Former England players Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain described Sri Lanka’s batting display on the first day at Galle test against Joe Root side as utter garbage. Led by Dinesh Chandimal, home side batsmen played test cricket in T20 style, as England skittled the hosts out for 135. Yorkshire spinner Dom Bess claimed his second Test five-wicket haul and England great Stuart Broad took three wickets as the tourists bowled Sri Lanka out in 46.1 overs. Sri Lanka would have been confident of posting a substantial first-innings total after winning the toss but produced a woeful display in familiar conditions. Plagued by rash stroke play, poor decision-making and an element of misfortune, Sri Lanka crumbled to the lowest first-innings score at the venue in the 34 Tests it has staged since 1998.
Michael Vaughan described Sri Lanka’s batting performance on day one of the first Test in Galle as ‘utter garbage’
‘Those 46.1 overs have been the worst possible advertisement for Test Cricket. It’s supposed to be the pinnacle, that was utter garbage from Sri Lanka,’ Vaughan posted on social media.
‘England have been very, very good. The complete opposite can be said of Sri Lanka, the batting has been atrocious.’
Speaking on BBC Test Match Special, the former England captain added: ‘I don’t think the pitch has been treacherous. It’s turned a little and it’s stopping a little bit. ‘You only have to look at the wickets – they have been a lot of poor strokes. Too many players today have taken on the high-risk option.’
Another former English player Nasser Hussain described Sri Lanka’s capitulation on day one of the first Test against England as “the most farcical 47 overs of Test-match cricket I’ve seen in my life”.
“I think abysmal is being kind. It was absolutely ridiculous,” he told Sky Sports.
“You think of some of the greats they’ve had, going back to Sidath Wettimuny, to (Arjuna) Ranatunga, to Marvin Atapattu, to (Sanath) Jayasuriya, to Mahela (Jayawardene) and Kumar (Sangakkara) and Aravinda (de Silva)… what they must be thinking, watching a batting performance like that.
“It was farcical. I’d love to think how many of those Sri Lankan batsmen walked into the dressing room and thought ‘you know what, I got out to a decent delivery’. It was none of them.
“It was a joke by the end.
“That’s the most farcical 46 or 47 overs of Test match cricket I’ve seen in my life. And if Sri Lanka go on to lose this game it’s because of how abysmal they’ve been there.
“You can’t win a game in the first day, you can certainly lose it.”
Kumar Sangakkara was equally critical of his countrymen.
The former Sri Lanka captain suggested that the issues in the camp are inherent, saying the country’s first-class structure is not nurturing talent as it should.
Asked by Michael Atherton whether the collapse on Thursday “was a one-off or is there something deeper and more fundamentally flawed about Sri Lanka’s batting and Sri Lanka’s cricket in general”, Sangakkara said: “The malaise runs deep.
“This is definitely not a one-off, this is a symptom of what I would say is a lack of quality of cricket at first-class level.
“We have survived by producing some very talented cricketers. Suddenly, when you don’t have that coming through the production, you see the cracks and they are just getting bigger and wider.
“For too long we’ve been relying on talent and potential without really (developing) it.
“Test cricket calls for adaptability and flexibility. It’s not just about playing your game despite the opposition and conditions. It’s fine if you’re playing your game as long as you’re consistently converting it into big runs – into hundreds and double hundreds. If you’re not, then it’s just an excuse.”