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  #1  
Old July 27, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Default As the greats play, we watch - in silence and in awe

Just wanted to share and discuss this article by Mahela Jayawardene - the man goes through a number of decisions that were made during the historic win against Pakistan (Sri Lanka's first at home) and I thought there are quite a few things that any team could take away from this, especially a young one like ours, where players are still trying to figure out their games. I recall there being a thread on how to implement the Sri Lankan model of cricket in Bangladesh, but this thread isn't intended to be as high level (but of course, you're free to discuss whatever comes to mind). Here I'm more interested in how we can improve as a team - in the context of the 15 players that take the bus from the hotel to the cricket ground to represent us in international matches - and what the current bunch of players can/should do in order to improve at both individual and team levels.

Mahela's article, I thought, could just be a starting point for this discussion - by no means am I claiming that these are the only things that a team should look to adopt. Feel free to chip in with ideas.

Quote:
Tough calls pay off

Dropping Vaas, having Dilshan keep - not all the decisions Sri Lanka made against Pakistan were universally acclaimed, but they worked in the end
Mahela Jayawardene
July 27, 2009

When we won the second Test, and with that the series, I was at the non-striker's end. Thilan Samaraweera hit the winning runs, and I punched the air, not suppressing my happiness. It was jubilation because I knew we hadn't beaten Pakistan in a home Test series before. We all knew we hadn't.

In a statement before the series I said that we were extra focused to get this feather in our cap. We have dominated every other team in Sri Lanka, and also beaten Pakistan twice in Pakistan, but this one was missing. When I was captain, we won in the West Indies for the first time in our history, and it was a great achievement to be the first Sri Lankan team to do so. We like to grab every opportunity to create history; we all spoke about it before the series, about wanting to be the first team to beat Pakistan in Sri Lanka.

The success came because we made some crucial, bold decisions both during the series and before it. Not all of those decisions had the backing of everyone, but they worked for us.
http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/con...ry/416478.html

Although I've only quoted the first two and a half paragraphs, the fun doesn't start until later. Read the entire article to make sense of what I'm saying. I found the following especially interesting:

1. He mentions that the Pakistanis are weak against left arm spinners, documented by their failures against Vettori and Panesar. Now that Shakib's a much better bowler and Razzak can only improve (hopefully), this could be good news for us when we play them next. Moreover, we now have Mosharraf Hossain knocking on the door to the national team - that's one more addition to the spin-beast collection.

2. He mentions a few examples where Sangakkara had thought outside the box and gone on to do what he thought was right (e.g. getting Dilshan to keep wickets), although he had no backing from the selectors; and it all paid off in the end. Shakib's a smart, thinking cricketer - perhaps he could take a leaf out of Snagakkara's book on his way to glory as captain.

3. Kulasekara, the no. 1 Sri Lankan quickie in ODIs, stepped up and volunteered to lead the fast bowling in the Test series. Great initiative. Our players have a lesson to learn from this as well. Step up, ask for added responsibility and work to deliver.

4. Relatively new team, new captain and yet they pulled off quite a tremendous feat, at least given their history against Pakistan at home. As it seems, the main reason they were able to do this was their hunger to win, to write history with their names stamped on it. This hunger and sense of pride is synonymous to what resulted in their victory in the '96 world cup. Watching our guys I kind of get the feeling that sometimes they miss this hunger for success - as a team and as a cricketing nation. A hungry tiger would never cease to hunt.

5. Note how Jayawardene stepped up as a senior player, shepherding some of the less experienced guys in the team. Ashraful is currently in a similar position within the Bangladesh team, but unfortunately has too many problems of his own. Moral of the story: we need to groom the current bunch so that we have enough seniors in a few years to manage notorious youngsters and teach them their trade. For now, guys like Mashrafe, Ashraful and Razzak need to step up and take the responsibility of guiding the younger members of the squad.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old July 27, 2009, 01:50 PM
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too many thoughts... too little space to express.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:03 PM
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agree wholeheartedly. We can learn a lot from observing the likes of KS and MJ.

In the Final ODI we lost to SL, Jayawardane saw the pitch as spin friendly and had Sanath bowl out his overs when Jayasuriya hadn't bowled in the tournament prior to that. BD despite having capable spinners gave Rubel the ball at a critical junction in the game.

Part of the learning process involves accepting Shakib is the captain and have Mash and Ash accept the vetern's role to improve as a team and not wait as a replacement for Shakib if/when that time comes.

I think Mash is in a difficult position as he didn’t get a chance to show his captaincy before the injury. Now if he replaces Shakib and doesn’t deliver he will be blamed unfairly. I think Mash should publicly show his support to Shakib and insist that Shakib remain on as captain for the future of BD cricket. This way he comes across as classy and is the obvious choice should the captaincy need to change hands.

I like the risks Shakib took with opening with Razzak and recognizing Reifer's weakness to MR's bowling. Just like KS, he has led from the front as well. Even though Mash said they wanted to bat till lunch on D5 of T1, Shakib came out swinging from the get go in the morning. I get the feeling he trusts his team mates and judgement more so than the coaching and administrators do.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Yes, some decisions worked out at the end but I do not agree. The Dilshan, who was tormanting BD, then the IPL bowlers, then the whole world, left, right, up, down, bottom, middle was not found. How can you allow a production that sort get lost? Was it a fair trade off? Had Dilshan didn't keep I certainly think SL would not had to fight coming from behind in all three test (1st two to win, 3rd one draw).

This strategy worked because of the house of cards built by Pakistan (team) and the tenacity of the SL players.
+++
No comparison with Mahela and Ashraful. All this encouragement talk, 140+ innings experience means nothing unless he improves his 23 average to 30. The less he talks the better it is for BD. One Ashraful is enough for BD.

Plus Mahela and Sanga are educated men. They know what to say, how to say and when to say.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:23 PM
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Have to agree with T_E - using Dilshan as a keeper prolly has effected his batting. Kaushal Silva is a good talent, prolly a much better batsman than Prasanna, not giving him a chance against Pakistan (who is currently one of the weaker teams in Test arena) in a home series does not make sense to me.
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  #6  
Old July 27, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
No comparison with Mahela and Ashraful. All this encouragement talk, 140+ innings experience means nothing unless he improves his 23 average to 30. The less he talks the better it is for BD. One Ashraful is enough for BD.

Plus Mahela and Sanga are educated men. They know what to say, how to say and when to say.
So in other words, you are saying Ashraful is Murkho?
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:40 PM
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I don't think it's about the education but more about intelligence and common sense.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:54 PM
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... then in other words buddhu ?
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  #9  
Old July 27, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Yes.
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Old July 27, 2009, 02:58 PM
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ATMR you need to dumb down the OP for us. I have no clue what you guys are talking about. All I can say is:

I like cricket.
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Old July 27, 2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
I don't think it's about the education but more about intelligence and common sense.
bingo. how much education lebron james has? my dad's got a PhD and yet he doesn't know diddly about basketball or the famous "ally-oop".

now if we're talking about cricketing education, thats a completely valid point. how intelligent or unintelligent ashraful is, we don't know.

but for a surety, shakib seems to be on the right track. God bless them all.
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Old July 27, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
Yes.
If you or TE call him Bhuddu (indirectly), nobody objects.

But when I say VI, the sky breaks down.

Is it a case of discrimination or the word "Village" is such a dirty word?

... assuming (Buddhu == Idiot)
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Old July 27, 2009, 03:55 PM
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budhdhu = just dumb
VI = designated as the biggest dumbo of all
Tis the shades of insult Fazal. B'sides, ATMR didn't actually use the word.

-- As myself
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Old July 27, 2009, 04:26 PM
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But... but .....he meant the same though, right?

Plus the biggest dumbo can be born and live in a city. Doesn't need to come from village you know.

Now based on your logic, if I use VI that should be OK I guess it will more look like "Henry the 4th". Even I meant something else, I guess I can get away with that.

Hmmmmm.... not a bad idea.

Thanks
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Old July 27, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazal
Now based on your logic, if I use VI that should be OK I guess it will more look like "Henry the 4th".
You mean 6th. Huge difference. Because if you meant 4th, we'd have to figure out if you also meant "of England" or "of France". Again, HUGE difference.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
You mean 6th. Huge difference. Because if you meant 4th, we'd have to figure out if you also meant "of England" or "of France". Again, HUGE difference.
So you are saying IV will work? i.e. Idiot of the Village
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Old July 27, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Here is a comment on the article from CI -

Quote:
Posted by chandau on (July 27 2009, 05:13 AM GMT)

A friend in need is friend indeed!!! Mahela coming out to support Kumar is nothing "out of the box" is it? lets look at the stats: PJ is the best keeper in Sl if not world and he plays for bloomfield where dishan also plays. so has dilly kept wickets recently? NO. has dilly broken fingers fielding at point or cover in recent past? NO has dilly batted well with the added burden in this series? NO. what is the end result of this "out of the box thinking"?? dilly the man in form of his life is out injured for a month may be now lets look at Kumar and Mahela, the 2 batting pillars of SL team. how much did you score mahela freed from captaincy burden? you did not even match ur career average this series. how much did sanga score before the real test of captaincy and keeping was thrust upon him? nothing to speak of. so here's the deal mate. if you want team balance, sanga shud keep and bat at 6 (like dhoni) ; find ur off stump soon. walk the talk put team before self both of u !!! cheers
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Old July 27, 2009, 06:22 PM
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To add to that - going in the third test with only one spinner does not speak highly of strategic minds current SL team has.

Pakistan's weakness against SLA's is well exposed in past, one does not have to be a genius to figure that out.
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Old July 27, 2009, 08:35 PM
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So is this thread leading to that trajectory where we will start comparing Shakib to some of the greats.
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Old July 27, 2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One World
So is this thread leading to that trajectory where we will start comparing Shakib to some of the greats.
Nope. Rather what lessons our guys can learn watching some of the boro bhais at work.
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Old July 27, 2009, 09:49 PM
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very well put thoughts for our boys to ake away from this.

Only problem is that we don't learn from our mistakes...
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  #22  
Old July 28, 2009, 02:17 AM
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If you continue to make the same unforced errors over and over and over again, are you anything other than a ****? If so, in which universe? Give Mo a ticket please and put him in the space bus, or under it.

Anyway, great dig, great read, and great thoughts from a great player. Cricket is a game with victory as the ultimate objective. Factors such as luck and officiating are a part of it. In that light, the end very much justifies the means here. For our Lankan cousins to pull this off with a second string bowling attack (except for NuKu. Mendis and eventually Vaas), and inconsistent batting displays is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Perfectly emblematic of their character, unit cohesion, system and class -- questionable strategy in the third test notwithstanding.

It is tough to replace someone like PJ, the best keeper in the world IMHO, but I thought Dillu did well behind the stumps. Certainly better than I expected.
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Last edited by Sohel; July 28, 2009 at 03:01 AM..
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  #23  
Old July 28, 2009, 07:07 AM
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Dilshan is a real gem for SL cricket, he can play well in all forms of the game. Amazingly, he has come into real form and has emerged as one of SL's best players in his early thirties. I can remember that after the England tour, he was banished from the national team, was given captaincy of the A team, he performed well, came back, never played in tests, was given a chance and performed. He is now SL MVP.
BCB will retire a player in his early thirties, here Dilshan was given a chance and nurtured.
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