Against Australia, sri lanaka need to adopt street smart cricket, if team want to make any impression this time.
If you know opponent’s weaknesses very well, you should prepare yourself according that.
As I described in my earlier write up, one pace attack and middle order are the biggest worries for visitors. So, it automatically makes a sense to choose final XI, according these worries. And finally, after long time, sri lanka selectors managed to throw a pleasant surprise by announcing most suitable pool of twenty players against former world champion. Headed by mr. duleep mendis, selectors have chosen these players:
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Jeevan Mendis, Chamara Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekera, Isuru Udana, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Malinga Bandara and Sachithra Senanayake.
Now, after looking the squad, two things are crystal clear:
1. Selectors has a clear presumption that aussies will scattered against spin, thus they selected a spin heavy attack with six specialist spinners and one part timer in the form of dilshan.
2. Selectors think that, despite the good performances of chandimal, jeevan mendis and angelo mathews, middle order still a concern. That’s why; they included both chamara’s- kapugedera and silva.
Now, its something like- One step forward, two steps back.
First, about one step forward. It’s really a wise and thinking decision to include a spin heavy attack against aussies, as it is an know fact that how Vulnerable they can be against spin. Another master stroke, the selectors has played, that they selected a spin attack with lot of variety. Left arm orthodox herath, mystery of ajantha mendis, off spin of sachithra senanayke and suraj randeev and some leg spin of malinga bandara and jeevan mendis. Plus, lankan’s have the luxury of dilshan’s bowling as well. All in all, this attack has the potential to rattle the aussies.
Now, let’s talk about- two step back.
It’s a wise decision to drop kandamby, but it’s an equally poor one to include chamara silva. One can judge that selectors replaced silva with kandamby. So, what’s the logic if you exclude one flop player and include a player, who always remains pathetic with the bat? Selectors can argue that it’s just a pool of twenty probable. But they should drop silva from final fifteen.
Now, let’s try to find suitable XI from pool of twenty players-
Thisara Perera/nuwan kulasekera
Rangana Herath/ Sachithra Senanayake
Just two fast bowlers- malinga and kulasekera or thisara- are enough against Australia, as nowadays they looks solid against fast bowlers in subcontinent as well.
In most probability, randiv will be the front line spinner, so there will be no place for senanayke, because he is also an off spinner.