The 2-Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka didn’t live up to the expectations. Considering that South Africa had won their last series in this country, a close encounter was expected. But that didn’t happen and we saw a rather one-sided contest with Sri Lanka romping home to a convincing 2-0 victory.
Of late, the Sri Lanka cricket team has been going thourgh some really tough times. The greats like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have retired recently and their replacements are still trying to find their feet in Test cricket. Also they are having a tough time dealing with on-field and off-field issues.
Their performance in the recently concluded Test series against South Africa should inspire some confidence in the unit. They were without their regular captain, Dinesh Chandimal, yet they were able to perform beyond everyone's expectations. However, there are certain things to be taken note of going ahead and this series did give some food for thought to the cricket fans.
Here then, are the 5 big take-aways from this 2-match Test series:
#5. Lanka getting back on track
The Sri Lankans have been facing a torrid time in the last couple of years but, at least, in Test cricket, some green shoots of recovery are starting to appear. Their 2-0 victory over Pakistan in UAE and a rather spirited performance in West Indies on seamer-friendly conditions testifies to the renewal.
What is most impressive is the fact that they have managed to withstand the unavailability of some key players while coming up with good performances in the last three Tests. They now have a bowling attack that is capable of performing well in both conditions.
Their seamers made an impact in West Indies and the spinners rose to the occasion at home. This is a good sign for a team that which is starting to emerge from a transition phase.
While it is too early to sing praises in honor of the Lankan spin bowling attack apart from Rangana Herath, both Dilruwan Perera and Akila Dananjaya have done all that was needed to prove they are a worthy option in home conditions. Whether they can maintain consistency remains to be seen.