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Limited overs specialists struggling in the most familiar formats

Sri Lanka have always been considered a very good limited Overs team and an average Test side. This had to do with the types of unorthodox players produced by SL over years. Whether it be Sanath , Murali , Malinga , Ajantha Mendis or Dilshan , all were players who had huge impact in the game due to their uniqueness.. But these types of players are not made, they are not coached to play the way they did by anyone… They just spring out of nowhere and its lucky if one can have them. Nobody can wait for such players to come and turn the tide over.. We have to get used to not having them…

But recent results clearly show that suddenly, within a matter of months the balance has shifted.. Sl don't seem to be such a good limited Overs side at all and their test performances have been considerably better.. What has happened?? Is it because of the retirements of many important players?? Possible but highly unlikely.. The problem is not so simple… It has to do a lot with the evolution of cricket… SL , one of the most innovative cricketing nation is guilty of being too old fashioned… Similarities drawn between the England team of past and SL's current limited Overs team are not baseless.. Fortunately for England, they have identified and rectified their problem.. They have realized that "class" is not everything… They have realized that "technique" or "playing according to the book" is not so important as supposed… They have realized "impact runs" win more matches than "big runs"… Overall, they have adapted to today's style of limited Overs cricket perfectly…

SL has to learn from these.. Their current brand of playing is fit for tests (and we saw that in England where they batted for 30+ overs with just one or two wicket down but with an horrible run rate) and it would not be surprising if they turn out to be a top test side.. But the current style will NOT suite limited Overs at all.. That's because the game has become more based on runs… We see scores of 350+ regularly.. Scoring a 50 off 25 balls is not a "Big deal" anymore… Players have become more stronger, more powerful, more aggressive and more entertaining .. At the same time we see SL playing the brand of cricket played ages ago.. ..  Slow scorers like Thirimanne in the team for years purely because of "technique".. Aggressive batsmen like Chandimal and mathews forced to play the "anchor" role.. Opening batsmen like kusal perera batting at 7.. Players like Thisara perera, a bowling allrounder relied to be the big hitter…

Clearly there's a serious problem!! Today, a limited Overs team cannot afford to have even one slow scoring batsmen.. Even technically sound batsmen playing the anchor role (Like Root,Williamson,Smith,Amla,Kohli,etc) are expected to score quickly… Also, teams have realized that blind sloggers are not the way to go… Power hitters today have a reasonably good technique behind them ( ex; players like Finch , Buttler , Miller, Corey Anderson, AB Devilliers ,etc)… SL depends on players like thisara perera and seekuge prasanna to do this job.. Seriously a sad joke!! We have to fill the limited Overs side with players who can shift gears and accelerate INSTANTLY and also to play a responsible innings (not slow) backed by solid technique when wickets fall.. Players who can hit any part of the ground without trying anything silly… That's why players like Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardene, Danushka gunethileke, Chamara Kapugedara,Kusal Janith (who are now on and off the team) should be trusted more to play limited Overs .. They have the technique to bat in partnerships… They have the talent to hit the ball cleanly.. They have the ability to accelerate quickly..

Overall, they are the type of players limited Overs cricket beckons.. We can afford to not have players like Chandimal for limited Overs.. There's a reason why Team England decided to drop players like Ian Bell and Cook and bring in players like hales , Roy, Stokes ,etc… It’s about time things changed.. Hence, going for "Impact" players over "reliable" players is the way to go.. The team should be prepared to chase any target.. The team should have the ability to score 350+ (or 200+ for t20s) at least once in 5 matches..

The game has changed…Players have changed.. We have to change… No more proven failures.. No more "Mr Elegant s' "… No more "Mr Solid Blockers' ".. Its time for " Mr Matchwinners' ".. Time for "Mr Awesome s' ".. Time for "Mr 360s' ".. Time to wake up…

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