Nothing is going right for Sri Lankan cricket at the moment. Their current crop of players is losing out on injuries and their recently retired ones are empowering their opposition teams. Sri Lanka has seen quite a few bowlers going down to injuries. And it’s a long list. Dhammika Prasad has not played in the last two Test series as his shoulder continues to cause problems for him. Sri Lanka are not going to get the service of Dushmantha Chameera. If the injuries were not enough, a suspension came by Sri Lanka’s way when Shaminda Eranga was suspended for an illegal action.
Even if only bowling was an issue, Sri Lanka could have ensured there are not any blemishes by batting well. But this is another department where they have lost the plot. Barring Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, nobody in their batting ranks has looked like scoring big runs for them.
Yes, they are playing at home but the need of the hour is to look at who they are playing at home. When the Test average of the opposition captain is in 60s, one of their middle-order batsman has an overall average of 96 and a bowling unit, which has the ability to take all 20 wickets in a matter of two days–as reflected in the warm-up game- then you know you are up against the best in the business. Australia are sitting at the top of the ranking and there is no one who can touch them for some time.
The Kangaroos have come to Sri Lanka all prepared and this can be seen in how they intelligently roped people in their support staff. They have hired someone called Muttiah Muralitharan as their bowling consultant and Thilan Samaraweera as batting consultant. It is a bit ironic to see how Sri lanka’s best bet in Test cricket, once, will be planning to see their downfall in a Test series. This, at a time, when Sri Lanka is in dire need of some assistance from their former players.
The Australians will start as clear favorites, when the first ball if bowled in Pallekele. Sri Lankans, on the other hand, would hope for a miracle to turn their way. The only way they could make it happen is by playing some better cricket than their opposition. If that is going to happen, only time will tell.