26 January 2012

Thank you Dilshan!

When Tillakeratne Dilshan was conferred the captaincy of the Sri Lankan cricket team, Kumar Sangakkara the outgoing captain said that his successor will probably come up with some surprising decisions and noted that Dilshan had a way of ‘making things happen’.  This is true.  Some of his decisions surprised, yes, and he did make things happen at time.
Dilshan had his work cut out for him.  The poor record he has to show since he took over can certainly be attributed in part to skill-lack in skippering, but one must take into account the fact that he took the job without the two men who were instrumental in Sri Lanka’s success over the past 15 years, Vaas and Murali.  For all the great batsmen that we’ve had, winning text matches involves bowling out the opposition twice.  What Vaas and Murali have done in ODIs and Tests is a major part of our success story.  Dilshan began without both. 
Leadership, however, is about getting the best out of the human resources one has.  For all his enthusiasm and flamboyance, Dilshan cannot be said to have squeezed the best out of his team.  In hindsight it might have been better to appoint Angelo Matthews instead, but for reasons best known to the then selectors, Dilshan was given the job.  Looking back it is easy to say that he was never captaincy material.  Perhaps he himself didn’t know he was not, but he did back himself and did things his way.   It didn’t work and maybe it could never work anyway.  What’s important is that Dilshan took on the challenge.
Dilshan never said ‘no’.  When it was thought he fitted best in the middle order, he went in and did his best. When asked to open, he opened. When asked to keep wickets, he did that.  When asked to bowl, he broke partnerships.  He entertained.  He contributed to the team and the game.  One doesn’t have to elaborate on the ‘Dilscoop’.  He made things happen.  He was not his brilliant best, but he was no more erratic than he was before 2009, his watershed year when he scored 11 international hundred and won the World Twenty20 Player of the Series prize.
Now, as just another team player and unburned of captaincy, we might see him flourish once again.  A Test average of 40.89 (at a 65.94 strike rate) for a player of his caliber is nothing short of wonderful.  With close to 6000 runs in the ODI format at a strike rate of 87.03, the man has a lot of runs still in him, it is clear. 
He didn’t do a great job as captain and that’s not only due to lack of personnel.  He was and is still a great player. Let us thank for taking on a thankless job at a thankless time.  Let us wish him well.


Anonymous said...

Dilly You did the job no one wanted and and make your country proud and not tossing over liquor barons money.
Well done friend .
Cricket In Sri Lnaka wont succeed with this political and commission bias cricket committedotingt