As far as the Indians are concerned, Manish Pandey’s name should top the list. He became the first Indian in the IPL to score a century (114 not out) for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2008 edition. He was touted as the future of Indian cricket. Cut to 2013, Pandey hasn’t even made it to the playing XI regularly, playing only four matches for Pune Warriors in the ongoing sixth edition.
Richard Levi is another batsman. The South African, who smashed an unbeaten 117 against New Zealand in just his second international fixture, is almost forgotten. He became a household name in India too due to his Mumbai Indians job. But the dashing opener is no where in the picture.
Sanath Jayasuriya, who was known for his remarkable consistency in playing big knocks, said enthusiasm is the key in performing every time. “As a batsman, it is an individual responsibility. You have to work on your game and technique. Sometimes, as you play a lot of cricket, the enthusiasm is not there. You are just playing the game for the sake of it.
“It (scoring consistently) is more to do with mental game. The enthusiasm should always be there. It is important to analyse where you went wrong after every game or series,” Jayasuriya told MiD DAY yesterday. The former dashing opener was in the city to promote Sri Lankan tourism ‘Get Sri Lankaned’.
What was his success mantra? “After scoring a 100, that knock was history for me. I would never think of my last innings whenever I went to bat. It is important how you play on that day. Everyone cannot think in a similar way. So, coaches and support staff can help you develop the mental aspect,” said Jayasuriya, who scored 768 runs, including a hundred and four fifties in 30 matches for Mumbai Indians from 2008 to 2010 IPL editions.
Jayasuriya said the biggest challenge in T20 cricket is to come out of a slump. “T20 is a fast game. There is not much time to settle in. It is important to score more runs in less balls. That is why most players struggle a lot in this format. It is so tough that one cannot come out of a situation.
‘Release our players’
“The struggle continues throughout the tournament. So, one has to go back to the basics or work out your game fast to come out of the situation,” he said.
Jayasuriya, who is chief selector of Sri Lanka Cricket, wants IPL teams to release their Sri Lankan recruits who are not regular faces in their playing XI. “I suggested SLC to talk to the Indian board and franchises to release our players who are not in the playing XI of their IPL teams. We have a domestic triangular series in Sri Lanka next week and these cricketers can get some valuable match practice in those matches before the Champions Trophy. It is unfortunate that it hasn’t happened so far,” said Jayasuriya.