Overcoming from disastrous India series, Sri Lanka team achieved historical success against Pakistan in UAE. winning the test series 2-0 is nothing short of spectacular, particularly when no other team managed to defeat Pakistan in UAE, in almost last one decade.
They fought as a team. And conquered as a team! Under the aggressive captaincy of Dinesh Chandimal, they seemed hungry to win, hungry to perform, the qualities which were lacking under Angelo Mathews leadership.
Though, like any other team, Sri Lanka too still have some areas, where management need to look out closely.
The first and foremost concern is Kaushal Silva. A traditional test batsman, Silva have got more than enough chances to cement his place as an opener in the test team. But, he is still struggling to make a consistent impact. Having recalled almost after one year, he once again fared poorly against Pakistan, aggregating 67 runs in four innings. Sri Lanka have Dhananjaya De Silva, who has the potential to replace Silva as a test opener. Before the India series, selectors will have to decide whether it worth to persist with Silva?
Other Concern is the decline of Kusal Mendis and continues pathetic test record of Lahiru Thirimane.
Three Sri Lankan batsmen – Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella – averaged in excess of 65 in the series and performed admirably. But the next highest run-getter is Dilruwan Perera, who made 97 runs in four innings. Apart from Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne also failed to make an impression, with the Sri Lankans’ 400-plus totals in the first innings of the two Tests coming mainly from Karunaratne, Chandimal and Dickwella.
This is Sri Lanka’s biggest problem: Karunaratne, Chandimal and Dickwella have been their most consistent batsmen for the last two years. But when these three fail, and with Angelo Mathews often out injured, they don’t have anybody else to pick up the pieces. Kusal Mendis was thought to be that man who could shore up their problems, but lately he looked like a lost batsman, who is hopelessly out of form. More worryingly, he has often thrown away his wicket carelessly, and is far too inconsistent to be handed more responsibility.
Lahiru Thirimane, on the other hand, is still learning the art of batting in the test format. He played some important knocks in the ODI series against India, and selectors wasted no time to brought him into test team as well. Again, he failed miserably in the first test, before missed out second test with back stiffness. Time has arrived for selectors to permanently decide whether Thirimane deserves a place in test team?
These are the few questions, Sri Lanka will have to shorted out before India series. Hopefully, after historic success in UAE, they will push further to bring more trophies on their way!