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The decision to leave Mendis out was for tactical reasons – Aravinda


Aravinda de Silva says that his selection panel left out Ajantha Mendis for the 2010 Asia Cup for "tactical reasons."

What kind of tactic involves leaving out a player? It’s hard to see it as a positive move let alone a tactical move.

It would be easier to comprehend if the chairman of selectors admitted that Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have had the better of Mendis in recent times. But to call his omission a tactical move is beyond bizarre.

Although some quarters of the media feel that Mendis bowled well in the recently concluded tri-series in Zimbabwe, the stats say otherwise. Sri Lanka played India twice in that tri-series and Mendis finished with 1/64 in 10 overs and 0/29 in only six overs. His overall figures for the series don’t read well either; Mendis managed five wickets in four matches at an average of 36.60.

In the last 12 months Mendis has played Pakistan twice where he picked up a solitary wicket in each of the two matches at an average of 50.50. But it is India that have been able to get on top of Mendis. He averages 83.50 and has only four wickets to show for after six matches against them in the last 12 months.

Instead of pointing to the facts, this is what de Silva had to say,

"The decision to leave Mendis out was for tactical reasons. There are certain decisions we took for tactical reasons. Those areas I wouldn’t want the opposition or any other team to know. It was discussed among the captain and the team management. I will talk to the players individually and explain to them so that they know why we have taken such a decision."

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