Sri Lanka: How the mighty have fallen

Trevine Roar Pro

By Trevine, Trevine is a Roar Pro


8 Have your say

    Sri Lanka’s current form suggests that they are in the worst place since gaining Test status in 1982, and sporadic bursts like the unlikely series win over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates throws a shadow over the actual happenings in the island nation.

    To even suggest that they are capable of beating anyone in the top ten at the moment is laughable, as the current series against the world’s top team, India, is proving in no uncertain terms.

    All the excuses thrown around about departing stars are now wearing thin as the team struggles to find genuine talent with consistency while they offer themselves as cannon fodder to everyone they come up against.

    Over the past two years Sri Lanka have managed only three Test series wins – over Australia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan – with lengthy spells between those successes.

    They have been hammered into submission in the one-day format by almost everyone, which is a sad indictment on a team previously known for their expertise in the shorter version of the game.

    As they lurch from one series defeat to the other, the coaching department appears to be adrift, opting to point fingers in the direction of the players by stating the obvious instead of finding and providing them with the right direction.

    (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A complete revamp of the coaching department appears to be the only solution at present, and a search for a competent coach is as obvious as day turning to night.

    Right now the cards appear to be falling nicely into place if they were adventurous enough to pursue former Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, a former assistant with the Sri Lankan team before he was dumped without valid reason.

    It now depends on whether Hathurusinghe is interested in coaching his former country – and whether the wounds of the past have healed. He is an absolute goer in world cricket, proving his ability for New South Wales in Australia before taking the Bangladeshis from minnows to a feared force in world cricket at the moment.

    Hathurusinghe gave up his coaching role in Bangladesh after a falling out with some of the players, who are reported to have begun rebelling against him.

    Remedial action and a solid structure are most important at the moment as sniping and fractured relationships within the Sri Lanka cricket administration threaten to rip the heart out of a game in which they were once a feared force by the rest of the world.

    As the other nations keep shunting ahead in proven progress, Sri Lanka are in a downward spiral that needs to be arrested if fans around the world are to show any interest in turning up to watch them play. They were crowd pullers in Australia and many other parts of the world before, but right now, with their poor form and inconsistency, fans will be thinking twice before committing to spend a day watching them play.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (8)

    • December 5th 2017 @ 9:15am
      paul said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      A very strangely written article. The author emotively suggests Sri Lanka wouldn’t bet a top 10 Test side, then names Australia and Pakistan as two sides it beat in the past 2 years? Of course, right now they are losing to India, the best Test side according to rankings, in India, but the author left out how they performed in the First Test, when the Indian batsmen could not out bat to ball.

      Sri Lanka is no different from any other Test playing nation. All have good times, with strong squads, good coaches & support staff, etc and there are lean times when the opposite occurs. This “lean time” has highlighted a number of issues that obviously need to be addressed in the coming years, ie better coaching across the board, an improved method of identifying and developing talent, stocktaking players capable of playing at international level in the 3 formats, etc.

      This is probably the first set back Sri Lanka has faced in the 40 years since it gained Test status. There had been a steady improvement, culminating in the glory years this millenium, and now they have to rebuild which they will do because there are way too many talented cricketers over there for them not to succeed. In the meanwhile, they should stop playing Tests against India because all it does is boost their coffers and the India batting averages. They should aim to get more Tests against the weaker nations, at home, to build confidence and payer unity.

      • December 5th 2017 @ 11:48am
        Scooby said | December 5th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Talented, are you serious. I believe you are confusing the golden era of Sri Lankan Cricket when it had the legends Aravinda de Silva, Hashan Tillakaratne, Arjuna Ranatunga, Kumar Dharmasena, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Kalusekara, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Zoysa, Saliya Ahangama, Champaka Ramnayake, Asanka Gurusinha, Thilan Samaraweera & Sanath Jayasuriya. Even Rangana Herath is going to retire in 2 years at max, they will depend completely on Lasith Malinga, Fervez Maharoof, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Matthews & Dimuth Karunaratne.

        SLC badly need to give opportunities to the legends Ajanta Mendis & Malinda Pushpakumara. SLC selectors treat them like criminals what crime have they committed that much inferior players keep getting bucket load of opportunities while for them opportunities are like finding water in a desert, they get it once in a blue moon. SLC are as horrible as selectors of India in 1990s & Pakistan in 2000s. India had so much talent in 1990s. Legends like Debasis Mohanty, Ajay Sharma, Vinod Kambli, Saba Karim, Shantanu Sugwekar, Surendra Bhave, Abhijit Kale, Raman Lamba, Sridharan Sriram, Bhaskar Pillai, Amarjit Kaypee & Hrishikesh Kanitkar would have made the team miles better, they were extremely unlucky that during their prime BCCI was so corrupt, they destroyed their careers for their own biases, despite the players being highly talented and putting too much pressure on Sachin, Azhar, Sourav, Rahul, Kumble & Srinath. Even Navjot Sidhu was finally starting to master the Test format when they ended his career for ridiculous reasons even when there was a major vacany for openers as is the case with the highly consistent Sagadoppan Ramesh who was very dependable impact player though he was very bad in converting to big scores which costed his career.

        PCA post the 2003 world cup defeat destroyed the career of Saqlain Mushtaq, bought premature end to careers of legends Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis & Saeed Anwar they also nearly ruined Inzamam as well. They also dropped legends Azhar Mahmood, Shahid Afridi & Shoaib Akhtar. Aamer Sohail nearly dropped Abdul Razzaq & Saleem Elahi only to be saved by captain Rashid Latif intervention who had to extend his career by 7 months to stabilize the team since too many players had been dropped. PCA were so corrupt that they dropped the greatest ODI players country has produced and retained ignominious failures in ODI cricket like Younis Khan, Mohammad Sami, Taufeeq Umar & Saleem Elahi. Razzaq & Yousuf were the only legends retained by Aamer Sohail. In the Pakistan all time ODI X1 squad of 15. Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain, Inzamam, Saeed, Shoaib are mainstays the other 9 who deserve a spot in the team being Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Sarfraz Ahmed, Ijaz Ahmed, Yousuf & Saeed Ajmal. It’s most probably the all time record for most players from a world cup squad dropped by a major team.

        SLC is in severe need of great bowlers they have Mendis & Pushpa still will never give them chances. They will much rather give Kohli 200s for fun against a high school level attack than let him earn those runs by challenging him fielding their best players. With the current team they can challenge for 100s if he were to bat with handicaps like being blindfolded or batting on 1 leg, hand or eye or be only allowed to hit either onside or offside, if only boundaries were to be counted as runs no running allowed. The bowlers are as bad as West Indies lineup without Rangana.

        I am 100% sure that once Herath retires Sri Lanka will collapse as badly like West Indies, Zimbabwe & Kenya who had the most shocking declines in history of cricket.

        Kumar Sangakkara is an extremely selfish player to maintain his career averages he retired from the game despite still easily being the best Sri Lankan batsman by a country mile. When the team needs him so badly he couldn’t give rats ass, he will much rather let SLC make fool of themselves by poor performances due to fielding high school level teams than hurt his batting average. He should lead be made the captain & lead from the front with the bat give wicketkeping gloves to Chandimal & play as specialist batsmen even in ODIs if he loses interest in keeping. He had a Bradmanesque county season, SL is struggling so badly with a poor team and yet he retired. He should stay in the team till the time the county needs his services, he can no longer guarantee an batting average of 43 after his comeback basically being a shadow of his former self or atleast no longer among top 4 best batsmen in the country. For Mahela his glory days of Sehwag era are behind him so is the case with Vaas, Dilshan, Sanath & Thilan. Murali will still be the in the league of Mendis, Malinga & Herath if he makes a comeback. If Brad Hogg can play at 46 why can’t the kings of SLC cricket Murali & Kumar

        • Roar Guru

          December 5th 2017 @ 1:59pm
          Anindya Dutta said | December 5th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

          Wow! That’s a serious analysis of the subcontinent teams! Can argue with much of what you write there. Not sure about the selfishness of Sangakkara. Everyone would like to retire at their peak and very few get it right. He did. It’s his personal decision and how he feels about his country and his role there. I would not be so negative about his retirement personally.

    • Roar Guru

      December 5th 2017 @ 9:48am
      Anindya Dutta said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      @Paul “how they performed in the First Test, when the Indian batsmen could not out bat to ball.”

      After decades, I happened to be at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta that day (I was launching my new book ‘Spell-binding Spells’), and Watched the india first innings. That period you refer to lasted 6 overs of Lakmal, a remarkable period when virtually every ball he bowled on a rain affected day was unplayable.i have neve personally seen a bowler in a ‘zone’ like that. As VVS Laxman described it to me, “the ball that got Kohli would have got him either caught in the slips or lbw depending on which way it moved. There was nothing he or any batsman could have done.” After that, Sri Lanka from the next morning was toothless. And this on a Calcutta pitch which was moving and bouncing for the entire matchlike no indian pitch I have seen in 20 years.

      So the point is that the current team really is in a bad state. But where I agree with you is that it is indeed the first time in decades they are playing like this and also they should play against weak sides to get confidence back. Having said that, the current squad does not look talented enough (particularly the bowling) to compete with the top 5 sides in test cricket (India, Aus, Eng, SA, NZ).

      • December 5th 2017 @ 9:51am
        paul said | December 5th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        Your last comment highlights my point about playing weaker sides more often, till they build the squad again. If they play the sides you mention, especially away from Sri Lanka, they are little more than cannon fodder and could set the game back 20 years in that country.

      • Roar Guru

        December 5th 2017 @ 11:41am
        Anindya Dutta said | December 5th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report


    • December 5th 2017 @ 11:49am
      Scooby said | December 5th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report


    • December 8th 2017 @ 11:23pm
      Mifras said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

      Thanx for the analysis. BUT dont worry from the indians tour from december 2017 all will be right for sri lanka and will be in track as world no.1 in all formats of cricket. Mark my words.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.