Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lankans at their very best

This World Cup has seen surprises in terms of teams qualifying for the Super Eight and landmark individual performances like the consecutive sixes of Gibbs or the four wicket haul of Malinga on the trot.



One team that has really made a mark with their all round performance in all the departments of the game has been Sri Lanka. For this small island nation cricket is something more to them. I am of the view that it is the players who have made the difference and hats off to this talented team.



There is really something special that goes with this team. It is the sheer presence of the three experienced campaigners Sanath Jayasurya, Muthiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. With more than 14 years of experience between them, believe me the entire team revolves around the trio.



The seniors are aware of their responsibility that they have to perform and so have their task cut out. When they peak in terms of form half the job is done and other players simply play their part, which makes a win look so easy. The most astounding aspect is that they can chase any target and win matches and this makes them a formidable team today.



A key performer in Lankan cricket has been Jayasuriya. When he is in form the team is sure of a win. In fact his form in the next couple of games is crucial and the team will definitely look up to his performance.



The other aspect which makes Sri Lankan cricket special is the combination of experience and youth. The youngsters simply follow the performance of their seniors and they too come up with match winning performances. The team always displays fighting spirit and their body language vouches for that.



The man who has known to spin Sri Lankan wins is Muralitharan. He is an intelligent cricketer who can adapt himself and bowl to different wicket conditions. He is known to destroy the best of the teams and is rightly called the “Smiling Assassin”.



When a team has the best in terms of batting, bowling and fielding, they can script a win any time and this is what makes the Lankan team special.



The role of a coach like Tom Moody should not be neglected. The Lankans have a young coach with two World Cup experiences. He has really backed the team well and shared his experience to their betterment. Today if one team can upset Australia’s World Cup plans it is Sri Lanka.



The coach plays a vital role in these kinds of matches. For example Moody knows the way as to how Australia plays cricket and can plan the strategy accordingly.



Mahela Jayewardene is one of those rare breed of captains who has lead the team confidently though some of the individual performances have not been up to the mark. The fact that he has gone down the order to bat at No. 4 shows his calibre and the attitude required for a captain.


Even if the top line batsmen fail the team has talented youngsters like Arnold and Dilshan who could rise up to the occasion when needed.



On the whole I am firmly of the view that it is their all round performance that makes Sri Lanka a side to reckon with and they will be really fighting it out to get the Cup.


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