Like India have done and beaten us to it, SL selection should be based on the team for the 2015 WC.
1) Unlike India our squad needs to be a mix of seniors who should retire after WC, and have been key performers and youngsters who are a key part of our future. Barring injures or form the key seniors are Dilshan,Mahela,Kule,Herath and Malinga.
2) The recent big innings of Tharanga, the form and success of Mahela and the failure of Janith at CT have caused a lot of uncertainity.As for me Janith was given a short end of the stick rather than be given the license irrespective of failures as the duo in 96 were given and asked not to worry about failures. It is imperative that on fast bouncy Aussie pitches there has to be aggression and push at the top like Sana has shown us in the past. So irrespective of failures Janith must be given a go. The lower middle order where not too many have succeeded for us unlike Hashan, Roshan or Russel is a very difficult task to succeed and Janith is rather best used at the top which feeds into his natural game. For me the obvious partner for him would be Dilshan who who has had the longest stint and has been consistent in this role. The back up would be the other two and Dimuth who is a rather good player of pace. Despite the penchant for big scores I have to give Tharanga a miss even though I feel the selectors will disagree with me on this. Mahela or Chandi would be a back up for Tharanga.
3) Number 3 and 4 are key positions.Sanga is an automatic choice for 3 or perhaps 4 as he loves the aussie wickets and will score at a fast clip there. I would consider Mahela over Tharanga as he scores at a fast clip., but would settle for either, given Tharanga’s habit of big scores, and that Sanga at 4 will score faster on Aussie wickets, so Lanka are not saddled with a slowdown of momentum.
4) 5,6 are key positions in keeping the momentum. Mathews as a captain is key and I think that pushing him up the order is a great idea as he plays with the top rather than battling with the bottom and we are likely to see more aggression from him. That leaves Mahela as the obvious choice as 6 if he slots 1 to 3 are taken. Among all in this line up he is the most suitable to play here and he is quite capable of playing the consolidator or the aggressor role. I would consider Chandi and Thiri as back ups even though both are ear marked for the first eleven. I am of the firm belief that Chandi would be in the first 11 if he had played in the 20111 WC when he was at his best and when others did not have time to mess up with his batting skills, but, he is in that show me mode. Thiri is an overkill if Tharanga and Sanga are both in the first 11, but, Mark my words, he is slated to bat 7 in the selectors line of thoughts. Back up would be Kapu if he can rediscover his natural talent and Angelo Perera. The best prospect for us in this key position for us and the best captain in SL is Kandambi. but, age, laziness and attitude have lost him for us.
5) Position 7 for me in order to balance the side this has to be a batting all rounder, wither a spin all rounder or a batting all rounder.For spin I am impressed with the all round game of left arm spinner Pinawaduge De Silva, so I might give him the heads up.The back up would be Angelo Perera if ha can roll his arm over like Ara did or the under appreciated Pathirana or Siriwardena. Unfortunately we are bereft of medium pace batting and not bowling all rounders, other than Mathews. The only possibility still here if Maha, as he is quite a decent bat and has the much needed fire power in his strokes.
6) Positions 8 and 9 are very straight forward. I don’t know who came up with the idea to drop Thisara knowing that he was not played as much as he should have been in CT 2013, but, this man is a match winner in all 3 formats and should never be out of the side. Like Janith he should be told to go and play hisr game, enjoy, and not to worry about his place in the side. Too much interference and we won’t see him. he can work on consistency and range for both batting and bowling and that will only get better with time. Kule is an automatic selection for 9, very much under appreciated.
7) The only choice major spinner at 10. Should it be the rightfully trusted one Herath or Sachithra who has more game when it comes to fileding or batting?
8) Malinga needs to work on consistency and more on that under utilized short pitched delivery. Eranga and Lakmal would be back ups.