Batting maestro Sangakkara blames poor first-class system for batting debacles

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka batting legend Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka batting legend and former Captain Kumar Sangakkara has blamed SL’s low quality domestic first-class cricket system for the batting debacles experienced in the two Tests against England (ENG).

“If you just talk about these two Test matches it was pretty much obvious what you stated in terms of the lack of batting quality, decision-making, organisation in terms of plans in two crucial innings – the first innings of the first Test and the second innings of the second Test – that really put SL in a position to lose those games,” said Sangakkara talking to Sky sports cricket.

“Why that has been happening especially now and why the cracks are widening and we see it more obviously than we did before is the deeper layers that is in the system itself of our first-class cricket where our quality is low. We have enough talent and potential, but it is not been refined into ability and that of course means it won’t convert into measurable performances on the international stage,” he said.

Speaking of the strengths ENG brought into the series Sangakkara said: “Starting from the first Test you could see that they were well organised. They had planned very well, they had worked on techniques in terms of how to counteract the turning ball, they had added new strokes to their repertoire and practiced them so that they were second nature to them in terms of the sweeps, the paddles, the reverse sweeps. Playing with the right angle of the bat in terms of whether the ball is turning in or away from you and also in terms of the bowling, especially their fast bowling.”

“They had a very set plan as to how they were going to attack the SL batsmen or how to keep them tied down. Around them they had spinners who bowled enough balls in the areas that mattered against a SL side that was very much looking like novices in terms of understanding the hard graft needed to win Test matches. In ENG’s terms they were definitely the better prepared side and in the context of performances Joe Root stood head and shoulders and virtually carried the team in terms of the runs that he scored, but everyone around him at one point or another contributed telling scores, telling wickets, partnerships that really put them in command.”

Questioned how impressed he was with Joe Root’s batting, Sangakkara said, “He’s been extraordinary. The improvement that he has shown over the last year and a half has to be deeply appreciated. He’s worked very, very hard and if you really look at him he’s got a very basic game plan. He’s got a great foundation in terms of control of hands, control of back, hip, back shoulder, the alignment of his body and bat to the line of the ball is where he wants to hit is beautiful to watch. 

“He settles into this tempo where he is never looking as if he is in trouble, he never gets tied down on one side for too long. He is rotating strike with singles, he is sweeping, reverse sweeping and his decision making was absolutely spot on. For everyone whose watched or played in this Test match, Root would be the example to follow as batsman to understand how to first prepare, then work hard in the nets and then execute out in the middle.”



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