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Thread: The Battle for Sri Lanka's All Time No 3

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    Hall of Fame Member chaminda_00's Avatar
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    The Battle for Sri Lanka's All Time No 3

    When it comes to Sri Lankan Cricket we have always had two bowlers that have been considered as a class above the rest, in Murali and Vaas. But a question that i've been trying to figure out in my head for a long time is who is the 3rd best bowler for Sri Lanka ever in Test Cricket. With the development of Malinga i've once again starting to question who is Sri Lankan's No 3. Has Malinga done enough in his 24 Tests to jump head of Sri Lanka first ever Test Class bowlers such as Rumesh Ratnayake, Ravi Ratnayeke, Somachandra De Silva or Ashantha de Mel. And where would recent bowlers Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Zoysa and Pramodya Wickramasinghe stand in comparsion to others.

    Somachandra De Silva
    One of those players from Sri Lanka, who many say that we never saw the best of him at Test Level. Playing his first Test at the age of 40, you can't expect him to have performed at his best. With FC career average of 28, mainly playing in Tour matches against FC class sides around the world for Sri Lanka, prior to Test status, he probably has the biggest claim as Sri Lanka Number 3, if not Number 2 infront of Vaas.

    Ashantha de Mel
    All three seamers were ever influencial during Sri Lanka every days in allowing Sri Lanka to be competitive. Ashantha de Mel gets remember the most out of these three due to the fact that he took Sri Lanka first ever 5-fer in Tests. A good swing bowler, that probably missed out on the back half of his career due to a career ending knee injury.

    Rumesh Ratnayake
    Rumesh will be remembered as Sri Lankan first geniune fast bowler rather then just a medium pacer. He did fall away at the back end his career due to injuries. He does however probably have the best overall outside Vaas and Murali with 73 wickets @ 35, including five 5-fers (more then anyone other Sri Lanka bowler outside Vaas and Murali)

    Ravi Ratnayeke
    Ravi a regular in most people All Time sides due to his all round ability, as well as his potential ability to be good foil to Murali with his ability to keep it tight at one and end and bowl effective on unresponsive pitches. With 56 Test wickets @ 35, as well as 4-fer he has his own claims by himself.

    Pramodya Wickramasinghe
    His number are pretty poor compared to the rest but he played different. His main role in the side was to keep it tight and support Murali and Vaas and with a E/R od 2.94. Only Vaas and Zoysa have lower E/R for Sri Lankan fast bowlers who have taken 50 plus wickets. He also took a fair few wickets during his 10-year Test career and with 85 wickets only Jayasuriya, Vaas and Murali have taken more wickets. Probably a class below the rest but deserves a mention.

    Nuwan Zoysa
    The first of the highly and sometimes unfairly critised bowlers. As Sri Lanka grew as a Test nations expectations grew and bowlers were required to perform at higher standards. Zoysa probably didn't perform at those standards, but did he perform better then the Ratnayake's and de Mel's of the world? In terms of bowling averages it is lower then all three and he played a similar role as Wickramasinghe and did that role effectively and took wickets at a decent rate. Probably one of the most under rated bowlers in Sri Lanka history and gets unfairly critised at times cus he played in the same generation as Vaas and Murali.

    Dilhara Fernando
    Another bowler who statistically is right up their with the best Sri Lankan's produced and maybe even better. 77 wickets @ 30 in 26 Tests, thats 6th on the All Wicket Takers list and 3rd in averages and 2nd in strike rate (infront of Murali). Like Zoysa and Wickramasingha if he played in a different era would he have been remembered as one of Sri Lanka greats?

    Lasith Malinga
    Sri Lanka fastest ever bowler (well maybe 2nd but Thilan Thursha can't get it on the pitch enough) and newest member to the debate. Has he done in his short 24 Test match career, well his has played more matches then Ratnayake (both), de Mel and De Soya. Maybe short interms of length is more accurate. With 83 wickets @ 30 his 4th in wickets, 4th in averages and 1st in strike rates. But has he done enought to jump ahead of the old timers and higher performing current generation bowlers.

    No poll want some discussion please

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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Malinga.

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    State Regular The_Bunny's Avatar
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    Hard to tell now.

    But if Malinga does well against Aus this summer he will be my pick

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    I think Lasith Malinga will end up as the 3rd best bowler Sri Lanka have ever produced, quite comfortably infact, but at the moment it becomes a little harder to choose. I'm going for modern day bias and say Malinga, once you add in his ODI feats, then I don't think any of the others can beat him.
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    Hall of Fame Member age_master's Avatar
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    Malinga.
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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    Obviously none of the other posters have heard of DS De Silva (or Somachandra De Silva).

    Unfortunately the ICC kept SL out of Test Cricket for so long that DS ended up playing only about 15 or 20 Tests before retiring, but he definitely was a worthy spinner and spoken with much awae and admiration by SL Fans who watched him play.

    I would say Malinga because of his age and recent success is being ranked as No.3, but I would want Malinga to be performing at this level for another 2 years at least before I could rank him over DS De Silva. DS was IIRC a leg spinner and had considerable success.

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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Ravi. Because he was good, and he's our fast bowling coach at my club.

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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    Ravi. Because he was good, and he's our fast bowling coach at my club.
    I would say it would be a tough choice between Ravi Ratnayake, Rumesh Ranayake and Ashantha De Mel for Sri Lanka's No.5 .

    ie Murali , Vaas, then DS De Silva or Malinga either 3 and 4 , followed by no.5 (any of those three). Thats my personal opinon.

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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    In fact in all honesty I would say Ashantha De Mel or Rumesh Ratnayake would easily take the No.5 Bowler of All time for Sri Lanka ahead of Ravi Ratnayake.

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    International Debutant iamdavid's Avatar
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    Icon14 Good thread

    I think Zoyza was more talented than any of the others on that list but upto now his record dosent do him justice, can partially be put down to injuries and inconsistent selection I suppose...But he's still only 29 hopefully he can put things right.

    I believe Wickramasinghe is somewhat under-rated, his record is very, very modest. But although he was never very penetrative he performed a difficult job for the team and really made the most of what talent he had, helped to somewhat hide the fact that Sri Lanka's bowling had no depth at all during the 1990's because he was so reliable.

    Fernando deserves a mention, big, strong young lad who can put it up their noses and (on occasions) actually bowls very inteligently aswell, although when he's bad he's really terrible.
    But it has to be Malinga for me really, he just gives Sri Lanka another dimension that they have never experienced before with his pace and unpredictability. He is a bowler who when he does get it right can be unstopable and he has improved alot since he first emerged against Australia. However it will be interesting to see how he handles things when Vaas and Murali do eventually move on and he assumes the role of attack leader, rather than the young tearaway trying to knock a few poles out before the big-boys come on.

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    I would regard Rumesh followed closely by Malinga, never seen Ds bowl but heard he would have walked into the current side as a 2nd spinner.

    Zoyza unlucky he could have been very good injuries and non selection. Wiickramasinge was a honest medium pacer just like Pushpakumara. He did what was asked didnt really have many wicket taking delevires in fact didnt pick up 1 wicket in 96 world cup!

    But i remember him destroying pakistan top order in one game he ended up with 5 fer.

    But Fernando is ahead of him because Dilhara posses more wicket taking delevieries ie the yorker and slower bowl something Wickramasinge never had. This is because in the 90s all we needed was a guy to bowl good steady 5 or 6 overs then we can bring on our band of spinners on that note Kumar Darmasena was an underated perofermer specially at one day level.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Laaasith Maaalinga will almost certainly be so in time (probably not long), and TBH would probably be if he were to sling his arm off tomorrow.

    Dilhara Fernando is a horrible abomination to me, TBH, everything I don't want in a seam-bowler. No-balls by the truckload, mostly doesn't have a clue where it's going, doesn't really offer that much other than speed... but with that one redeeming feature, that slower-ball, that keeps him in the reckoning seemingly eternally.

    Me, I always liked Nuwan Zoysa. From 1998 (when the two of them missed the England tour through injury and I was told "with Sri Lanka missing their best two seam-bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa through injury") I always wanted to see the two left-armers opening the bowling. Unfortunately, Zoysa has never achieved any consistency, and while Vaas certainly hasn't either his best is better than the best of virtually any seamer. The same has never applied to Zoysa. Why, I don't know - I'd like to think it's because he maybe hasn't put in the work he might have, but maybe he's just not as good as I've always thought he was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamdavid View Post
    I think Zoyza was more talented than any of the others on that list but upto now his record dosent do him justice, can partially be put down to injuries and inconsistent selection I suppose...But he's still only 29 hopefully he can put things right.

    I believe Wickramasinghe is somewhat under-rated, his record is very, very modest. But although he was never very penetrative he performed a difficult job for the team and really made the most of what talent he had, helped to somewhat hide the fact that Sri Lanka's bowling had no depth at all during the 1990's because he was so reliable.
    I liked Wickremasinghe as well as Zoysa, and think it's a shame he perhaps didn't get the credit he deserved. Good action and usually good accuracy, if not a great deal of penetration on the mostly non-seam-friendly surfaces he played on.
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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    I was almost going to boycott this thread due to the nearly unforgiveable omission of Graeme Labrooy, but...

    From what I've read, Somachandra Da Silva might just get the nod for me, another of those players of whom it would have been great to see what they might have achieved at Test level with more opportunities.
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    Hall of Fame Member chaminda_00's Avatar
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    Interesting comments so far in this thread. It doesn't surprise me that many people so far have gone with Malinga. But its nice to see anyone who has read or heard anything about Somachandra De Silva has rated him higher. Personally i think Malinga is still a fair way behind De Silva at his best and what he was for most of his career. But like other i reckon Malinga has done enough to up ahead of the rest.

    The other interesting thing to how much people seem to rate Zoysa and Dilhara, in particular Zoysa. I guess it due to the fact that if you saw Zoysa at his best or near his best, he would go down as one of those lost talents. Yeah injury stuffed up his career but not as bad as De Mel and Rumesh.

    For me this would be my top 10:

    1. Muraliatharan
    2. Vaas
    3. DS De Silva
    4. Malinga
    5. Rumesh
    6. Zoysa
    7. Ravi
    8. Dilhara
    9. De Mel
    10. Wickramasinghe

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    I think I'd personally have Asantha De Mel a little higher but other than that it's hard to argue with that list.

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