Dear Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya,
I hope you are enjoying your time in New Zealand and Australia over the past couple of months. It is good to see that you have found some time to go and see the pleasant sights New Zealand has to offer and I am sure you will not miss out on this opportunity when you arrive in Australia today as well.
However, Honorable Sanath aiyya, I would like to put some questions to you regarding your job. The very responsibility and reason that you are even in New Zealand & Australia and able to enjoy all what these countries have to offer.
I would like to start with the most obvious question – What were you thinking when you selected the squad for the World Cup?
Some choices obviously picked themselves – Sangakkara, Matthews, Jayawardene, Dilshan, Herath & Malinga. That makes up 6 of a possible 15 man squad with 9 spots still to fill. With those 9 spots, how did you and your team come up with such selections as Jeevan Mendis & Dimuth Karunaratne?! It boggles the mind to think a committee of former national cricketers can muck up so terribly!
Out of those 9, there were good choices in Senanayake, Kulasekera, T Perera, Thirimanne & Lakmal. Which took up another 5 leaving only 4 spots left. FOUR MORE SPOTS ONLY! And you managed to screw that up royally!
I understand we have an issue with the opening slot. Kusal Perera has been given plenty of opportunities. Tharanga is another who has been provided opportunities but also does not have age on his side. So I can understand your selection of Karunaratne for the New Zealand series.
But when Karunaratne fails in the first couple of games of the series and you can see he does not seem like the best candidate, why do you only select him as the specialist opener in the squad of 15? Why not select Tharanga & Karunaratne? Or Kusal & Karunaratne? Or best case scenario, drop Karunaratne and opt for the tried & tested duo of Tharanga & Kusal? Either of these 3 options would have given you experience with Tharanga or an attacking option with Kusal. Now we are stuck with Karunaratne and you have openly admitted that he is not the best option – forcing you to open with Thirimanne and thereby weakening the middle order.
Jeevan Mendis – for the life of me I can't find a reason to why he occupies a spot in the squad of 15, let alone the playing 11. Let's have a look at his contribution since December 1, 2014 onwards:
Played 13 matches
Innings – 12
Runs scored – 106
Ave – 15.14
Highest – 23
Overs bowled – 54
Runs conceded – 297
Maidens – 1
Wickets – 4
Best bowling – 2/5
Ave – 74.25
Econ – 5.50
And yet he has played in every single ODI Sri Lanka has played in since Dec 1, 2014. Care to explain Mr Jayasuriya?
On average he has bowled just 4 overs per game according to the above stats. What good does he provide the team with only 24 balls on average each game? Either play him as an out and out all rounder and give him a chance to take on some responsibility or completely drop him and bring in a dedicated batsman or bowler and give them the opportunity to showcase their talent. It is not doing anyone any good, doing these half-cooked jobs.
Your argument about Dinesh Chandimal being confused about his position and that is why he is not in the playing XI was as clear as mud. You would think a player of your caliber, who has captained his team at the highest level would know that what Chandimal is missing is 'confidence'. Confidence in his abilities, confidence from his selectors & captain to understand that he is in this squad because he is one of the top 15 players in the country. Imagine during a World Cup, your chairman of selectors came out in the press and said you were confused about how you should play and that is why you are not selected. What good is that going to do to any player! Keep it behind closed doors, and talk to him and help him find his form back.
Mr Jayasuriya, you said yourself that Chandimal is an attacking player like you used to be. So instead of talking to the press about it, why don't you approach him and talk to him about it and give him the chance to prove himself?
Right now Karunaratne's selection is looking like Kapugedera's selection in the playing XI of the 2011 World Cup final – it stinks of favoritism and egotistic selections by the selection panel to prove to the public they know what's best. But everyone makes mistakes Sanath aiyya including yourself.
And Mr Jayasuriya, before you come back and tell us that it is not all about stats and that it is about how the team can find players to fit around them & current form, please save that talk for the parliament. Because that wont fly with us simply because Karunaratne and Jeevan Mendis are not in form and both look like 'square pegs trying to fit in a circular hole'.
A concerned cricket fan