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Thread: Even Bermuda game was more important than Aus game - Sangakkara

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    Even Bermuda game was more important than Aus game - Sangakkara

    Tuesday's match against NZ is our crunch game
    By Kumar Sangakkara
    Thursday, April 19, 2007


    During the last few days there has been a lot written and spoken in the media regarding our selection for the Australia game. Much of the analysis has been ill-informed, offered without great thought or indeed understanding of the Sri Lanka team.

    Consequently, many of the critics have been wide off the mark. Personally, I'm amazed that it stirred up so much controversy, though we respect the fact that everyone is entitled to his own opinion.

    Nearly all the top cricket-playing nations have rotation policies that they put into action during heavily congested schedules. Australia, for example, regularly rests its senior players for group matches once (and sometimes before) its qualification has been confirmed.

    What then is different between resting players in the CB Series or the World Cup? I question the double standards that are being applied here.

    Will some of the television pundits now calling for ICC intervention do the same when Ricky Ponting next rests a strike bowler? I doubt it. Some of the critics appear to think that the Australia game was our most important game in the tournament.

    Why just because we were playing Australia? That's nonsense. The simple fact was it was the least important game of our World Cup. Even the Bermuda game was more important.
    We are here to win the World Cup. Everything we do is focused on that goal. That was our focus before the tournament, and that is our ultimate focus right now.

    We don't care about morale-boosting victories. We care about making sure we are completely ready and properly prepared when a crunch game comes along. The Australia game was not a crunch game. The semi-final against New Zealand on Tuesday is.

    We rested Murali, Vaasy and Malinga in the best interests of the individuals and the team. We had to make sure they were at peak fitness and completely rested when we start on Tuesday in Jamaica. All three especially Murali and Malinga have minor niggles that benefited from their not playing. We are now confident that all three will be in the best possible physical shape they could be on Tuesday.

    Furthermore, Murali and Vaasy are the lynchpins of our bowling attack. They have been for years and they remain so in this tournament albeit with good support from Malinga, Dilhara and Farveez. True, they may have played many games against Australia during their long careers, but Sri Lanka has not played Australia in the last 14 months a long time in international cricket. Giving Australia's batters a free look-in was not to our advantage if we meet again.

    The argument against resting key players centers on the need to keep up the so-called winning momentum. True, momentum can be important during times when self-belief is fragile. However, our confidence is high. We all know that we have the ability to beat Australia, and we have the self-belief and mental toughness to perform in crunch situations. We don't need reassurance. Australia is a good team, but far from unbeatable.

    Indeed, even with our three best bowlers on the sidelines we know we could (should) have defeated Australia. Unfortunately, our batting let us down and we were punished for mistakes at the start and end of our innings. You can't afford to do that against the Aussies. Had we scored 30-40 more runs as we should have done Australia would have struggled. All the team understood our thinking and we went into that game looking for a win.

    I am sure the debate will rumble on. We, though, are concentrating on the next challenge against New Zealand, a tough opponent for a semi-final. We have battled together many times in the recent past and there are no secrets between us anymore.

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    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    I've addressed nearly all those points in the Super 8 thread and I've lost alot respect for Sangakkara with that article. Furthermore, I don't believe for a second they were rested for injury concerns, I just wish they'd be honest and say it was a tactical decision to sheild the players and I'd be fine with that although he does allude to it in that article. And they were rested for tactical reasons as outline by their head selector as noted here.

    Anyways, I've had enough of this topic, all I'll say is that I'll be going for New Zealand come next week.
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    Yeah all I can say is if they beat us then I hope Australia absoluted murder them in the final.

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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    I think Sanga's comments have been deliberately taken out of context here by the reporter to stir controversy .

    ** Tip for Shehan wije - Mate welcome to this forum , but can I ask that you stop creating a lot of mischievous threads ... - As a felow Lankan I am very appreciative of your contribution on this forum, but I am also concerned that you are trying hard to create threads that deliberately irritate the Aussies here, the purpose of which I cannot fathom ...or IMO they serve no purpose at all....Just my thoughts as a fellow Lankan who supports his Country like Mad but also wants the sporting nature of our country and people reflected here **


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    Quote Originally Posted by JASON View Post
    I think Sanga's comments have been deliberately taken out of context here by the reporter to stir controversy .

    ** Tip for Shehan wije - Mate welcome to this forum , but can I ask that you stop creating a lot of mischievous threads ... - As a felow Lankan I am very appreciative of your contribution on this forum, but I am also concerned that you are trying hard to create threads that deliberately irritate the Aussies here, the purpose of which I cannot fathom ...or IMO they serve no purpose at all....Just my thoughts as a fellow Lankan who supports his Country like Mad but also wants the sporting nature of our country and people reflected here **
    Sanga could not have been taken out of context - he wrote the article.

    I am puzzled - How can this be a mischevious thread - I posted his whole article, and highlighted what I thought was the key point in his article.

    Anyone is welcome to comment.

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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    What I meant was that Sanga does not say (or at least imply) that Bermuda game was more important than Australia game . If anything he means from a qualifying point of view Australia game was of no consequence as SL had already qualified.

    If indeed SL was not interested in this game, why then did they play number 1 batting line up ...and not consider resting those guys as well. Since there was Atapattu who could've played if SL did not consider this game to be important....


    I am not sure if I have made myself clear... anyway I hope you get my drift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JASON View Post

    1. What I meant was that Sanga does not say (or at least imply) that Bermuda game was more important than Australia game .

    2. If indeed SL was not interested in this game, why then did they play number 1 batting line up ...and not consider resting those guys as well. Since there was Atapattu who could've played if SL did not consider this game to be important....


    3. I am not sure if I have made myself clear... anyway I hope you get my drift.
    My responses to your 3 points:

    1. I assume that you actually read the whole article...did you miss the bolded para?

    Let me repeat Sanga's own words: "Why just because we were playing Australia? That's nonsense. The simple fact was it was the least important game of our World Cup. Even the Bermuda game was more important"

    This was the whole gist of my post. These bolded lines represent the thinking in the Lankan team on this matter - as logically expressed by Sanga. Not my thoughts, nor some dud reporter.

    2. For obvious reasons - to enable the entire Lankan batting line up to acquaint themselves with the Aus attack...just in case both teams meet again in the final. SL are banking on Tharanga comng off (refer team in Ire game), and Marvan is just backup. So if the call is to back Tharanga, then why wouldn't you play him against the Aus attack

    3. Sorry, do not get your drift....but happy to move on.

    My detailed thoughts on this issue was posted a few days back.

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    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    Jason, instead of trying to rip into new board members at least do the basic courtsey of reading the first post.

    Sangakkara,

    Why – just because we were playing Australia? That's nonsense. The simple fact was it was the least important game of our World Cup. Even the Bermuda game was more important.
    Which is just pure unadulterated nonsense. You can bet your arse Sangakkara wouldn't be so flippant and dismissive if they had won that game.

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    International Regular JBH001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JASON View Post
    ** Tip for Shehan wije - Mate welcome to this forum , but can I ask that you stop creating a lot of mischievous threads ... - As a felow Lankan I am very appreciative of your contribution on this forum, but I am also concerned that you are trying hard to create threads that deliberately irritate the Aussies here, the purpose of which I cannot fathom ...or IMO they serve no purpose at all....Just my thoughts as a fellow Lankan who supports his Country like Mad but also wants the sporting nature of our country and people reflected here **
    Jason, the dude did nothing wrong in posting those comments up. Granted Sanga's comments are not entirely truthful, and the decision to rest M and V was tactical as anyone can see - and not based on injuries/fatigue etc (if that were the case the Ireland game would have been the place to do it). Moreover, considering the pasting that NZ took at the hands of the Aussies I think that SL did the right thing, though it would be nice if they were honest about it instead of trying to dress it up. And if they get past the Kiwi's in the SF we shall see if it pays off - unlikely though I think that is.

    More to the point, even if he was trying to stir up the Aussies, so what and who cares?
    Give as good as you get - within reason and the rules of the forum at least, and Shehanwije was and is well within those restrictions.
    No need to worry about what a bunch of Aussies may say or think...

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    So What Reasons have NZ given For Resting Bond & Oram ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by legglancer12 View Post
    So What Reasons have NZ given For Resting Bond & Oram ?
    Both legitimate reasons, Oram had a recurrence of a heel injury while Bond had some sort of gastric ailment.
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    To be honest I agree entirely with Sangakkara and I can't see what all the fuss is about. The game was not the world cup final. It was absolutely MEANINGLESS. In fact it was preferable for Sri Lanka to lose rather than win, thereby avoiding South Africa in the Semi-finals, a team who beat their full strength line-up.

    My respect for Sangakkarra was already high but it has doubled again with this article. Meanwhile my respect for certain fickle fans and sections of the media is as low as it ever was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfpast_Yellow View Post
    To be honest I agree entirely with Sangakkara and I can't see what all the fuss is about. The game was not the world cup final. It was absolutely MEANINGLESS. In fact it was preferable for Sri Lanka to lose rather than win, thereby avoiding South Africa in the Semi-finals, a team who beat their full strength line-up.

    My respect for Sangakkarra was already high but it has doubled again with this article. Meanwhile my respect for certain fickle fans and sections of the media is as low as it ever was.

    Agree on your point re it was a meaningless match, with a lot to lose and not much to gain.

    But hard to understand your point re SL not wanting to play RSA...mmmm.
    In reality, it would have been far better for SL to have won against Aus, and then played RSA at St Lucia (low slow bouncing pitch on a small ground). But this Lankan team is made of an experienced bunch of players, well lead and managed. So with the decision to rest the players, the Lankans deliberately chose to play at Sabina Park (pacy, bounce, big ground) bcost they obviously have the confidence to take on NZ at this venue...and still be better prepared to play the finals if they get thru.

    NZ also followed the SL strategy and rested 2 key players from the game - as predicted in my post from a few days ago: http://forum.cricketweb.net/showpost...&postcount=198

    Only time will tell if this is a sound strategy for the Lankans to have taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    I've addressed nearly all those points in the Super 8 thread and I've lost alot respect for Sangakkara with that article. Furthermore, I don't believe for a second they were rested for injury concerns, I just wish they'd be honest and say it was a tactical decision to sheild the players and I'd be fine with that although he does allude to it in that article. And they were rested for tactical reasons as outline by their head selector as noted here.

    Anyways, I've had enough of this topic, all I'll say is that I'll be going for New Zealand come next week.
    i really don't see what the big deal is with what he is saying, he is admitting that it was a tactical decision for hiding them as well as resting them for niggling injuries in what would have been a tough match for both of them...the question is whether the plan, any plan would work against these super-confident superbly in-form aussies....the lankans are the only ones who look like they have some flair, an aura of unpredictability and the faintest of hopes of an upset though...

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    So its cool for NZ to rest Oram and Bond, but not for SL to rest Murali and Vaas?
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