Cricket selectors go for the tried and tested
Sri Lankan cricket selectors headed by Duleep Mendis had no other
alternative, but to pick the tried and tested cricketers for their tour
of South Africa, for a Three Test and a Five one-day series against
South Africa in South Africa.
Of interest is the return of mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. Mendis
had been out of the Lankan get up for sometime due to various reasons.
But now he has fully recovered from his supposed to be injuries and has
earned his place.
Mendis,if he plays must be determined to prove that he deserves to be
a permanent fixture in the Sri Lankan team in all versions of the game.
He took the cricket world by storm, when in his entry into big time
cricket he mesmerized the strong Indian batting by bagging a harvest of
But with time most teams sorted out his mysterious spin. Coaches
found various excuses to leave him out, Mendis suddenly disappeared from
the radar, and the selectors have now brought him back to strengthen the
innocuous spin attack. Now the wicket is all his to work his magic spin.
The South Africans have an awesome side playing at home. Through
drawing an absurd two-Test series against Australia, they must be
determinined to convincingly crush the Sri Lankans. At the moment, the
Lankan squad does not seem to be playing as a team.
The cracks are showing and unless they are cemented together and the
team plays as one unit, I am afraid another disaster will hit Sri Lanka
cricket. Our sympathies are with skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan.
He does not seem to be getting the support of all players, which has
made his task as captain a nightmare as has been proved in the recent
series against Pakistan.
Apparently the disunity in the team has rubbed off on his batting
which has been proved by his consistent failures with the bat. It is
hoped that the spoil sports in the team will realize their folly and
play to the best of their ability and support Dilshan, remembering that
it is the good name of the game and country that is more important.
The Indian cricketers have been playing cricket for months. It was
first the 2011 World Cup which they won convincingly repeating their
1983 effort. After that it was England where they capitulated being
thrashed in all Four Tests. After that it was the Indian Champions
League, the Five one-dayers against England, now Three Tests and later
five one-dayers against the West Indies.
When India toured England the cynosure of all eyes was Sachin Ramesh
Tendulkar. He is an eye catching batsman every time he takes strike. But
of special interest was whether he would get a Test hundred and with it
signal his 100th hundred in the game.
In the Four Tests England did not allow him that rare achievement.
Then the Test against the West Indies was eagerly looked forward to by
his millions of fans who were hoping that he would oblige. But again
that was not to be. When he was 67 not out on the Third day of the final
Test, hopes ran high that he would get that elusive hundred. Fans kept
thronging the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Tendulkarís home to see their
hero reach the magic three figure and be a part of that history.
But the cricketing gods decreed otherwise. Continuing from his
overnight unbeaten score of 67, he made his way to 94 playing some crisp
strokes and with every run scored, fans were fighting to get in and
watch that stroke that would end the long wait, the excitement and the
While many a cricketing fanís heart was probably missing a beat, Ravi
Rampaul the West Indian paceman ran in and delivered a ball, that
pitched, climbed from a good length and Tendulkar attempting a drive on
the up dollied to Sammy at slip who took the catch much to the joy of
the Windies and to the frustration of his millions of fans on the ground
and all over the cricketing world. Little wonder then that it is said
that there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
How his fans and country would have loved to see him perform that
feat at home. However all is not lost.
There is a five one-day series against India to follow. He is the
only batsman to score a double hundred in the cowboy game. And it is not
beyond him to reel off a three figure score and get that burden off his
All cricketing eyes will be on that series and especially on Sachin
Bravo a Lara clone
West Indian stylish left hander Darren Bravo looks so much like Brian
Lara in everything he does. From his stance, to the high back lift and
the caressing of the ball with grace and elegance, it looks like Lara is
A cousin of the great Lara, with similar looks, he is a treat to
watch when he is in the driving seat. Bravo toured Sri Lanka early this
year and showed his class reeling of three scores of fifty in the Three
Tests played and it looked as though he was the street to greatness like
his first cousin. But after a few hiccups, he now seems to have realized
his potential and that he has it in him to join not only the former West
Indian batting greats but also greats of the world.
In the Second and Third Tests against India, he made two lovely to
watch hundreds and it is now up to him to make it his business and make
big scores that will soon make him another great.
Critics are raving over his potential and ability. He has it in him
to be a crowd puller and even threaten his illustrious cousinís world
batting records. What he has to do is to believe in himself.