Friday, November 16, 2012

Preview, 1st Test, Sri Lanka versus New Zealand, Galle

Good Luck Kiwis!- In stopping Us!
In truth it is very hard to write about this match and series for it seems apparent that every thought, comment or critique will be rendered irrelevant by the Monsoonal Rains that blighted the recent ODI series.

If by an act of God the sun does shine it pits two Teams that have shown recently an aversion to don the Tests Whites in preference to milking the T20 cash cow. So how they adapt to the demands of the highest form of the game will be the series deciding factor 

Likely Teams
Sri Lanka
My first reaction in the build up to this match is where is Dinesh Chandimal??????

A young Sri Lankan batsman/keeper that had us all on our feet applauding with the real skill and mans balls he showed in his batting in foreign confines against South Africa last year. He is touted as the perfect candidate to be a long term answer when one of the Sri Lankan veterans retire. But I find it very strange that with Tillakaratne Dilshan injured the Sri Lankan Selectors would not have insisted in his obvious batting class being in the Team with him inserted as a make shift opener. Rather than a debutant in 
Dimuth Karunaratne

Away from the batting line up the biggest query is who will partner Chanaka Welegedera as the new ball bowler. Depending on the pitch, and with New Zealand noted weakness against spin I would be inclined to entrust all rounder Angelo Mathews with that role and select three spinners. Especially with Dilshan's under rated spin offerings being absent from the Team

This would be my Team

Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Tharanga Paranavitana, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 8 Suraj Randiv, 9 Tharindu Kaushal, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Chanaka Welegedara

New Zealand 

My apologies to James Franklin, who is a very big hearted cricketer, but its insulting seeing him still in the NZ Test Team when the Team should be investing in youth like Tom Latham

Putting my vitriol aside, it will be interesting to see if the Kiwis cover Dan Vettori's absence by including the spinner Todd Astle to partner Jeetan Patel. This seems unlikely with them being adverse to play a debutant spinners against batsmen who maul even the best of spinners. So you can see them backing their pace attack in brutal conditions to get the job done 

Good Luck!

Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor (capt), 5 Daniel Flynn, 6 James Franklin, 7 Kruger van Wyk (wk), 8 Doug Bracewell, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Jeetan Patel, 11 Trent Boult/Chris Martin

The Keys to Win

Sri Lanka 

At home Sri Lanka is almost impossible to beat with the only things that could stifle their victory march here is the Weather or the toss going against them.

If the toss does go in their favour, you can see them raking up a huge score on a flat pitch that will in no way aide New Zealand's very able pace men

You can see the two Sri Lankan Masters in Sangakkara and Mahela running up huge scores in this game for that is what they do in their home confines as well as being brilliant every where

Then the spin attack led by the vastly under rated Rangana Herath looks certain of making the Kiwi batsmen look as though they have attended the English School of playing spin. Especially if they strangle the batsmens scoring rates which will make the Kiwi batsmen morph to resembles kettles about to boil dry, and you know they will throw away their wicket

Crucially they need to target and knock out Ross Taylor in the batting and pay real respect to the top line bowling talents of Doug Bracewell when they bat

If the Team plays to its strength then New Zealand will have a snow balls chance of challenging them

New Zealand 

An Everest of a challenge for the Kiwis

With the key to playing and succeeding in Asian confines being patience and temperament and both qualities are barren from the ranks of this batting line up.

That is the frustrating thing of the Kiwis batting with them having talent, but you know that if you strangle their free flowing ways that an act of madness is not too far away.

Only Ross Taylor has real Test pedigree, and it will be expected that he is too carry a huge load if they are to challenge in this series

If by an act of God their batting does not do the infuriatingly dumb things it does in Test Cricket then their bowling is actually quite threatening 

With the combination of Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee being a very able and potential accomplished new ball pair. Bracewell in particular has all the qualities to be ranked as one of the best fast bowlers in the game.

The sad reality is you know the pitch will be similar to the one seen at The Motera for the India versus England Test meaning no seam, swing or pace killing any chance that these young pacemen will have to shine.

So with Jeetan Patel being little more than a Club standard spinner it is hard to see how the Kiwis will get 20 Sri Lankan wickets


Only two outcomes

Rain, rain and more rain


A comprehensive Sri Lankan win