At stumps on third day, Sri Lanka were on the driving seat in the second Galle Test. With 9 wickets down in the first innings, England were still 30 odd runs behind. On a pitch, that was offering unplayable turn and bounce on third day itself, all Sri Lanka needed was a sensible batting display in the second innings.
However, Sri Lanka did the exact opposite! After securing a valuable 37 runs lead, Sri Lanka batsmen produced a horrid batting display. It was a spectacular collapse! Filled with cross batted slogs, careless approach and inpatient batting style, Sri Lanka batters were playing like school kids, that too against spinners like Jack Leach and Dom Bess, who collectively have played a mere 22 tests matches for England so far!
It was a shocking batting display, to be precise! From juniors and seniors alike! It was like they were playing at Galle for the first time in their lives. It was like they were playing spin bowling first time in their careers.
“It’s absurd to be honest (to gift a test match like this). There was no intent, from any of the batsmen. The kindergarten kids will play better cricket than these players” a member of the team management told Cricket Age.
Sri Lankan batsmen, anyway, have continually been playing a strange brand of cricket since last few years. In T20I matches, they plays test cricket! In test cricket, they plays in T20 style. In ODIs meanwhile, they don’t even compete! Gone are the days, when legends like Aravinda De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama mesmerized world cricket with their unmatched talent. Now, these players are embarrassing even their most loyal cricket fans, with their careless attitude and unawareness towards the match situation.
“All these legends played their cricket in an unprofessional era. These players are so called professionals, who gets every facility from their cricket board. Still, they plays like immature cricketers. Entire world cricket used to be in awe of Sri Lankan brand of cricket. Looks like, though, that these players themselves are not aware of that legacy. Or maybe, they don’t care about it anymore” the team management insider added.
In South Africa, they failed against fast bowlers, on bouncy wickets. In Galle, in both tests, they surrendered against spinners as well. They have proved it that they can’t play either quality fast bowling or spin bowling.
In the second innings, particularly, there was no pressure at all on Sri Lanka batsmen! They needed just one big partnership. Pressure was on England, to make a comeback in the game. But, Kusal Perera opened the gate for a English comeback early in the innings. Oshada Fernando at least made 3 runs this time, which is itself a big achievement, considering the poor batting form of Sri Lanka number three batsmen in recent times. Lahiru Thirimanne has already secured his place in the team with first Galle test hundred, so asking something from him in next 20 odd matches is bit too much! Angelo Mathews, the savior, turned aggressor, and paid the price.
The most horrific moment, however, was captain Dinesh Chandimal’s mode of dismissal. Joe Root teased him to throw his wicket away. Very next ball, Chandimal, who is captaining the side, played an ugly, sky high slog and got out! You will not see a more generous captain than him in world cricket, who gifts his wicket to opposition on demand!
England have now won 6 tests in a trot in Sri Lanka! Joe Root and Co. have once again taught Sri Lanka batsmen how to play spin! More than this, they taught Sri Lanka how to play test cricket, an art Chandimal and his team has forgotten long time ago!
In larger picture, Chandimal’s style of getting out itself outlines the batting approach of this generation Sri Lanka batsmen. Those days, greats like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were used to make hundreds, double hundreds for fun! These days, Sri Lanka batsmen rarely bats! Sri Lanka cricket fans wanted them to become professionals. Instead, all they have become ultra-professionals. So, they don’t have the passion to play and win for the country anymore. They just wants to make 30 odd runs to secure their place and monthly salary! If you still don’t believe on this, just try to remember the last time when a Sri Lankan batsman scored a double hundred or back to back hundreds in a test match! We can bet, you won’t be able to remember! Simply, because they don’t play for their country, they don’t play to conquer the world anymore!