My first thought when I heard that Sri Lanka were going into “big game” without Murali and Vaas was that it was a tactical masterstroke. It showed to me that Tom Moody and Mahela were confident that this was indeed a dress rehearsal for the final. And with that background, they did not want to give Australia a psychological edge going in. No Murali, No Vaas, No Laser Slinger. If SL lost the battle, it would be without three of their trumps. And if they won, it wud be despite that and a crushing psychological blow.
To some extent, they had used the same tactic on the India tour, altho at least Vaas’ non selection yesterday was as much to sheild him as to make a point. The fact that they played Jayasuriya, and chose to bat was further testimony to me that they would take the more aggressive route – try and bat Australia out of it – and expose the possible chink in the Aussie armour, their bowling.
As it turns out , Australia spelt out why they are as good as they are. And why they havent lost a World cup game for 2,285 days (give or take a couple).
I still think tho, that the move worked (to a limited extent) in that Sri Lanka will still believe that they had a lot of ammo to spare. The Australian juggernaut will be confident too as a result of the sheer comfort of their victory.
In my view, its honours marginally in the OZ favour but I still think it was a good tactical move.