Cricket Web Logo
Cricket Coach 2014 - Order Now
Cricket Web Logo
Australia Bangladesh Bermuda Canada England India Ireland Kenya Netherlands New Zealand Pakistan Scotland South Africa Sri Lanka West Indies Zimbabwe
 
Sri Lanka in 2005
09 Jan 2006
By: George Roberts


After profitable recent years, particularly at home and spearheaded by a peaking Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan situation transgressed from the land of plenty into ominous times in 2005. Much of their recent success had been built around the remnants of the victorious 1996 World Cup squad, and as the aging champions faded and gradually deteriorated, the weak foundations were revealed. There is an alarming lack of talent coming through, adding further pressure to the existing players.

In a year that started with the tragedy of the Asian Tsunami, which dragged the players from New Zealand to more pressing matters, keeping the team together was always going to be difficult. On their return to New Zealand, in April, they were soundly beaten, though on green-tinged wickets, this was to be expected. They did uncover a future star though in Lasith Malinga as he captured eleven wickets in the series.

The visit by the West Indies was marred by the commercial infighting in the Caribbean, and with the home side strengthened by the return of Muttiah Muralitharan, the tourists provided little opposition. Neither, for that matter, did a disappointing Bangladeshi outfit. In India, the batting line-up disintegrated against the Indian spinners, and the bowlers failed to finish off the Indian lower order.

The ODI season, was likewise, largely a disappointment. It had started positively however, with a victory in the IndianOil Cup, as Mahela Jayawardene struck 230 runs, including 83 in the final against the Indians. Though Bangladesh crumpled in the shortened form of the game, the series provided more than academic interest, due the emergence of Upul Tharanga, a dashing opener.

The real demons of the year emerged in India, where the Sri Lankan bowlers conceded 350 in the first ODI, and never recovered. Already lacking in self-esteem, their confidence was fragmented when they failed to defend 298 in Jaipur, a total dominated by Kumar Sangakkara's 138*. In the end, they suffered true humiliation and lost the series 6-1.

A huge test of both character and technique beckons in 2006, with a tour to England, where the pitches will undoubtedly be green enough to nullify the threat of Muralitharan. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene must fulfil their promise and become the mainstays of the batting, while Tillekaratne Dilshan, reborn as an off-spinning all-rounder in ODI cricket, will look to cement a Test place.

Test Player of the Year 2005: Muttiah Muralitharan
ODI Player of the Year 2005: Tillekaratne Dilshan
One to Watch in 2006: Upul Tharanga

Discuss this news item in the Cricket Web Forums
Recent Cricket Chat Threads
Vale Phil Hughes
Last posted by: Noble One
Cricket Betting in the UK
Last posted by: Daemon
ODI Auction Draft
Last posted by: weldone
CSK Disqualified from IPL
Last posted by: zorax
Ajmal Action Reported
Last posted by: wellAlbidarned
Shakib Al Hasan vs The Great All Rounders
Last posted by: smalishah84
Poll
Do you think enough Test cricket is being played?
Too much Test cricket
The right amount is being played
No there should be more



View Results
Previous Polls