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The Roar


Spirit and grit in Sri Lanka's last gasp win gives hope for better days ahead

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21st February, 2022

Sri Lanka and the rest of the world have dawned on the realisation that the Island nation are no quitters.

Written off, and supposedly resigned to a clean sweep again, and against a sub par Australian line-up, the Lankans showed spirit and grit to reverse the tide leaving with a unlikely win in the final game throwing Win-Wiz and all betting agencies into turmoil.

What is most pleasing is that the cricketing world is seeing a resurgence of Sri Lanka cricket which has deteriorated to a point of concern recently.

Yes, they beat an unconcerned Australia who had already clinched the series and more, but from a Sri Lankan perspective, it was a small step towards getting back to the pedestal of world cricket where they were not so long ago.

Dasun Shanaka is a revelation to Sri Lanka cricket, actually a breath of fresh air, a untried unproved leader who has infused a new belief and a promise for the future in T20 cricket.

He leads from the front, learnt from the defeats against the World champion and clawed back some respectability before departing Australian shores.


Sri Lanka needs to head back, evaluate their experience, and immaterial of what happens in India on their next assignment, then map out long term plans before returning in October for the World Cup back here. Obviously, depending on whether they qualify in the pre World Cup requirements.

What the world has seen is a highly talented line-up that has been steered in the right direction by an Aravinda De Silva led brains thrust with input from other legends such as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

The talented Lankans on form can beat anyone today. But they need to get the final squad correct.

Kusal Mendis bats.
Kusal Mendis bats during game five of the T20I series between Australia and Sri Lanka. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

I would like to see the likes of Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella and a few others who did not make the cut on this tour be back in the squad for experience. But this would be a headache the selection panel has, and not me.

What we saw in Australia on this tour is a great promise of the future of Sri Lanka cricket and over time there are some names among them such as Harasanga, Nissanka, Theekshana, Chameera, Kumara and Shanaka who will lead their country out of the wilderness.