A lot of the life seems to have gone out of Sri Lanka since Murali’s retirement. On the face of it, the team’s much the same, but there’s a wrinkling and lack of solidity about them. They’re like yesterday’s balloon.
They haven’t shown much heart according to Russell Arnold. Maybe that’s because they haven’t been paid. A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. Anything else saps the will a bit, no matter what other motivations you might have.
So where worse to play than South Africa, where dismissals are pleasingly frequent these days? All out for 180 isn’t even particularly shameful by current trends over there. It’s not good, but we’ve seen worse and South Africa aren’t threatening a giant lead.
When we say ‘giant lead’ we mean how many runs more than Sri Lanka they’ll score. We don’t mean an oversized leash for Will Jefferson.