Scaling a long engulfing barrier like a wafting shaft from virtual nothingness to third spot in the World Test Championship standings is a truly rollercoaster comeback success story. That it was mounted on comprehensive triumphs over Australia, a dominant strong arm in the game, and a rampant Pakistan in squaring up home series second Test wins was the upswing to that turnaround from a long whipping boys image.
Indeed, the recent coming from behind successes of resounding triumphs over Australia and Pakistan to winning the respective second of the 2-off series matches to ascending the high road has marked a new chapter in that long and arduous journey to mounting the high road of Test cricket. That it has been the ultimate pay off in a vibrancy of the country’s grassroots youth resources on which that uphill drive was mounted by the game’s establishment Sri Lanka Cricket is the ecstasy from the agony of undeterred resolve.
A significant factor to that pay off from looking down the barrel is the sweat and effort put into Sri Lanka Cricket’s meticulous long term development drive at getting test cricket back on track. That it has been a highly challenging task that required much administrative expertise, resolve and patience that has seen the fruits of the seeds sowed is reflected by a largely young band of players who have begun to gel in good measure. It is a result that has come from a drive that stop started. The country’s cricket was dogged by mostly the downs with hardly any ups to talk about in terms of results. But when it seemed those expectations were a distant dream that a new band of players have emerged with a spring in their steps is a thumbs up positive side.
The positivity to those great expectations is reflected by the gall of a young shoot of performers from specialist batsmen to bowlers and utility players with potential all-round depth. They are the flagship of the new generation keyed up to taking Sri Lanka to the next level.
This success story of going the distance of course has much to do with the coaching expertise. It was a process that passed through the hands of many foreign head coaches while the own home grown Chandika Hathurusinghe was put on the job. After much juggling the countdown brought South African Mickey Arthur along but although there were certain positives on the way it fell short of the ultimate expectations. It has opened the doors to Englishman Chris Silverwood who has evidently instilled in the players the demanding verve to play attacking smart cricket. It is also relevant that several young players have emerged from the establishment’s national youth platform.