Once Sri Lanka get their act together:
A force to be reckoned with at the World Cup- Michael Tissera
Former Sri Lanka cricket captain and administrator Michael Tissera is
confident that the present lot of cricketers representing the country at
the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be a force to be
reckoned with once they get their act together.
Tissera, a most respected cricket personality in the country today,
and the Manager of the 2007 World Cup team in the West Indies when
Mahela Jayawardene was the captain, feels that representing the country
in a World Cup is something different than a normal series and he was
confident that the players will give their best.
He said that the last ODI against New Zealand which the Lankans won,
will boost the team’s confidence although losing the Test and ODI
After a seven back- to-back ODI series against New Zealand, the
Lankans will take on the Kiwis for the eighth consecutive time on
February 14 in their real testing game in the World Cup opening match at
the Hagley Park in Christchurch.
“There were speculations over the combination of the Sri Lankan team.
Specially as to who is going to open the innings with Dilshan.
Thirimanne seems to be good. The Sri Lankans were sans their main strike
bowler Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath.
Subject to fitness if Malinga comes into the side it should be an
added advantage to the side and will make a big difference With only the
three seniors Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillekeratne
Dilshan among the runs the middle order looks extremely brittle.
The Lankans will have to sort out this aspect of the batting. Skipper
Angelo Mathews who is not at his best form along with Lahiru Thirimanne,
Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera will have to bat with more
determination if the side is to make much headway in the tournament,”
However, the big difference between the two sides is the
determination of the New Zealand fielding. They dive at everything like
rugby players and bring off spectacular catches and stops to save lot of
The Kiwis fielding can put tremendous pressure on the batsmen while
running between the wickets. With rugby being their number one sport, it
was quite apparent that most of the players are strong and ready to
Lanka still to beat India in a Test in India
Michael Tissera was the first Sri Lankan Captain (then Ceylon) to
record the first two unofficial Test wins against Pakistan in 1964 at
the P. Sara Oval and thereafter India in India 1965.
Although Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in Pakistan in 1995 under Arjuna
Ranatunga in an official Test series (2-1) when Rameez Raja led the
Pakistanis, they are still to beat India in an official Test series in
He further said that provided Sri Lanka gets the right combination
they should win the February 14th game against New Zealand. The pitch
preparations will also be a crucial factor in the first game, he added.
Tissera was a member of the first Sri Lanka World Cup cricket team
when it was staged in England in 1975, June. The Championship was
sponsored by Prudential Assurance and the tournament was named as the
Prudential World Cup.
Lankans lose to Australia
Six Test teams - England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and
West Indies (full ICC members). Sri Lanka and East Africa (Associate
members) participated. After losing badly to the mighty West Indians in
the first game, Sri Lanka gave a spirited display against Australia. The
matches were confined to 60 overs per side with players attired in white
clothing and the ‘red’ ball in operation without protective gear. Sri
Lanka was captained by Anura Tennekoon and the Aussies were led by Ian
Australia batted first and scored 329 for 5 in their 60 overs. Sri
Lanka in their run chase were cruising along till thunderbolts from Jeff
Thomson struck opening Sunil Wettimuny (53) on his shin and Duleep
Mendis (32) being hit on the head, both had to retire hurt. Tissera
stood firm to strike an exquisite 52 in Sri Lanka final tally of 276 for
6 in their 60 overs.