What caused Sri Lanka’s cricketing debacle in S. Africa | Daily News

What caused Sri Lanka’s cricketing debacle in S. Africa

Sri Lanka’s cricketing debacle in South Africa is a cause for concern. The cricket crazy Sri Lankan fans have been left astounded by the lackluster performance of the National team, which was whitewashed 2-0 by the Proteas, who with this success climbed up the ICC Test Championship Table, after reeling lower down prior to the Sri Lanka tour.

Sri Lanka’s humiliation saw the team drop further down the rankings and this is all due to the team being under prepared to face a test series. To put it in a nutshell the team lacked fitness, practice and commitment.

As professional cricketers the boys should have worked hard on their fitness levels, which they could have done after the first wave of the pandemic. Countries like Australia, India, Pakistan and New Zealand are also currently playing Test matches and they have been putting up great performances. The best example is the second Test match between Australia and India which India won by eight wickets. After being in doldrums losing the first test rather tamely being bowled out for their lowest total, 36, team India fought back gallantly sans their regular skipper Virat Kohli to stay level the series.

If the players were under-prepared for a tour, especially to a country where the seam friendly conditions prevail, then it was a suicidal mission that they undertook in order to show their support for Cricket South Africa and rescue them from disaster after England cut short their tour there, due to some player contact the virus.

The other key factor that is destroying the Test match arena is the involvement of players in too many T-10, T-20 and limited overs tournaments, which tempts players to deviate from the real cricket, which is Test cricket.

Sri Lanka Cricket is to blame by deciding to tour South Africa immediately after the Lanka Premier League. They could have asked for a postponement of that tour till after England toured Sri Lanka, thus giving the players sufficient time to bond and practice as a team. Furthermore, apart from three players, the rest were all involved in the LPL and were practically worn out by the close schedule of the tournament and this took a toll on them in South Africa, as they had little or no rest and practice time before boarding a flight immediately after the tournament, from the Mattala Airport. Sri Lanka Cricket should have two separate squads for Test and limited overs tournaments, which will then save the players from being overworked.

Now, the past will be forgotten and let’s take up the positives from the concluded tour and work on the shortcomings to improve our performances.

The national selectors will have to create a competition among the players as the South African tour became an eye opener to them. They should not depend on the big names and should try to introduce the second string players who are knocking at the door. This year seems to be a busy one for the National cricketers and one should expect a number of players to be on the injury list if their fitness levels are not taken care of.

The backup players are a must if we are to make an impact in the Test arena which has now created a lot of interest after the governing body, the ICC, has converted it into a Test Championship, where the best team, in all aspects of the game, will head to take the title.

It is now hoped that the Sri Lankan cricketers will put up a better showing in the Test series against England, who are already in the country.