Jerome Jayaratne implied Sri Lanka's batsmen lacked temperament for Test cricket © Getty Images (File Photo)
Jerome Jayaratne implied Sri Lanka’s batsmen lacked temperament for Test cricket © Getty Images (File Photo)

Sri Lanka have been at the receiving end of some horrible collapses during their on-going home series against India. In the first innings against India they were reduced to 47 for six before a face-saving partnership between Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath. According to Jerome Jayaratne, Sri Lanka’s repeated collapses are a reflection of the poor quality of cricket played in Sri Lanka’s First-Class circuit, where batsmen don’t focus on the art of playing long innings. He bemoaned the system on various counts and explained that the batsmen’s indifference in white-clothing in the domestic circuit becomes embarrassing when they play international cricket. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Colombo, Day 4

Jayaratne remembers a conversation he had with England Lions coaches’ Graham Gooch and Mark Ramprakash following Sri Lanka A’s defeat against the Lions at home in a First-Class cricket series. “They came to me and said they had made two glaring observations about our batsmen. Firstly, that they seemed to have little idea about how to construct an innings in the longer format. That our guys had the flair but lacked the intelligence required to bat long. Secondly, and most worryingly, they seemed to keep hitting the ball in the air too often,” Jayaratne told Indian Express. LIVE CRICKET UPDATES: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Colombo, Day 4

Jayaratne goes onto explain with greater depth why Sri Lankan batsmen are so vulnerable. “Our average domestic first innings total is 256 and for the second innings is 142. It’s shocking really. So we hardly have batsmen looking to spend time at the crease,” he said.

He said it was important to play long innings and he was envied by the First-Class scores commonly witnessed in Indian and Australian domestic structures. We look enviously at the domestic scores in India and Australia, where teams regularly score over 600 and batsmen score double-centuries for fun. So someone like Pujara knows how it’s to be done as he has experienced it,” he said.