket is replete with glorious uncertainties. It may serve us well if we go out as underdogs, as with no tensions bugging the players. They will approach the game with a positive feeling that we have nothing more to lose but play the game as best as we could; front up and treat the opponents on equal terms. This will help to show that we are made of sterner stuff.

Every member of the tour party – from the cricketers to the support staff have been provided with everything and much more and it is now left to the eleven players taking the field to deliver.

In cricket, captaincy, batting, bowling and fielding are all important factors and none could be taken lightly. A 100 per cent and more is required from every cricketing warrior.

Former champion left arm medium pacer Chaminda Vaas opines that slinger Lasith Malinga’s form and leadership qualities will play a decisive role for Sri Lanka in the World Cup.

Vaas speaking to the ICC has further said: “For the last few months, Sri Lanka hasn’t done so well. But if you analyse the combination of the team which we picked for the World Cup, I’m pretty sure that the selectors have done the right thing.

‘We have to take it from there and it is up to the players to get themselves in and play well for the country. There is no doubt that Malinga is one of the best in the world and the best in Sri Lanka.

We depend on him as a bowler and he showed his leadership qualities. He has given 100 per cent for the team. We have seen him playing in Mumbai (IPL) one day and playing in Sri Lanka – in a domestic tournament - the next day.

It shows the commitment he has and the commitment he has to the team and the country. He will be the key for Sri Lanka cricket in the upcoming World Cup.’

While we can’t expect Malinga to be a one man hit squad, he is an inspiring cricketer and will helpfully motivate, by example, every member of the team to perform at their best and exhibit team play.

To start with a close scrutiny of the batters, it will be noticed that other than for Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis the other batsmen don’t seem to have the ruthless strokes and temperament that a game of this style requires.

Our other batters have the technique and temperament for the longer duration of the game. This game requires batters who could score the maximum runs off each ball. Most of them are pushes.

They lack the muscular shots that are essential. Except for an occasional six, they don’t have the strength of others on show, especially like the Windies power hitters to keep clearing the boundary boards and hoardings.

All rounder Thisara Perera is the only batsman capable of punishing any attack and hitting the boundary boards and going over it, but the hope is that he will show consistency.

It is heartening to note the recalling of leg spinning all rounder Jeevan Mendis. Mendis need not be told what role he has to play. If he plays with responsibility he will be more than an asset to captain Dimuth Karunaratne and the team.

The other batsmen who play must see that no dot balls are allowed in the scorecard. To do so would be a crime. Runs in whatever way, be it the weird of strokes must be made because runs are what matters.

When running between wickets batsmen must understand each other’s ability and not run blindly and get out run out. To be dismissed run out will be a great calamity and should be avoided at all costs.

Playing the ugly strokes that should have no place in respected Test cricket – Dil Scoop and the Reverse or switch hit are permissible in the cowboy game. But here again the risks of being dismissed are great because nine times out of ten the ball tends to lob to the fielder placed at short square leg. So batsmen should take a close look at field placings and exercise care before executing.

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