Australia uncharacteristically fail to drive home their advantage

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Touching gloves shows you're real batsmenSri Lanka have got two really top drawer batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, and both have scored hundreds in this second Test. That’s more top-drawer batsmen than most teams have, but unfortunately Australia aren’t most teams. Andrew Symonds is making up the numbers a bit, but they’re otherwise pretty handy in their top seven.

This may be just as well, because while they are to all intents and purposes battering Sri Lanka, they’re actually making rather heavy weather of bowling their opponents out in the second innings. Sri Lanka are chasing a ludicrous 507 for victory, but at 247-3, it’s not actually impossible.

They might lose a couple of early wickets tomorrow and be bowled out for 300, but Australia wouldn’t have wanted them to even get this close. That is quite resolutely not the Australian way.

We stand by our view that this Australian side will struggle in tougher matches abroad. The batsmen have had the luxury of setting the tone in both these Tests, but it’s a totally different approach when you come out to bat and you’re miles behind before you’ve even started. Not many Australian batsmen have faced that in Tests.

And that might happen – this Australian bowling attack may well land their batsmen in the odd hole from time to time. It’s all well and good bowling a side out for 300 or 400 when they need 500 to win, but in reality, it’s not good enough, whatever the pitch is like.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. 260 runs in a day? They made that in 20 overs in South Africa. Geoff Boycott could chase 260 in a day, partnered by his mum.

  2. Is wrong Uncle J Rod, that you’re talking as if English were your second language!

    Are you a Siril in disguise?

    I would love it, if Sanath hit a 60 ball 100, and Sangakkara continued on to 250*

    I shall be dreaming of a Sri Lankan victory tonight..

  3. Yes. Shoddy work Australia. Just not good enough.

    Shame that Mahela went, as we all know that he and Sangakkara can bat forever together. But it was still a nicer-than-expected scoreline to wake up to this morning. COME ON SRI LANKA!

  4. Australia have been unexpectedly overcome with compassion. I saw Brett Lee twice patting Sri Lankans on the shoulder in commiseration, after getting them out.

    In actual fact, Ponting knew Lee wanted the afternoon off to go swimming, and Jacques was hoping for three successive hundreds.

    some captains look after their teams.

  5. And Sri Lanka were bowled out for 410. Cracking finish, though. They really looked in with a chance until Sangakkara got caught off his shoulder. The Aussies never looked like they were going to get Malinga out and he probably could have got at least fifty with a less slog-happy partner than Murali.

  6. 410. Far closer than I expected, and finally a bit of respect regained on what was a real nightmare mini-tour.

    Notable notes:

    1. Jayasuriya failing again. Well, by his standards, anyway. Looks like we’re stuck with Tharanga and Vandort now. Thankfully, both could still become very fine batsmen.

    2. Sangakkara. If only he wasn’t injured for the first Test!

    3. Murali. A pity not to see him get his wickets. Still, England up next, so it shouldn’t take too long.

    4. Atapattu. Another one bites the dust. A fine servant to Sri Lankan cricket. Big fan of Jim Henson.

    5. Jaques. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    6. SL bowling. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything positive about it right now.

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