Colombo, Oct 1: Sri Lankan wickets have been under the scanner off late, as there are speculations regarding the tracks being changed over time, and the officials at the Sri Lanka National Academy also agree that there has been a gradual change in the tracks offered at Sri Lanka.
There were reports about the tracks at Colombo, Pallekele as they were relaid last year ahead of the 2011 World Cup, as it was impossible for a team batting second to win at Premadasa earlier. Now with a new track at offering, things have changed. Similarly Pallekele track was also changed last year while the new ground at Hambantota was exclusively made for the World Cup that was held last year at Sri Lanka.
According to statistician Rajesh Kumar, Spinners have taken 71 wickets at an average of 28.7 with a strike rate of 24.5 while fast bowlers have claimed 112 wickets at an average of 27.20 with a strike rate of 20.01, which also suggests that things have changed in the recent past.
Though its been gradual, one can make out there are a few changes in the pitches off-late. According to the official Jerome Jayaratne, at the Sri Lankan National Academy, the wickets were tailor made for Muralitharan when he was playing for the country and with Lasith Malinga around, things have changed.
"Yes, the wickets are definitely changing in Sri Lanka but the process is very gradual. With Murali around, we demanded spinning wickets as it was the most natural way to beat outsiders," Jayaratne told TOI.
"Murali was a freak. We haven't frankly reached that level in the spin department after his retirement even though we have a lot of promising spinners in the academy. I have been pushing Sri Lanka Cricket ( SLC) to produce faster wickets for domestic matches so that we can raise our pace stock," Jayaratne was quoted as saying by TOI.
While Anusha Samaranayake, former Sri Lankan fast bowling coach felt there weren't good fast bowlers int he domestic circuit, and insisted playing on sporting tracks in order to groom fast bowlers.
"Lack of experience for the domestic fast bowlers is a concern for us. We are trying to play on more sporting wickets to improve our pacers. It's just the starting point," he said.