Something that is to be noticed in the ongoing test series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, wherein, a day of the test match was called off owing to elections in Bangladesh. Not at all. This is of course not at all a big issue, not it is made into one. All such things are part and parcel of the game. However, Sri Lanka does need some justification as to why the players of the caliber of Muttiah Muralitharan are still leading the Sri Lankan bowling party, even against a minnow team like Bangladesh? And much to their fortune, the major wicket takers in the ongoing first test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are Chaminda Vass and Muttiah Muralitharan. The two bowlers who have been known to international cricket since the last decade or so.
And the major run contribution coming from the blades of Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardane. Of course, not to forget the 90 contributed by Thilan Samaraweera in the first innings. Jayawardane scores 166 and Sangakkara 67 in the second innings. The same two batsmen who put up a world record of 624 runs against South Africa some three years ago. It is as though that Sri Lanka has not realized that a cricket team consists of 11 players, as against some five to six of them saving the face or winning matches. If this is the case against a team like Bangladesh, one would imagine the fate of the same, given their run against other major teams like India and South Africa.
Its our fortune that Sanath Jayasuriya was not recalled once again for the second time, after he bid aideu to test cricket last December after the test series against England. A target of 521 runs is imposed on a Bangladesh team. What for? Are the Sri Lankans afraid of a major upset in test cricket? No doubt that Sri Lanka will for sure win the test series 2-0. But, the standard of the team as well as his ability of taking chances will surely be under question. Every test match, in addition to the result of the same, also hints the capability of the team to face bigger challenges. The common names in Sri Lankan cricket, Jayawardane, Sangakkara, Murali and Vass have been their major match winners in test cricket.
On a rare occasion, as it happened against India, Ajantha Mendis did the job. Else, taking the recent past of Sri Lankan test performances, its been Jayawardane and Sangakkara in the batting department, followed by Murali in the bowling. Now one can realize as to why the selectors had to go in for retired Jayasuriya for the test series against England. If this continues, one could even see Murali playing until the age of 45 so will Sangakkara. The only trump card being that of Mendis. This is also the case when it comes to their one day and T20 games. One cannot forget the way Murali single handedly winning the third test against England in Nottingham where he took 8/70 to see England succumb fo 104/2 to 190 all out.
If this continues, one has to wonder as to how long can Sri Lankan cricket go, once these legends call it a day. Keeping the fact of the present Australian team, after the retirement of Warne & McGrath.