First up let me just say the team I would like to see sri lanka playing.
1.Dilshan 2.Thiri 3.Sanga 4.Chandimal 5.Mahela 6.Matthews 7.Thisara 8.Senanayake 9.Herath 10.Malinga 11.Lakmal
Open the bowling with Thisara perera,this is something that sri lanka have not tried yet ,given perera’s ability to get a bit more bounce off the wicket than most bowlers operating in his pace group he could be a good opening option.Sri lanaka are struggling in finding a way to field perera into the team,this will allow them to use his ability in a productive way.Open the bowling at the other end with Dilshan, this sri lanka have tried with varying degrees of success. First change bowler should be Matthews who is a very intelligent bowler who can adjust according to the match state. Given most teams like to conserve their wickets for the last 15 overs this is worthwhile strategy. If these 3 can go for 50 off the first ten it will be a job well done.
This is the 25 overs block that SL have struggled in recent times,I think in the middle over’s SL should just bowl out Lakmal.Bowl at least eight overs of Rangana Herath which would constitute 18 overs.That would leave 7 overs which I suggest should be filled by 2 overs from malinga and 3 from senanayake and another two overs from the part timers.
This is the business end of the balling innings where teams target going at 10 runs per over. Rather than looking at it as two blocks of 5 overs and 10 overs , balling teams need to look at it as a full block of 15 overs because of the field restrictions and the two new balls. The best thing about the above bowling plan is of the 15 overs Malinga will bowl 8 overs. Leaving malinga to do what he does best, which is bowl yorkers and his variations this will benefit the team better than making him take the new ball.Senanayake will also have 7 overs he is SL’s second best death overs specialist. Both these bowlers will make up the last 15 overs.If things really go haywire at the death SL will still have a couple of overs from herath and overs from Matthews.
Given SL’s problems closing out games. This is a strategy they might try and implement.
The above balling strategy is of course not perfect ,I understand that opening the balling with part timers is not ideal. But what choice does SL have because all the bowlers are out of form. I don’t think the team management even knows what the best combinations are at the moment.SL will need to implement a strategy that best utilizes the resources they have. I hope that we at least be flexible when things are not going well and play the sri lankan brand of street smart attacking cricket.