by Sunil Thenabadu
( September 13, 2017, Brisbane, Sri Lanka Guardian) Despite the whitewash 5-0 by India in the ODI series including a discourteous shock in the fourth ODI when hosts were crushed to the heaviest conquering at home in One Day International cricket in the fourth ODI of the bilateral series against India the performance in the only T/20 definitely redeemed a little of the lost pride. Unfortunately, the close scuffle in the concluding shortest format was not given any publicity in local and foreign media.
The much-needed variety to the composition to our team by including Dasun Chanaka, Isuru Udana,Ashen Priyangana and Seekkuge Prasanna paid off instantly resulting for the first time India been given several nervous moments before winning with only four balls to spare. The composition of the team helped our tail to wag strongly unlike in earlier ODI’s. In the event our senior players contributed more the result would have been greatly different. The critics however who were so arrogant towards us were dumbfounded. If these changes were made in the ODI’s our cricket catastrophe could have been evaded.
It is significant to reveal that the passionate fans did flock to the R Premadasa International stadium, Island’s most iconic cricket ground which conventionally fills with the accustomed spectacle with a near a capacity crowd. As the match was so closely contested not a single spectator did leave the stand until the end which of course was a superior symbol.
However this period was one of our most pathetic performances by our national team since elevated to Test status. It is time we all including the players and administrators should forget and prepare for the forthcoming tour to Abu Dhabi where two Tests, 5 ODI’s and 3 T.20’s are to be played against Pakistan beginning on 29th September. It would be the avid hope of everyone that the new selection committee would not bungle when the composition of the teams are finalised. The abrupt changes made for the final T/20 should be prolonged with.