The art of Twenty20 batting

If Pablo Picasso or Michelangelo would have batted in Twenty20 cricket, they would have done it like Mahela Jayawardane. It was an artist at work at the Providence yesterday (2nd May 2010).

This was not forthcoming, last time when he faced Zimbabwe in ODI series in Zimbabwe he had a series, which prompted his critics to call for his head. He was leading his country then and to have failed against the minnows was a crying shame. 19 runs from 4 innings at 4.75 including 2 ducks. In the only other Twenty20 he has played against the same side he was run out without facing a ball. He had some scores to settle with Zimbabwe. His career ODI average is 32 against Zim it is only 27. Only one of his 27 Test tons is against them, although his test average is 60 against them.

Since relinquishing the captaincy he has batted more freely while opening. No one can forget his first stint against Pakistan in Dambulla. While international commentators talk about his form while opening in the IPL, we shouldn’t forget he opened for Wayamba in the local tournament and was very successful. It was an injury to the regular opener, Shaun Marsh that prompted his franchise to play him as opener, and in fact it was he himself said that he wants to open to the KXIP management. It was a pity that even though his national captain was the captain there, he could not put Mahela on top to open. So it would have been interesting if Mahela had not opened in IPL, who would have opened with Dilshan. If it was Sanath Jayasuriya, then trouble would have been from both the ends. Most probably Sri Lanka would have been knocked out of the tournament. He has scored 59% of the runs Sri Lanka have scored in the tournament. Quite an achievement.

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