I would like to remind our readers that I did say Tests should not finish in five days with just two or two and a half innings completed and sans a result. It’s time that Sri Lanka prepared Test wickets which gives the batsmen and bowlers a chance to promote a result.
A seaming wicket would have given Sri Lanka a chance to beat India at the SSC. Test cricket is under pressure and the type of wicket the second Test was played certainly doesn’t help to popularise the game. Sri Lanka had a glorious opportunity to get to the number one slot in Tests but the wicket didn’t help.
It was an occasion to get 100’s and 200’s which did happen. Well and good but it was one way traffic for the batsmen and certainly not good for the game. It’s not professional either unless everybody wants just that from cricket. Somebody needs to be held accountable for this. It was truly disappointing. What with pros handling wickets and curators doing a full time job Sri Lanka should now hold someone responsible for the fiasco.
On such a wicket experienced players will not let such an opportunity slip by for making runs. They will never have enough in the middle and that was what we saw. It was good to see Tendulkar, Raina, Sanga and Paranavitane making hay but they were merely individual performances which did not matter at the end. No one was talking about the game but was interested with what each batsman made by way of runs.
I do hope the next game at the Oval would be different. A sporting wicket would give the fast bowlers a sniff within the first two or two and a half sessions and thereafter for batting and then to turn a bit for the spinners. Good quality bowling backed by the need for slips would make it an interesting battle. Recall there was a time when Bandula Warnapura and even Sanath Jayasuriya opened the bowling? That era is gone now with fast bowling academies and special bowling coaches etc. Therefore the need is greater for sporting wickets.
One could not have asked for anything better for Murali than what he achieved in his last Test match. I for one feel from the bottom of my heart that he deserved what he achieved in his final Test. He is a wonderful human being. He was great with newcomers and young players. Truly, a man with a large heart and deep pockets. 800 wickets and a win. Remarkable. It happens to good people and certainly it was a gift from above. More guys should emulate Murali’s example and do so sooner than later.