Sri Lankan tails up in England as the real Test nears

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By Trevine, Trevine is a Roar Pro

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    Kumar Sangakkara was named as the best ODI player of all-time in a recent Cricket Australia poll. (AFP Photo/William West)

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    Amid controversy and triumph over a whinging England, a cock-a-hoop Sri Lankan side launch a final assault in the two-Test series which winds up a memorable away tour.

    Over the past few weeks, an unsung Sri Lanka clinically dissected one of the serious powers in world cricket in their own backyard.

    The aftertaste for the home team is bitter to say the least as they struggle to recover from their recent thrashing at the hands of Michael Clarke’s Australians.

    Beaten in the T20 game that kicked off the tour, England then had the consolation of matching it with the Lankans in the 50-over games until the decider, when Sri Lanka stole the series.

    Much has been made about Sri Lanka’s tactics to run out Englishman Jos Buttler after repeated warnings. The rules decree it as a non-event for such exchanges, whether he was warned or not.

    Besides, who pointed the finger at the Englishmen for their underhanded tactics of stealing Sri Lankan coach Paul Farbrace just before the islanders began their tour?

    Englishman Farbrace had previously sat at the helm of a rampant Sri Lankan team that had won the Asia Cup, completed a series rout of Bangladesh and taken out the T20 World Cup. His credentials saw the desperate Englishmen poach him in the hope it would save them some blushes after the Australian debacle.

    Alas, this was not to be, and the English were made to eat humble pie.

    There has been no sympathy for England from anywhere in the world as they sought solace for the run-out controversy, particularly here in Australia where the majority agreed that they got their just dessert.

    England’s bad sportsmanship even extended to accusing the Sri Lankans of cheating to get even after off spinner Sachitra Senanayake was cited by the umpires for a suspect action in game four of the one-dayers.

    Coincidentally, it was Senanayake who was at the middle of the controversy involving the Jos Buttler run out.

    What Sri Lanka can take from the proceedings is that they have hardened up as a unit, and need to play with the same ferocious competitiveness as the best teams in the world. There is no room for gentlemen in the ‘gentleman’s game’.

    Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Matthews has grown into his new role with aplomb. He appears ready to meet the challenges of the future without the expert advice of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillekeratne Dilshan, all previous skippers who will retire in the near future.

    Matthews and new T20 skipper Lasith Malinga have shown enough to suggest that the next generation is ready to fire.

    The Tests will be a totally different ball game and England appear to have the edge. But Sri Lanka have their tails up after the one day successes, so the ensuing series could well be riveting.

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    The Crowd Says (44)

    • June 14th 2014 @ 10:06am
      E-Meter said | June 14th 2014 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Not sure when you wrote this, but England did score 575. That’s a match winning 1st innings total, but with Cook as captain, he’ll attack for the draw.

    • June 14th 2014 @ 10:38am
      Tony Tea said | June 14th 2014 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      You know the current score in proper cricket, right?

      • June 14th 2014 @ 2:35pm
        Nudge said | June 14th 2014 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        Great decision by Angelo to win the toss and bowl. Deserve to get smashed.

        • June 14th 2014 @ 3:14pm
          AlanKC said | June 14th 2014 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          Everyone’s allowed one brain fart Nudge, bet he won’t make that call again in a while though!

        • June 15th 2014 @ 5:39pm
          Chan Wee said | June 15th 2014 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          it may be strange for OZ people to win the toss and bat simply becoz OZ usually get to play in July August during the proper summer of England.

          Sri lanka have always got the end of spring / begining of summer tperiod of may June to play there. The weather is cold, there is a lot of moisture in the air and sometimes more often than not it rains on the play.

          SL have always been the starter , this time the main course is INDIA.

        • June 16th 2014 @ 10:16am
          E-Meter said | June 16th 2014 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Totally agree Nudge. Especially with their pop gun pedestrian bowling attack.

          • June 16th 2014 @ 11:50am
            Nudge said | June 16th 2014 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            And I see Cook learnt nothing from Micheal Clarkes attacking captaincy during their Ashes belting. 390 run lead at stumps day 4. Why not declare at least half hour before stumps with a 370 run lead and have 20 mins to see if they can knock over in that terrible batting time a couple of Lankans wickets. Seriously he hasn’t learnt a thing. I hope Sri Lanka are 8 or 9 for 250 at stumps day 5.

            • June 16th 2014 @ 3:54pm
              Tom from Perth said | June 16th 2014 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

              Yeah I think Cook stuffed up once again there. Interestingly, Shane Warne, the one Australian commentator, was suggesting this from the start but the English commentators weren’t so sure. They kept referring to it as Shane’s idea. They did agree, along with Michael Holding, that Sri Lanka would prefer it if England batted out the day. But I understood the English commentators as suggesting that it was an option where the risk didn’t necessarily outweigh the benefit of increasing the chance of winning. For me, this is symptomatic of the different “brand” of cricket that England plays. Locking in the draw at the possible expense of the win. It’s not the way I’d make the decision, but I suppose it’s safe. It’s worth noting that Chris Rogers and Middlesex chased down 473 on this ground recently. Also, England don’t have a front line spinner.

              • June 16th 2014 @ 4:52pm
                Nudge said | June 16th 2014 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

                Fair call Tom I didn’t know all that and haven’t seen any of the game. As you said the Lankans would have been preying not to have a tricky half hour before tea, so that for me would be a good enough reason to throw em in. No doubt Aussies attack and the Poms prefer to sit back

              • June 16th 2014 @ 10:03pm
                Tom from Perth said | June 16th 2014 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

                I knew Cook wouldn’t do it because that’s just the sort of bloke he is. But they have been saying to the press that they learnt from the Australians, they’re a new team etc. Goes to show the style of play certainly hasn’t changed. Having said that, SL are 99/1 at the end of the first session, so could have been a good move.

              • June 17th 2014 @ 10:47am
                Tom from Perth said | June 17th 2014 @ 10:47am | ! Report

                201/9 at stumps – good call Nudge!

              • June 17th 2014 @ 12:13pm
                Nudge said | June 17th 2014 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                Pretty obvious one I thought Tom to most Australian cricket lovers at least. Thought it would have been a good statement from Cook to declare to show he is is going to be a lot more of aggressive skipper. Now he has just cost his side another test. Tough luck

              • June 17th 2014 @ 11:56pm
                Tom from Perth said | June 17th 2014 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

                Yep. Real bugger and the last thing they needed.

                I really hope Mahela and Sangakkara’s retirement isn’t too soon. Sangakkara is in incredible form and Mahela is just a legend. The Lankans will miss them massively when they go.

      • June 14th 2014 @ 5:18pm
        Antiwhippy said | June 14th 2014 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

        To be fair, the English bowlers look pretty toothless as well. The sri lankan batmen have been pretty comfortable.

        Though who knows, we might see a collapse. Stranger things have happened in cricket.

        • June 14th 2014 @ 6:55pm
          Nudge said | June 14th 2014 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

          I reckon England will still win. Good start by the Lankans with the bat, but 1 quick wicket in the first session and they could be all out 300. England for the first time in a long time scored extremely quickly, leaving a huge amount of time left in game. England to win between lunch and tea day 5.

      • June 14th 2014 @ 5:18pm
        Antiwhippy said | June 14th 2014 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

        .

    • June 15th 2014 @ 5:32am
      Johnno said | June 15th 2014 @ 5:32am | ! Report

      Good series this.

    • June 15th 2014 @ 3:04pm
      JimmyB said | June 15th 2014 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

      Question for the editors and or moderators. Please can you explain to me, why it’s acceptable for an article such as this to be published and in effect endorsed by yourselves? I’m aware that this is an Australian site and that any and all digs at England are revelled in, no matter who outlandish and baseless, but why am I as an Englishman not able to reply in kind and treat this article with the disdain that it deserves? I can only assume that it is down to double standards.

      • Columnist

        June 15th 2014 @ 4:15pm
        Geoff Lemon said | June 15th 2014 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

        Simple enough James, your posts were aggressive and abusive. There’s no problem with this article – it’s critical of England, and it’s open to reasoned disagreement. The site is supposed to be about conversation.

        • June 15th 2014 @ 5:28pm
          JimmyB said | June 15th 2014 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

          Well I agree Geoff, discussion and debate. If you think that there is no issue with this article then that’s fine, it’s hardly surprising I suppose having read your most recent article. As it happens I’ve always enjoyed your previous articles, they are generally witty and irreverent. This article is utterly witless and your defence of it saddens me, but it is your prerogative I suppose. If my responses were aggressive, it’s because it angered me greatly and then being moderated for questioning something I find offensive is incredibly frustrating. To my mind, it was simply censorship, I didn’t swear as such, I offered up some symbols which are interpreted by the reader, but certainly give an indication of the writers frame of mind. Anyhow, I’ll gladly avoid the cricket section of the roar from now on, it’s steadily declined into a forum for small minded, petty nincompoops. (I do hope that’s not a word that requires moderation)

          • Columnist

            June 15th 2014 @ 5:49pm
            Geoff Lemon said | June 15th 2014 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

            It’s not a matter of what vocabulary is used, it’s a matter of whether it’s used in anger. Aggressive comments using ‘safe’ words get moderated whenever spotted, that’s always been the policy.

            My opinion of this article isn’t relevant, it represents the writer’s opinion expressed in reasonable terms. I’m not sure why it’s bothered you so much, because you haven’t taken the time to explain, but I’d hope we’ll still see you in whichever sections of the site interest you. Cheers.

            • June 15th 2014 @ 6:00pm
              JimmyB said | June 15th 2014 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

              Tbh, Geoff I don’t think me explaining will make any difference, you’ve made up your mind about the article and me ‘whinging’ about it won’t change anything. Maybe it’s just best for me to keep my powder dry, count to 10 or just boot the cat. Still not convinced by the moderation criteria, I read overtly aggressive comments all day everyday, but maybe some have more validity in certain eyes depending on who the comments are aimed at.

              • Columnist

                June 15th 2014 @ 6:15pm
                Geoff Lemon said | June 15th 2014 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                It’s not down to me, I’m just explaining how things work. There are a stack of different moderators so there’s bound to be some variation between their calls, but the main variable is that most comments are not seen by moderators because there are thousands per day.

                If you do see aggressive comments then the most helpful thing is to report them, because everyone who works here wants to keep threads to a decent standard. As soon as people start bickering it’s just boring for everyone else.

              • Editor

                June 15th 2014 @ 6:19pm
                Patrick Effeney said | June 15th 2014 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

                Please report overly aggressive comments Jimmy. It’s the best way to help us find that sort of stuff. And have a glance at this. http://www.theroar.com.au/comments-policy/

                It’s easy – keep it respectful and you won’t have a problem. We are constantly reviewing who and what we have on moderation.

              • June 15th 2014 @ 6:44pm
                JimmyB said | June 15th 2014 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

                I appreciate your responses Gentlemen, funnily enough, I have tried to report one or two comments, however the reporting function didn’t appear to work. I only ever use my iPad so I don’t know if that’s the issue. The thing about the comments section is that it has an immediacy about it, most comments are not particularly considered, but are streams of consciousness. Therefore, there tends to be a fair bit of toing and froing and it can degenerate fairly quickly into tribalism. Writing an article though is or should be a more considered exercise and whilst I appreciate that the right hand side of the roar is not contributed to by journalists, some balance and research wouldn’t go amiss surely. It would also be nice if authors could park the chip on their shoulder even if it’s just for the length of time that it takes to write the article.

              • Editor

                June 15th 2014 @ 8:17pm
                Patrick Effeney said | June 15th 2014 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

                Interesting problem – will look into reporting on iPads.

                As to judging opinions – we get a lot of stuff we don’t publish. We don’t always get it right, but we try to filter the ones having a go for the sake of having a go from the ones that make reasonable points. Good feedback anyway.

    • June 16th 2014 @ 3:08pm
      Pope Paul VII said | June 16th 2014 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

      Sam Robson got 1 and 19, going one better than Braddles on debut.

      Think he was a bit more nervous than the young Don.

    • June 17th 2014 @ 5:02am
      trev said | June 17th 2014 @ 5:02am | ! Report

      Finished 9 down – thankfully they had DRS or else England would’ve won from an incorrect LBW (huge inside edge). Herath would’ve felt pretty stupid if SL had lost too, he walked when he was gloved but not holding the bat.

      Anyway, it was a great draw. Hopefully over in Caribbean McCullum Taylor can put on a big partnership. It is just a shame Jordan
      Is playing for England night WI

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