Tharanga deserves a permanent spot

Moments ago Sri Lanka-A ended their 1st inning in the 3rd unofficial ODI against South Africa-A. The star of the show was Upul Tharanga. He remained unbeaten on 173 in just 149 balls scoring at a strike rate of 116.10 – the knock consisted of 20 fours and 4 sixes. Upul and Sanath jayasuriya hold the world record for the highest ODI partnership in history. They plundered an English bowling attack to all parts chasing 322 to win.

Tharanga and Jayasuriya piled up 286 in 32 overs, a record opening stand in one-day internationals and the third-highest for any wicket; Sri Lanka overtook a seemingly imposing 321 with an almost ludicrous 75 balls to spare. Wisden Almanack

Upul Tharanga’s last ODI appearance for Sri Lanka was during the tour to West Indies earlier this year. His score of 40 in his final ODI turned out to be the highest score by a Lankan batsman in the match. Why then would you drop your highest scorer for the following match and choose to open the batting with Sangakkara? Both Kumar and Mahela being the smart enterprising blokes they are should take some responsibility in sidelining Upul’s career. The skipper picks the final eleven and the vice captain prefers to open batting in ODI’s – leave the rest up to our selection committee and Tharanga misses out on the recently concluded Indian tour for no apparent reason.

Upul was picked to tour West Indies for the ODI series and he managed a top score of 40 in two matches averaging 25.00. I understand that is nothing special to warrant selection for the Indian tour but click here note how other batsmen from our top order didn’t do much better either on the same tour.

The only point I’m trying to make is that other batsman in our current batting line up have had a string of low scores extending beyond 5 consecutive games none of them have paid the price as Upul has. This is a batsman who has represented NCC since the age of 15, a cultured player who has come through the ranks and a cricketer Sri Lanka has heavily invested upon. He should hit this rich vein of form playing for Sri Lanka not Sri Lanka-A.

It’s time we dismiss talks of flaws in his technique and give the bloke the assurance of a long run in the playing eleven, at 23 years of age he is our future.


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  1. I agree tharanga must be
    I agree tharanga must be played or we are taking a backward step. These guys who have toured overseas and come thruogh the ranks must be persisted with before hastily discarding them.

  2. Watch Hilal’s vid of Tharanga

    Watch Hilal’s vid of Tharanga and you know he has breathtaking natural ability. Good coaching is needed to finetune his attitude as well as footwork and shot repetoire. But, 7 tons at this young age already has laid a platform for a great player. I hope the Bangladesh-Zim-SL ODI series and then ODIs v Pkn mark Tharanga’s return to the opener’s slot.

    The towering arc in that 6 he hit at Leeds in 2006 stays in my mind and he penetrates the offside with laser accuracy. Def if he cant make the most of his talent its a criminal waste. He made 50 in the mother of all draws at Lords against an attack featuring Flintoff, Hoggard, Plunkett and Panesar.

    In the 2007 WC he was considered as out of form yet he scored 3 vital half centuries, which basically won us those games and his tournament was a lot better than nightmarish WCs we have seen from great players like Inzamam and Jayawardene in 2003.

    Such exciting talent here, hope it goes as far as possible.

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