Island Cricket

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

All Time Sri Lankan Test XI

Another direct hit by DamithS
(Originally published on

February 17th-21st in 1982 marked Sri Lankas first ever test. A game we sadly lost to the Englishmen, after fighting them, neck and tooth, for the first few days. All in all it was a good start to our test career as a country [video].

There have been many ups and downs in our short history in the game and currently Sri Lankan cricket is at its strongest. 106 players have pulled on our national colours and they have done a great service to our cricket in their own way.

I found this an opportune time to put my self in the shoes of the "Joker" and try some "Muppet Mastering" my self. My quest was to come up with the All time Sri Lankan Test XI. NO easy task but luckily I did have my trusty handbook, provided by SLC, to make my decisions easier.

SO without further adieu here is the team.
All Time Sri Lankan Test XI

1.Marvan Attapattu
2.Sanath Jayasuriya
3.Kumar Sanagakarra (+)
4.Aravinda de Silva
5.Mahela Jayawardane (C)
6.Roshan Mahanama
7.Chaminda Vass
8.Ravi Ratnayake
9.Nuwan Zoysa
10.Lasith Malinga

Marvi and Sana-
The third most successful opening pair in the HISTORY of the game, this was the easiest decision to make.One a dasher, the other,one of the most technically correct batsmen to come out of Sri Lanka. Also note the left and right hand combination.

Top Order
Kumar Sangakkara-
sangaThe pretender to the throne of "The best batsmen Sri Lanka has produced", Sangakkara has been in blistering form of late and currently has the highest batting avg for any batsmen from the country. A shoe-in to the all time team.

Aravinda de Silva-
Who better to follow the pretender to the throne than the uncontested king of Sri Lankan batting, MR De Silva himself. He is a match winner on his own. 20 test centuries of the highest order. Its not hard being a "Joker" after all !

Mahela Jayawardena-
There were a couple of other contenders for the No 5 spot. Arjuna, Gurusingha being the main candidates. Mahela got my vote as he has shown he is arguably the best captain Sri Lanka has produced and is a terrific test batsmen. With a triple century to his name as well, MJ will bat at 5 and captain the team.

Roshan Mahanama-
The current Sri Lankan team could well be wishing this man dint retire. He is a captains dream to bat at 6. Highly aggressive with lots of class Roshan is the ideal No6 batsmen for the All Time SL XI.

All Rounders
Chaminda Vass-
Vass is the most successful fast bowler the country has produced, so another shoe-in. With a test century to his name and with over 2000 test runs under his belt he is a genuine all-rounder.

Ravi Ratnayake-
ravi rat
Heres one from the vault. A genuine all-rounder in his own right,Ravi developed his game on the international stage that he even opened the batting for SL at a point. His BBI of 8-83 remained the best bowling figures by a Sri Lankan till a certain man from Kandy over took him. Avg 25 with the bat ant 35 with the ball he will be my first Change bowler.

Nuwan Soyza-

This might be a surprise inclusion to a few but I strongly believe that he was one of the best quicks SL has had. Sadly his career has been marred by a lot of injuries, but was something else when in full flow. He could even be a replacement for Vass when he retires in a years time as he has not even reached 30. Swing/Pace/Bounce- Soyza has it all.

Lasith Malinga-
He has been a sensation ever since he joined the team. With his unorthodox action he has fooled many a batsmen. Malinga has genuine pace and swing when in full flow and is arguably the fastest bowler the country has produced. MJ will do well to use in him short spells to make maximum use of "Slinga"

I dont think his name needs any justification. The greatest bowler in the history of the game. Enough said.
This side is well balanced with 6 top class batsmen backed up by 2 very good all rounders. Although even Soyza can chip in with the odd run or two. Murali has a test 50 as well!

The bowling is safe in the hands of Vass, Ravi, Soyza, Malinga and Murali. Possibly the best bowling attack ever assembled from Sri Lanka.

It has a great blend of experience backed up by youth. Captained by Mahela this team would easily give a hiding to any team that confronts them

So that as they say is it. This is IMO the best ALL time Sri Lankan Test XI.

Do you agree? Let me know your views on the team in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Add Ajanth insted of Nuwan Soyza. That is my conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I would replace Mahanama with Roy Dias who is a better batsman and equally good fielder.

Gayan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayan said...

I would consider Hashan replacing Mahanama on that slot. It will also get the left right combination going on with Mahela and Aravinda been right handed. Plus that position suits him well. But don’t take nothing away from Roshan. He is an all time great.
I am not surprise with nuwans inclusion. Because I blv he should be playing even now. Personally speaking I met nuwan in UK we had a bowling session blv me he can swing the bowl as he wants. He even taught me how to swing the bowl, after that I couldn’t blv my eyes the way I swung the bowl. I was privilege enough to face him, and it had everything pace, swing and bounce. He has a great technique as well when it comes to batting. so I would put him as a bowling all-rounder.

Anonymous said...

i agree, although ajantha hasn't played much i think he'll turn out with more success and should replace zoysa

Damith S. said...

Annon1>Mendis has made a great start to his career but an ALL TIME great ? Not yet mate.

Annon2>Roy would have def been a good choice. But my vote went for Roshan as he has more experience and has played against diff opposition and proved himself. Of course Roy dint get that chance but this is why I tipped Roshan over Roy (who was incidently my first cricket coach. And that man knows a thing or two!)

Gayan>IMO Roshan is a better bat than Hashan. Hence him being in the team but that left hand right hand combo does sound tempting !

Exactly ! We have wasted Nuwans talent completely !

Annon3>Mendis is good but not GREAT yet.

Sujan Rao (sanath189) said...

Fantastic team....

Happy to Roshan in the team, he was so dedicated to the team and was someone who played for the team and never looked for his personal records.... Team Approved

Rajith Wijepura said...

I think Arjuna Ranatunga need to be there. Because He is a very good batsman and also a cool captain. With his excellent ability to build an inning he have to be their. I Have no idea about the batting position. But he needs to be their.

Damith S. said...

Sujan> Thanks for the approval! I will now pass it along to Mahinda Ayia to see if he will agree.

Rajith>Yea I debated long and hard about leaving out the best captain out of SL. I rate him higher than MJ as a captain but I think its fair to say MJ beats Arjuna when it comes to the batting side of things. Hence the inclusion !

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about Ravi or Romesh Ratnayake ?, picture definitely not Ravi's. How can an all time test 11 not have Sidath, Arjuna & Roy. Ravi, Soyza and Malinga are definitely not the best test bowlers we had. Big changes needed in this 11. QM-Singapore

Anonymous said...

1. I will replace Roshan with Hashan. It will open more options to the team. Hashan is a very good closing fielder, reserve wicket keeper and batsmen with better test average than Roshan. I still feel Roshan is has a big weakness against swinging ball. Roy Dias is also a better option than Roshan here. I hope Roshan will not get angree (one of the best sportsmen we had in our cricket) with me.
2. Nuwan Zoysa is a debatable figure for me. In most of the test matches he didn't bowl 20 overs per day. There is a very good chance Ajantha Mendis will take this place but if it is too early then Rumesh Rathnayake is my man for it.

Damith S. said...

Annon> Its not that difficult to leave them out when I think about it from all angles.. Whilst ppl like Sidath, Roy have done a great job for Sri Lanka. I had to look at the opposition faced by them and put that all into context. Id have to have some sort of minimum qualification. Id look at at least 50 test innings played. Neither Roy, Sidath have done that. Both average less than 40. So ...

I justified the inclusion of MJ ahead of Arjuna already

I think Malinga's pace compliments Vass and Soyza's swing very well.

Annon2>Mendis is too early to be in an ALL TIME XI.

Roshan Hashan is a good argument. Maybe there will be a revamped XI from me later on :)

Anonymous said...

I Replace Number 6 Batsman to Hashan
Because he is have talent to handle the pressure very well.
his average also high batsman
Good fielder ,wicket Keeper

Anonymous said...

I think Hashan is the best number Six batsman sri lanka has ever produced. you take his test recored he averages 42.8511 test hundreds (6 in sri lanka,5 over seas)only sri lankan to get a hundred in South Africa... please do not embarass him.

Anonymous said...

well done. I 'd replace Nuwan with Mendis, as he is very injury riddled.

Anonymous said...

Roshan never batted at number six in his test please have your Records right.52 test matches (29.27)four hundres (only in sri lanka)
Not A Good Test Records.

Nadeesha said...

Roshan is my favorite batsman.Lovely to watch.Most stylish batsman SL ever produced...But I feel Hashan is the one for No:6.

Anonymous said...

This is my best sri lankan XI :
4.A De Silva

Avais said...

I have followed Sri lankan cricket ever since test status. I suggest Asantha demeil was main strike bowler in early days and better than Ravi. Even Romesh Ratanyke was more potent than Ravi. Moreover, Roshan's place should go Thilan Samaraweera or Hashan

Anonymous said...

This is a ridiculus selection.
Try this one.

3.Roy Dias
4.P A de Silva
7.Anura Ranasinghe
8.D S de Silva
10.Rumesh Ratnayake

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