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.