Sri Lanka’s convincing victories in the two T20 matches at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore should not obscure the serious shortcomings displayed in the field. I list them in point-form.
ONE: The running between the wicket was appalling and on occasions suicidal. If Pakistani’s fielders (Shadab Khan excepted) had not been equally appalling the results would have been worse. For instance, Bhanuka Rajapaksa would have been out 1/4th of the way through his scintillating innings in ODI Two. Better fielding sides such as Australia will dent SL’s batting severely if such crazy running is pursued.
TWO: Though I am captivated by Lakshan Sandakan’s ebullience as person, he bowled badly in ODI Two and was not impressive in Match One either. There were four wides delivered during Match Two. Four! There were also half-pitch balls.
THREE: Minod Bhanuka, the keeper, was impressive behind the stumps and in his judgment of a prospective lbw; but his quick reaction when a suicidal run was attempted by a Pakistani batsman bore no fruit because he shied the ball at the stumps hurriedly … and missed. That is, he did not indulge in a measured under-arm throw at knee-height (which first slip Gunathilaka could have caught if it missed the stumps). All our players must watch videos of Jonty Rhodes or those presenting Shadab Khan’s efforts.
FOUR: Sri Lanka must review its policy of having three bunnies batting at No 9, 10 and 11. They were not called on to shore up the score in the two matches thus far (in part because of Dasun Shanaka’s batting at the death); but this shortcoming is a luxury).