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jj009 Offline

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22.08.2019 03:05
over the past two weeks, it was Sri Lanka who emerged the stronger, as Australias spinners kept on tryin Antworten

Dimuth Karunaratnes momentary doze on the batting crease and Peter Nevills sharp response to stump him, released a torrent of sanctimony familiar to anyone who has read much about the Olympics these past two weeks. The spirit of cricket had been trampled on by Nevills alertness, reinforcing Australias reputation as a team up to no good - or so the opinion went.Nevermind that Karunaratne had ignored the fact the ball isnt dead until it has returned to the bowler, or that wicketkeepers the world over are perpetually trying to catch a batsman out in this way and Nevill was a rare one to succeed. The moment drew out a chorus of tut-tutting that only really abated when Adam Gilchrist emerged to tweet the following: Nothing unethical about this one. Just a little bit lazy by batsman.Later, an instance was found where Darren Lehmann had been dismissed in more or less the same manner by Romesh Kaluwitharana in a 1996 ODI. A little like Mankading, Nevills stumping provided another instance where batsmen should be more conscious of checking their privilege.There was another cricketing point to the farrago, one of far greater import to Australia and borne out further as the fourth day at the SSC went on. If it was going to take an alert Nevills moment of opportunism to manufacture a wicket for the spinners on a turning and deteriorating pitch, then the tourists were going to be waiting a long time to get through Sri Lankas batting. How true this turned out to be, as Kaushal Silva and Dinesh Chandimal set about building a handsome lead.Irrespective of the result in this match, Australias cricketers, coaches and selectors were hoping to see signs of progress over five days, especially in the departments of batting and spin bowling. While Mitchell Starc has been the outstanding Australian performer in the series, and Josh Hazlewood has offered sturdy support, pace was always something of a sideshow in these climes. The greater onus was on the batsmen to build partnerships and big scores, and the spinners to take wickets through unrelenting pressure on helpful surfaces.The inclusion of Shaun Marsh and the batting evolution of the captain Steven Smith allowed for the former to occur at least in part on days one and two. Their partnership was something for the top six and their mentors to take home to Australia with a sense that at least two players had been able to show the way - even if the rest failed to capitalise on it.But the same could not be said for Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland when their turn came to exert an influence on the match. Rather than coming into their own on the same pitch Rangana Herath was able to use to harvest six wickets, Lyon and Holland were frustrated at length by impish Sri Lankan batting and their own inability to find the consistency required of spinners against opponents raised on a steady diet of slow bowling.Lyon and Holland are both bowlers capable of delivering high quality stuff - their best offerings are arguably more potent than those of Herath, being whirred down from greater heights and so able to gain greater bounce while also being loaded with plenty of revolutions. However the ability to land ball after ball in the same small area of the pitch while close-in fielders sweat on batting errors is what counts most in Asia, and on that count both have been found wanting.For this, a large degree of credit needs to go to Sri Lanka, who have manipulated fields by canny use of sweep shots and heaves over the top at well-chosen moments. As their latest centurion Kaushal Silva put it: We were positive. When you play on this kind of a wicket you need to manoeuvre the fielders around, you cant have fielders in catching positions. Our guys played shots and reverse swept so they had to put a fielder there. Those are the little things you need to do when batting, especially the sweep we did it quite often in the series, so that helped us to move the fielders so that they had to do something different which is not their plan.Nevertheless, Lyon and Holland needed to be able to counter with their own consistency, and a strong self-belief to stick at the task. Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill has had a ringside seat to this contest, and agreed that neither Lyon nor Holland has been allowed to get into any sort of comfortable groove. Our spinners have done their best to adapt as best they can and I think its been an admirable effort, but their batsmen have played spin exceptionally well and made it very hard for a spinner to settle, he said. Theyve swept really well, used their feet well, so a lot of credits got to go to their batsmen.What will be most troubling for Lehmann, Smith and the selection chairman Rod Marsh is the fact that day four in Colombo was a much better opportunity for Lyon and Holland to influence the outcome than any other juncture of the series. Certainly it was a world away from the scenario they faced in Galle, when a large first innings lead had been conceded. This time around the game was finally balanced entering the second innings, with the narrative to be written by the team that took the initiative through skill and mental sharpness.But rather than Lyon and Holland making use of the lessons they have learned over the past two weeks, it was Sri Lanka who emerged the stronger, as Australias spinners kept on trying to make adjustments in terms of pace, length and arm path. Both men landed the occasional delivery in the perfect spot, eliciting sharp turn and bounce. But they did not do so often enough to corner their opponents, and when the wickets did start to come later in the day, Sri Lankas lead had already assumed proportions never successfully chased on this ground. These belated breakthroughs were arguably serving more to open the game up for the hosts than the visitors - the opposite of what Australia had hoped for.Having made his debut in Sri Lanka five years ago, Lyon is now the most senior member of the Australian team in terms of Test matches played. He is also the song master, entrusted with the job of belting out Underneath the Southern Cross after Test match victories. It will be a source of enormous frustration for him that he has not been able to emerge as a decisive force in this series, and cause for the selectors to ponder the right combination to take to India next year.When the review of Australias defeat is undertaken as the chief executive James Sutherland has promised, more time will be spent analysing Lyons failure to perform as the lead strike bowler on tour than on an opportunistic stumping effected by an aware wicketkeeper. It should be, anyway. Darius Leonard Colts Jersey . JOHNS, N. Ben Banogu Womens Jersey . 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