India vs Sri Lanka: Muralitharan holds youngsters responsible for Islanders' string of poor performances
Muttiah Muralitharan blamed non-performing Sri Lanka youngsters and an unsettled combination for Sri Lankan cricket team's woes in recent times
Kolkata: Muttiah Muralitharan on Thursday blamed non-performing youngsters and an unsettled combination for Sri Lankan cricket team's woes in recent times.
The Lankan cricket is in deep crisis at the moment after losing an ODI series to minnows Zimbabwe at home for the first time in their history.
For the 11th-ranked Zimbabwe, it was also their first overseas triumph in eight years as Angelo Mathews stepped down as captain from all the three formats.
"We lost in the Zimbabwe series for the first time ever in Sri Lanka that means we're not performing well," Murali, who is the spin bowling consultant of Bengal's Vision 2020 programme, said.
"We have the talent but at the moment a lot of senior players are retired. The younger players are not performing well. Too many are playing and every time the team is changed," he rued.
At stumps on the second day of first Test in Galle, Sri Lanka were 154 for five in reply to India's mammoth 600 with centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara.
"India will have a better opportunity than Sri Lanka this time. The wicket there is good for batting in the first two days then it starts to spin... So always who bats first have a better chance of winning," Murali said.
Murali felt R Ashwin will do well in his 50th Test
"He's a very good bowler and he will do well in this wicket. Also they have Jadeja as the spinner so third, fourth and fifth day onwards spinners will play a vital role in this Test."
Captain Rangana Herath had to settle for 1/159 in the first innings as Murali credited the Indian batsmen.
"Wicket didn't help much and India batted well on the first two days," he said.
India vs South Africa: Pujara and Rahane contribute with 50s, defiant Elgar keeps Proteas in the hunt
Elgar (46 batting off 121 balls) took some nasty blows off deliveries that spat off the cracks but kept his team on course at 118 for 2 in pursuit of a tricky 240-run target set by India in the wake of a solid century-plus partnership from the under-fire duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara have been a headache for us, says Keegan Petersen
India lost both their openers cheaply once again in the second innings but Pujara (9) and Kohli (14) thereafter took charge of the proceedings
Not just Rahane and Pujara, Team India management, selectors must also take blame for South Africa debacle
Despite the prolonged lean run, team management and selectors have been indecisive in finding solutions to middle-order muddle.