Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga (R) shares a light moment with selection committee members Eric Upashantha (2R), Ranjit Madurasinghe (L) and spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge (2L) during a practice session at R.Peremadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday
With steady decline in discipline and performance in all sports, the government of good governance has nothing much to boast about in the last two years. However, the fact that Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara approved Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya’s recommendation of Lasith Malinga as the captain for the fourth ODI speaks well for the current government. In President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, had a cricketer called the Sports Minister a monkey; he would have had hell to pay.
Sri Lankan cricket has become the laughing stock in the eyes of general public. SLC Chief Thilanga Sumathipala prior to the ODI series spoke so highly of Upul Tharanga that at one point you thought Tharanga could go onto become the next Imran Khan. The SLC Chief was getting us to believe that series win in Australia under Tharanga in T-20s was one of the greatest achievements by a Sri Lankan captain. He conveniently forgot that the win came against a depleted side.
Leave alone leading the country by example, Tharanga failed to get the overs done in time and received a second suspension inside three months. Then the selectors went and appointed someone who was not sure of his place as the next captain. The only thing that Chamara Kapugedera did right was to call the toss correct and then immediately made the wrong call. The anger at Pallekele was not only because Sri Lanka were losing, but some of these decisions that had been made were without any responsibility.
Any man with right senses wouldn’t appoint Chamara Kapugedera as national captain.
The call perhaps cost the selectors their jobs. With no one to turn to, the selectors have now appointed Lasith Malinga as the new captain, a spent force. There seems to be little chance that Sri Lanka could beat India in the current bilateral series. So why can’t the authorities dismiss misfiring players like Malinga and take a look at the future is something people have been pondering.
Former captain Angelo Mathews has been disappointing throughout the series, particularly the way he has been dismissed. He is too good a player to fall a victim to cross bat shots.
Batting has failed in three games in a row now. What options Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Avishka Gunawardene has been giving the team remains to be seen in the next two games.
Thankfully despite painful losses, Sri Lanka’s fans’ interest has not waned at all. Despite Sri Lanka hardly looking capable of winning a game, you are sure to get a full house at RPS today. You can also be assured that the crowd will behave better in the capital.
Sri Lanka (From)
Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilshan Munaweera, Kusal Menids, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardene, Wanindu Hasaranga, Vishwa Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga (Captain), Malinda Pushpakumara, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, M.S. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuveneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandy, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Ajinkaya Rahane, Lokesh Rahul and Shardul Thakur.