Friday, August 6, 2010
Samaraweera - The quiet achiever
As expected, with Sehwag scoring yet another test hundred everyone is trying his best to find new adjectives to describe the wizard from India. He no doubt deserves all the accolades as Sehwag has been in phenomenal form in recent times, but he isn't the only one, who has made a mark in this test as Samaraweera too scored a fine century. Unlike Sehwag, Samaraweera won't bring crowds to the ground, but in his own way has carved a niche for himself as a batsman. It is fair to say that if he had not scored a hundred, Lanka would be struggling by now.
I first saw Samaraweera in a tri-series in Australia in 98. Back then, He used to bowl a bit of off spin and could bat a bit. I thought oh! here comes another bits and pieces player from Srilanka as those days, they used to produce more than just a few spinners, who could also bat a bit. I didn't see him play again for the next five, or so years but the next time I saw him, I couldn't believe my eyes as he looked like a proper batsman. It just shows that if a player works hard, he can achieve anything.
S'weera now has amassed more than 4000 runs and averages over 53 which is a very good record. Yes, the wickets have become flat, but any batsman who averages over 50 deserves respect. The one criticism leveled against him is, he doesn't do well outside the realms of Srilanka and Pakistan. He averages 24.12 in India, 22.26 n Australia, just 4.25 in England, though it has to be said that his record in both West Indies and New Zealand are very good. In West Indies he averages almost 50 and in New Zealand over 50, but his record in places like India, Australia and England is abysmal to say the least. To be fair to S'weera, most of the players have failed in a country or two, but it is something he can work on.
Anyway, I would just say that Sehwag is a star, but players like Samaraweera, Collingwood and co. too deserve a bit of recognition, as any team also requires foot soldiers like Samaraweera to be successful!