Just how important this test will be for Sri Lanka will only be revealed in about a years time when England arrive. We earmarked this series to be the one that would define Dilshans captaincy and the path that Sri Lanka is headed down for the next year.

So far it has been pretty ordinary.

There were times when it could have ended up being catastrophic. They are lucky to still have a chance to level this series. And that chance has become more real with Harris being injured. Losing is generally a bad thing, but losing at home hurts just a little bit more. Throughout this series Sri Lanka have lacked direction, purpose and discipline. The 2 times they batted like they meant it were the 2 times they had the game riding on it. Unfortunately, you rarely win test matches in the subcontinent after going behind in the first innings.

Harris and Australia have bowled well. But SL batsmen have been unwilling to sacrifice their ‘natural game’ to play the bowlers and the situation. There have been some horrendous shot selection and general disregard to what is happening in the game.

Will Sri Lanka be able to take 20 wickets in a test match consistently ? Maybe. There is potential around the bowlers we are using now. Another Murali or Malinga is unlikely but the strength of these guys must in the variety it can offer and working together as a unit. But there is a serious lack of experience and at times skill. Not technically but in applying pressure without letting up. Australia came in to this series with 2 debutant and guy coming off injury and a lottery in Johnson but when they bowl, there is menace in every delivery. With Sri Lanka, it’s more about hope.

Dilshan has always been someone who relies on his instincts. Batting, Fielding and now Captaining. But if his guy is telling him to give the new ball to Sangakkara maybe a reassessment is in order. He has under bowled our fast bowlers on wickets that had variable bounce and offered reverse swing. He may have over bowled himself too. Sometimes you just need to give your bowlers the ball , set a field and let them work it out. Trying too hard usually backfires.

If Sri Lanka lose this series the ripple effect could derail the whole team. If they win, it gives them some self belief and and a stable working environment to tackle some of the biggest series in Dilshan his mens careers.

The SSC better fucken give us a good pitch. You know, in layman’s terms, not ICC.



sri lanka v australia 2011

True story.

They clung on with barely a stitch of clothing on them. Battered and bruised, with the Aussies baying for blood like rabid dogs, Sri Lanka have successfully avoided being rolled over inside 4 days with some ok batting and some extended thumb twiddling time.

I doubt this test showed that Sri Lanka any ‘character’. All it proved was that vague ‘law of averages’ theory. Sri Lanka has a good top order. In fact they have some world class players in there – so it was only a matter of time before they got some runs.

They were lucky to not have lost a wicket on the 4th morning when they played Harris like he was firebug who was throwing hand grenades at them.

The cost of not converting starts won’t be felt.

And at the last little joust when Australia were closing in for the kill, they were handed a get out of jail free card.

I’m sure all these things will be discussed in team meetings and explored deeply with their sports psychologist but Sri Lanka seem to be faced with fundamental problem that they can’t avoid. It is that this rebuilding Australian side – who on paper  should have been put to the sword on foreign conditions – are actually quite a decent side.

We taunted Harris as the danger man before the series but his impact has been far reaching than most have expected. He has moved the ball all day in all conditions, regardless whether it’s old or new. And Frankly it has just been too hot for SL. Hussey has once again played point man from where all of Australias batting has revolved.

Home or away, Sri Lanka cannot win a test match with their 1st innings stage fright. The bowling runs out of ideas much faster than it would seem possible. At 116-3, it was an actual game. 200 whatever runs later it was more about hoping than trying.

It isn’t Sri Lankas batting that’s putting them 10 steps behind, it is the difference in attitude from the whole side. With Australia, there is a constant sniff for a way to get ahead. With Sri Lanka, the distraction is only a ball away.





sri lanka v australia 2011

Sri Lanka

Due to foreseen circumstances, there will be no Sri Lankan portion in today’s report.


Stuttered then steadied themselves. Another day of debauchery awaits. Shaun Marsh stands to break some cool records. To do it in front of his dad will be special. To do it in front of his girlfriend will mean he gets lucky. Good old Mr.Trustworthy is at the other end too. Another 150 runs would put the game beyond Sri Lanka inside 3 days.

Play of the Day.

When Micheal Hussey was approaching his 50 Sri Lanka tightened things up to put pressure on him. Then Randiv dropped the ball in his half which Hussey gleefully accepted. Summed up SLs day.



sri lanka v australia 2011

Sri Lanka

The only thing Sri Lanka did right today was win the toss. Currently giving the  90s Eng side a run for their money on orchestrating the “Perfect Collapse”.

Losing half the side before lunch on Day 1 is generally not the accepted way to start a test match. Paranavitana’s last 6 innings against Australia reads 0,11,10,29,0,0. Thirimanne replacing him can’t be too far away.

Dilshan is a man torn between trying to do the right thing, trying to be himself and trying to balance everything. His confidence looks like it’s has been gang raped by a bunch of Mauris.

Jayawadene fell to his age old off stump deficiencies.

Sangakkara got in and out. Again. Looks a shadow of his former greatness. I don’t know if it’s 2020 cricket or if he is thinking about  points for an essay on decline of modern pitches but for someone who is considered to be exceptional test batsmen he shows alarmingly inept concentration skills these days.

PJ needs to kidnapped. Put in a dark room, strapped to a chair with his eyelids pinned open and shown every run that Alistair Cook deadbatted himself to in the English summer.

The only ounce of testosterone shown today was by Mathews. Following what we think his career defining innings, he played another back to the walls innings. If SL are to get the best out of him he really needs to be batting at 6 and not 7. People don’t usually enjoy coming in at 70-5 with no one else to bat with.

With no Herath, no Mendis, Sri Lankas bowling looked limp. Everyone kept running in and putting it there rather than actually try anything. A long 2 or even 3 days might be on the cards for them. Sri Lankas only hope now is to pick up a wicket early tomorrow and put the pressure on Marsh and the following new batsmen. But they shouldnt expect Australia fold as easily as them


Good toss to lose. Kept bowling in the corridor and waited for SL to hang themselves. Harris looks like he is ready to lead the attack as long as he is injury free. Copeland looks so innocuous but is capable of bowling to one spot all day with a bit of nibble. Johnson steady as usual.

Clarke didn’t really need to do anything special today. Just wrung the normal changes and that was too good for Sri Lanka. I am not sure if Hussey coming into the attack was inspired or by luck  – but it sure did make Clarke look good.

Watson then made the full size of his massive bat felt. Hughes looks like he meant business from the first ball he creamed through the covers. If they get in again tomorrow there is plenty of merry to be made.

Play of the Day

Mathews – first fighting, then clubbing his way to a 50. He needs to be sent up the order. No questions asked.

Randiv hanging around after he’d hit it straight to Lyon. I know DRS has it’s flaws but that was just embarrassing.




sri lanka v australia 2011

First, Nasser calling the Indians Donkeys

Now, Tom Moody compares Russel Arnold to a ‘little black turtle’.

I know what you are thinking. Holy Shit Crackers. This happened during the 1st test in Galle, so this episode unfolded even before Nassergate. I don’t have the video evidence to prove this actually happened so you will just have to take my word for it.

The broadcasters, in one of their many snippets to promote Sri Lankan tourism, were showing some black turtles splashing about joyously on the beach as the waves caressed their tiny black shells. Moody who was in the box with Arnold at the time, and as sure as I sit behind this keyboard, said “So which one are you Russel’



When will this blatant segregation stop. The cricket commentary box was once a safe haven for all past cricketers to tuck in to their Chicken Buriyani and pass judgment on their hapless current counterparts on the field.

No more. With this, Everything changes.



russel arnold sri lanka v australia 2011 tom moody