Will white outfits help Lankans? | Sunday Observer

Will white outfits help Lankans?

Sri Lankans will face the Kiwis in white outfits; a departure from the multi colour dressing. Given the turn in fortunes and performance, will the new outfit give a ‘clean sheet’ attitude to the Lankan team which had a lack lustre performance at the World Cup but recovered in the series with the Banglas?

Surprisingly weightage has been given to only playing Two Tests. The First Test begins in Galle on Wednesday.

Both teams have made changes to the teams that played in the ‘cowboy game’. It will be important for the Lankans that they shed their one-day mentality approach as Test Cricket demands a mature and more calculated approach.

That the Kiwis are all out to give their attempt to stay alive in the Test championships which began with the First Test between England and Australia and beat Sri Lanka is proven with the Black Caps signing on THILAN ‘bullet’ SAMARAWEERA to assist as batting coach. Thilan is an expert in showing how to manoeuvre on wickets that are sure going to be spin friendly and also acclimatize to the local conditions.

SAMARAWEERA who was one of the most technically correct right handed batsmen that the country has produced, as his records show and like good wine needs no bush, is going to be more than an asset. The ‘Black Caps’ have chosen the right man.

When the Kiwis last played here, they chose right in taking on board champion left arm seam and swing bowler CHAMINDA VAAS to show their pacies how and with his expert showing how, the Kiwis who lost the First Test in Galle hit back with a vengeance at P. Sara Stadium to win the Second Test with seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who are in the present team, knocking out our batsmen.

With the present weather prevailing, the wickets are bound to be slow and dusty which will certainly help spinners. Realizing this the ‘Black Caps’ have brought with them four spinners.

They are Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville and Tod Astle and with seamers Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme to back the spinners who will play and are well equipped to fight pace with pace or spin with spin.

As for the Lankans the only spinner worthy of note is right armer Akila Dhananjaya. But after changing his action he is not his old self and is unable to get stinging spin with his variety of deliveries. You can’t call Dhananjaya de Silva a genuine off spinner.

Pity when one thinks that the Sri Lankan spin cupboard is bare. Where are the spinners of old and why aren’t we putting them on the assembly lines? Finding a leg spinner is like looking of a needle in a haystack. Sad indictment on the authorities.

With almost all Test countries having a leg spinner, Sri Lanka is the only country sadly lacking a leg spinner with the many varieties of this style of bowling. At one time we had a surfeit of leg spinners with D.S.de Silva being the standout.

New Zealand has two veteran batsmen in Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to show the rest of the batsmen how. They are sure to realize the responsibility and play their roles to perfection.

As for Sri Lanka they will be having the advantage of playing in conditions and wickets familiar to them and if they fail to win the series it will be sad indictment on their mentality and approach to what the game is all about, Test cricket.

Watching the Ashes Test series on Sony 6, it was nice to see Sri Lanka’s cricketing genius Kumar Sangakkara in the company of the English commentators describing the action. Sangakkara as usual was articulate in his comments; and unbiased as compared with many of the English commentators.

Still early in his commentating career with a promising future before him, it is hoped that the English ‘bias bug’ will not infect him.. Sangakkara has it in him to stay immune.

There are two cricketers in the Aussie side who Sangakkara will always remember. The first is seamer Peter Siddle and second is off spinner Nathan Lyon.

When Sangakkara was batting in his 100th Test at the SSC and looking to join a select band of batsmen who had scored centuries in their 100th Test, it was Siddle who tempted him to nick to wicket keeper Brad Haddin when he was on 79.

Then Lyon making his Test debut at the Galle International Cricket Stadium had Sangakkara taken in the slips by Michael Clarke off his first ball for 10. These incidents were in the 2011 series. Two incidents that the three cricketers will remember in their careers.

The England cricketers who were orbiting after their lucky victory in the 2019 World Cup final were brought down to earth in the First of Five Ashes series when Australia bashed them by a huge margin of 251 runs at Edgbaston on the final day before tea.

When Australia were 122 for 8 batting first, it looked as the Test would have an early ending. But former captain Steve Smith with twin centuries – 144 and 140 and Mathew Wade a century in the second innings 110 set England 498 to win. Chasing victory England were stunned and shot out for 146 with Nathan Lyon 6 for 49 and Pat Cummins 4 for 32 being unplayable. Lyon is lovingly called ‘GOAT’ by the Aussies – ‘Greatest Of All Time’.

The Second Test starts on Wednesday at Lord’s and now with Australia having their tails up, it will be a no quarter asked or given game. Australia must not let complacency set in considering that cricket is a funny game.

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