Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Aging Warriors in the Sri Lankan Team | Sanath Jayasuriya & Muttiah Muralitharan


Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan are the most senior members of the Sri Lankan team. They were part of the Ranatunga outfit that took the Sri Lankans from minnow status to one of the powerhouses in international cricket. But they are aging fast at 39 and 36 years respectively, and it needs to be seen how Sri Lanka will handle their retirements.

Murali has already decided to make the 2011 World Cup his final goobye. Since it will be played in the Indian sub-continent, it would be a good place for him to go out with a bang. Having now claimed the highest number of wickets in one-dayersTests, there are few records left for him to break. and

I guess he could continue playing if he is still in good health, but the problem is that everytime he has a slump in form, people will take it as a sign of decline with age, and he will be under pressure. Sri Lanka does not have the strength to accomplish any great feats in Test cricket that would necessitate Murali hanging around.

Sri Lanka, being much stronger in ODIs than Tests, it is possible that Murali will go Jayasuriya’s route of a Test retirement first. With Mendis around, it won’t be as easy to grab the lion’s share of wickets any longer, and so the pace of wicket-taking will fall. In addition, longer tours against the bigger Test nations will prove gruelling.

Jayasuriya is also likely to try to stick around for the 2011 World Cup finals, but he has not made any commitment or expressed interest. AFAIK, he is taking it one match at a time. Sri Lanka has few talented and destructive batsmen as him. So his place is safe for the time being.

Since he retired from Tests, Jayasuriya only has limited overs achievements ahead of him. As far as individual records go, he is way behind Sachin Tendulkar, so perhaps the 2011 World Cup is the only thing left for him. Sri Lanka do have a good chance at it (if they can reverse the current slump), but South Africa and India could crash that party.

[Photos remixed from photo taken by Tony Patterson (license) and photo taken by S J Jagadeesh (license)]

Thanks to : KRIDAYA BLOG

1 comment:

Krish said...

Nice to see you liked the article, Sujan

Regards
Krishna

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