Inexperienced Lankans in reality check as to where they sit – By Trevine Rodrigo in Melbourne
Dasun Shanaka will probably be all at sea as he leads a young and inexperienced Sri Lanka squad to Australia in what will be a fact finding mission as to where the island nation sits in the world game.
The Sri Lankans have had limited success in the past few years against all opposition but a urgent restructure of the coaching and administrative staff has seen a marginal improvement.
Under a Sports Minister in Namal Rajapaksa, who has a sporting background himself, and political clout, the commitment has been upped to a level where there’s definite signs of the former World Cup and T20 champions returning to an acceptable threat to the top rungers of cricket.
How they execute their plans in a three game series against Australia will be compelling particularly after South African coach Mickey Arthur was cut when he began reversing the country’s flagging fortunes.
The brains thrust of Sri Lanka cricket are on test about the timing of their coaching decision but will defend their decision on the adage of nothing ventured nothing gained .
Australia will be under pressure to work out strategies against an almost unknown opposition apart from some emerging stars in the Sri Lanka line up who are showing potential to be world class.
What will be most evident is that both teams will have stand in coaches, Andrew McDonald filling in for Justin Langer who has requested leave after his recent success in the T20 World Cup and Ashes series while the Sri Lankans have named Rumesh Ratnayake to be interim coach after Mickey Arthur moved on.
Australia on current form should send the Lankans home with a lesson learned. But the current unrest within Australia’s own coaching and team chemistry may well reveal the importance of discipline and focus on success which will an example to all champions and thos aspiring to be.
The future of both nations will be a review. Although my personal view on the shorter version of the game is that there’s no real significance on the outcome of this format which can go either way on a particular day.