Sri Lanka invent cricket’s new “Domino effect” Clueless and unprepared team succumb to relentless Aussie pace – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Sri Lanka’s visit to Australia after quite a spell delivered the worst ever performance in Test cricket since they were given Test status in 1982 as they meekly succumbed to an unforgettable demolition job performed on them that will remain in their memory for several decades.
Their embarrassing performance after India toweled the Australians at home underlined the gulf between the best and the rest as the fifth placed Aussies made their one rung lower opponent feel that they belonged in the dungeons of the world game.
The pathetic batting display by a weak-kneed outfit bereft of proper technique and urgently needing a psychological assessment about what courage and commitment means sent shockwaves through their supporters who were in disbelief at what an ordinary show they could muster as they were thrashed by the Aussies inside two and a half days. Niroshan Dickwella fought a lone hand and showed the others that brave innovation in crisis could counter the aggressive Australian strategy.
Their lack of commitment and courage must have some of their former stars shaking their heads in disappointment especially when looking back at the early seventies before they were given Test recognition the likes of Duleep Mendis, Sunil Wettimuny and some others braved the menacing Dennis Lilee and Jeff Thomson without protective equipment worn today and nearly pulled off an unlikely win over the Aussies in a World Cup encounter.
Photo source: CricBuzz
Pat Cummins drove fear into the hearts of the shell-shocked Lankans as he, Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson had the Sri Lanka batsmen hopping and ducking for cover in an expected bouncer barrage that they were sorely unprepared to counter. The trio gave Australians much to celebrate on Australia Day and erased some of the humiliation they endured against the Indians who swept them in all formats just a week before.
If there were excuses in their defense, the Pink ball experiment with its extra gloss and sharp bounce definitely undid the Sri Lankan batsmen whose diminutive stature made it difficult to avoid the well-directed missiles by the uncompromising Australian pace attack hungry for success after the Indian debacle.
Enraged Sri Lankan fans demanded the resignation of the Selectors and coaching staff on social media giving little consideration to the fact that this is a team in transition and seeking the right combinations for consistency.
It’s back to the drawing boards for sure for the luckless Sri Lankans who were also hampered by at least one debatable umpiring decision against Lahiru Thirimanne and the loss of paceman Lahiru Kumara who could not bat after succumbing to a hamstring tear.
Photo Source: Deccan Chronical
Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal should hand the reins over to someone else and drop himself for the good of his team as he continued with his self-preservation and flat-footed approach which gifted the Aussies with his wicket for a second time. He badly needs to re-focus and regain the kind of form that has given him an average of over 40 which does not reflect his current form.
From a coaching perspective, the Sri Lankan search for a home grown ‘Saviour’ to resurrect their flagging fortunes and re-build a new look team capable of matching it with the best appears at this stage to have backfired badly. Chandika Hathurusinghe arrived with big wraps on his ability but has not met the expectations of him or his fellow advisers.
Where to from here hinges on the final Test in Canberra and a further assessment in South Africa and my guess is that the Sri Lankan controlling body may be already talent scouting, perhaps even approaching a former coach who was on track before being disrupted mid-stride by a meddling High performance Manager hired during his successful effort to change the country’s fortunes.