Sri Lanka are firmly implanted as 5th best test nation on the iCC Rankings. So how are they really travelling in tests, more especially since Murali and Malinga stopped playing for them?
Well not too shabbily really. Malinga hung his fast bowlers boots up in 2010 and Murali not long before and for their first five series after they struggled with 1 drawn series and four losses. But a drawn home series versus England (a 1-1 result in 3 tests) seemed to turn their fortunes around. Since then they have won 5 series (3 at home 2 away) only losing heavily to SA at home and Aussie away.
So yes this seems at face value a very good test team, and the make up of the team has a strong similarity for the past 4 years with the odd one or two changes. So with an impending series loss to NZ away how does this pan out for them, especially with Sangakarra retiring from tests? Well they have always had issues with long term players sticking around then retiring and having to find new players, especially very good test batsmen. As is evident in this NZ tour, Sangakarra plays well, SL play well. How will they fill that void?
Anyway, their record for the past five years (without Murali/Malinga)
WI at home 0-0 Draw from 3 tests
Eng away 1-0 Loss from 3 tests
Aus home 1-0 Loss from 3 tests
Pak away 1-0 Loss from 3 tests
SA away 2-1 Loss from 3 tests
Eng home 1-1 Draw from 2 tests
Pak home 1-0 Win from 3 tests
NZ home 1-1 Draw from 2 tests
Aus away 3-0 Loss from 3 tests
Bang home 1-0 Win from 2 tests
Eng away 1-0 Win from 2 tests
SA home 1-0 Loss from 2 tests
Pak home 2-0 win from 2 tests
NZ away so far 1 test lost and a possibility of a 2-0 series loss.