It is right time to get rid of Prasanna Jayawardene and include talented Kaushal Silva in Test cricket.
Probably, in almost every era of world cricket, the game between the ball and bat has saw the cruelty of destiny, where career of one player suffers and get effected badly, due to other. In nineties, we saw Australian great Ian Hilly’s monopoly with the gloves, and as a result, another great of the four time world champion team, Adam Gilchrist, had suffered and remained side lined almost half decade. Same happened with some of the great spinner of India, like Narendra Hirwani and Rajesh Chavan, whose career effected badly due to great and match winning performance of Anil Kumble, the best spinner India has ever produced.
Currently, one of the best young talents in Sri Lanka, kausha silva is facing same kind of situation. Silva, a 25 year old right hander, who plays for Sinhalese Sports Club, has been amongst most prolific batsman is domestic circles since last few seasons. Although, he is primarily a wicketkeeper, his average of 46 in 96 first-class matches, including 15 centuries as well, shows that he is more of a batsman, than a gloves man. Kumar Sangakkara rates him highly, as other players of the national team. Even selectors has marked him as a future player, that’s why, nowadays, in every A tour currently, they appoints him captain of the team. Presently, he is captaining Sri Lanka A side in England as well.
But, it seems not enough for silva. After all, you expect a national birth in the age of 25, when your average touches 45 in first class cricket. 21 year old Dinesh Chandimal emerged and made his way into national team like a hurricane. But silva is still waiting for his turn.
So what’s the reason? Well reason is quite simple- sangakkara keeps in one day internationals, and selectors argue that prasanna jayewerdene is amongst best wicketkeepers in the world for test matches. So obviously, there is no place for silva in the national team. Although, prasanna’s batting seems as pathetic as ashish nehra’s defense most times, and he is in his thirties, selectors always seems to impressed with the average batsman, even a average gloves man now a days.
But, really, there is no logic to stick with prasanna. He might be a good wicket keeper, but if you want to be best is test cricket, you need depth in your batting order. Dilshan and paranavitana opens, sanga, mahela, samarveera and mathews comes at no. 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. It Means, a solid batting order up to no. six. Now, if selectors pick silva as a wicket keeper batsman, he will come to bat at no. 7, with a first class average of 46. Obviously, it could do wonders for the team, no doubt about it. After murli era, Sri Lanka lost first series against England, due to unreliable batting. So, inclusion of silva will be a wise decision.
Though, one can argue, that he is still young, 25, will be an automatic choice, once prasanna era will come to an end. But, there is no logic to think like that, actually. Now Australians know what they lost during Gilchrist omissions years, as now he considers one of the great wicket keeper batsman of all time. It should be not happens with some one else. Silva record says that he is capable to survive in international cricket. A spectator, who has watched silva’s batting, can say that he is a level headed player. He is a cool and calm batsman, who reads the situation quite well.
And, Sri Lanka badly needs a wicket keeper batsman of silva’s caliber, especially in test cricket, where sanga plays as a pure batsman. So, it’s up to selectors, how they want to use silva. But with his batting talent, he needs special treatment, no doubt about it.