Roaring Lion’s kill off Kangaroo challenge – by Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne – eLanka Sports editor)

Roaring Lion’s kill off Kangaroo challenge – by Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne – eLanka Sports editor)

Roaring Lion's kill off Kangaroo challenge – by Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne – eLanka Sports editor)


Trevine_RodrigoFor a country cash strapped and gripped in the realms of economic uncertainty, Sri Lanka’s cricketing heroes shed a little ray of sunshine and lifted the spirit of the population with a historic series victory over Australia in a tense one-day stand off at Khettarama stadium in Colombo. 

Beaten 2-1 in the T20 series, both teams returned from Pallekelle with a 1-1 tied start to Colombo to finish the five game one-day contest in the Sri Lankan heartland. 

And recent history suggested a bleak expectation that the home team would get up against the strong but injury ridden Australian outfit whose reserves run deep. Sri Lanka’s recent performances in Colombo has also not been great backing that expectation. 

But the pall of gloom enveloping the country has ignited the gladiators on the cricket field, galvanising them into a formidable unit bent on lifting the country through a sport that they have proved second to none.

Consecutive wins at Khettarama stadium has given the Lankans an unassailable 3-1 lead and the final game, though academic, will have special significance. The scenes of jubilation around the country clearly underlined the impact of success after the Sri Lankans clinched the series, and for a brief period,  all  the worries of hardship took a back seat. 

Aaron Finch will be lamenting Australia’s capitulation in a close series where they had control of a couple of games, then exposed themselves to the vulnerability of batting against genuine spin.

 It was amusing to hear David Warner’s description of a “dustbowl” in Sri Lanka conditions. Seen many similar in Australia.  Old cliches have no merit in the modern age. I’ve see worse in Australia. 

Roaring Lion's kill off Kangaroo challenge – by Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne – eLanka Sports editor)Sri Lanka has orchestrated a tribute to Australia in this game, for braving the uncertainty surrounding the tour and bringing with it a huge financial boost which will be channelled towards the poor and impoverished. It will also acknowledge Australia as one of its closest allies in time of need for several decades. 

Australia have from Sri Lanka’s inception in Test cricket, been it’s biggest promoter, after backing the Island nation’s application and acceptance in 1982.

A review of the unexpected Sri Lankan series win suggests a timely resurgence under new coach Chris Silverwood who appears to have channelled a new direction into their mindset which has a  new steely resolve. Much of the groundwork was put in motion by former coach Mickey Arthur who was terminated while steering the ship on its present course.

The current crop in the different formats appear to have some refreshing talent that,  nurtured to its potential, will definitely resurrect Sri Lanka’s flagging fortunes in the recent past.

Dasun Shanaka,  who has long been criticised as a wrong choice for skipper, has proved his critics wrong as the shorter formats have begun delivering in exciting fashion. 

The emergence of a rich crop in Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasarsnga, Maheesh Theeksheena, exciting teenager Dinuth Wellelage and a few others combined with the seasoned campaigners has given Sri Lanka an impetus for a fascinating future. How they nurture and harness that talent is crucial. 

Chris Silverwood’s role in moulding and taking Sri Lanka cricket forward with the available talent is paramount as much as it is an axis point to the progress of a country needing upliftment from their cricketing heroes. 

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