Sunday, March 11, 2007

What SL had in ’96 that they don’t have now…

The upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will be the spotlight in coming months and hearts of all Sri Lankans will be stuck on happenings in the Caribbean. All of us believe that Sri Lanka goes in as a strong contender for this tournament with an experienced and well rounded outfit. Our hopes cling to a repeat of 1996.

Yes, presently we do have a strong side but in 1996 we had something that we do not have now – The Element of Surprise. In the Wills World Cup 1996 we came out of nowhere all guns blazing and took the world by storm. To play one day cricket in Super Attacking mode from the start was something we invented and it stunned the rest of the world. Jayasuriya who was almost unknown along with Kalu, the little master or Mad Max – Aravinda, the sedate guiding lights of Gura, Arjuna, Mahanama and Hashan were not expected to knock out the big guns. Even more underrated was the left arm metronome Vaas, the vicious spin of Murali, the gentle floating off breaks of Dharmasena, and the wiles of the part time spinning duo – Aravinda and Sanath. Facing these guys on a sub continent wicket was a challenge that was never taken seriously by the other contenders for the cup.

Back then the world didn’t see us coming. This time round it’s a different story. From Sanath’s blitzkriegs, to Mahela’s and Sanga’s sublime stroke play, to Murali and Vaas’ cunning – the world has seen it all. Plans have been set up. Traps have been laid. Every move and every stroke will be watched and schemed against by other oppositions.

It will be a tough battle out there and our lions will have to fight hard. Sanath will be a big factor, Mahela’s struggle to get into double figures isn’t very encouraging, Sanga will have to shoulder a lot of responsibility. The young guns – Tharanga and Chamara Silva will have to fire.

Our guys will always have to be thinking out there. Sticking to old plans and strategies may cause their downfall. They will have to innovate and look for new things to do as and when they’re challenged by other teams.

Focus should be on each stage, no opposition should be taken lightly – not Bangladesh, not even Bermuda. Complete focus is crucial at all times.

So here’s hoping our guys play great cricket in the Caribbean. Here’s hoping they deal with every opposition they are faced with, positively – in true Sri Lankan style. Our broken land will shed their differences for once and join hands as one to hold up our team. For the seven weeks ahead – health, strength, courage, good luck and God-speed.

1 comment:

Parthi said...

what i thought that this teams lacks compared to the 1996 team is the team spirit...these ppl have the greatest talent...but for some reason i dont sense orf eel the team spirit...the immsense passion for the team...they have it im nto syaing no...but comparatively...that team had the greatest talent plus the 200% team spirit which led to the victory! thats my opinion