© AFP PHOTO
There were numerous logic defying sudden selections of bowlers, so called all-rounders & especially openers in the batting department were seen during Sanath J's autocratic 2 years as a selector. The inevitable end-result at the WC was clearly predicted long before.
Good to see a new selection panel with some neutral people. Hope they will mainly focus on achievements based merits & vast experience from now onwards. One of their prime tasks, should be the re-stabilization of SL's ODI Opening spot, with SL's most experienced Number-One Opener (151 ins), who did a fantastic job in the previous 7 yrs up to 2013, with very productive record batting in that position (151 in – 4902 runs -34.27 Av- 74.01 SR – 174* HS -13 x100- 25 x 50). Unfortunately, his (UT just 30 yrs) career was put on hold for more than 2 yrs by the previous selectors, causing major problems to the entire side until WC QF flop.
Can ANYONE deny this fact or ANSWER how Upul Tharanga achieved this career record as Number-ONE opener facing 6623 balls in the initial phase of new ball movement delivered by the best in the trade of seam bowling, in variable conditions around the globe, if he has a major flow in his batting technique? (151 in – 4902 runs @ 34.27 Av- 74.01 SR – 174* HS -13 x 100- 25 x 50). NONE of the critics had ever answered this question.
No need to say, If anyone trying to point a finger at UT's technique without answering this most logical question, has no credibility or validity whatsoever. This is simple logic, crystal clear to anyone with an iota of commonsense.
Why such an opener was laid-off for more than 20 months without allowing any reasonable window of opportunity (beyond just 5 scattered ODIs) was never answered or justified by the selectors or critics to date.
UT & Dilly holds the 8th Ever-Best World Ranking for Openers (67 ins – 3,052 r @ 46.24 Av). Currently WORLD's Most Experienced Number-1 is Upul Tharanga (151 in) & Number-2 is Dilly (134 in). Hope the new selectors will consider the facts & utilize the resources without wasting any more time.
Apart from above achievement, they became the MOST SUCCESSFUL opening-pair EVER recorded in long World Cup History:
Sri Lanka's Openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan set Three Word Cup Records as they struck, TWO double Century ( 282 + 231*) partnerships during the 2011 WC.
1) Tharanga & Dilshan became the most productive openers ever in a WC, having posted TWO x 200+ stand and THREE x 50+ stands in just NINE outings – accumulating 800 runs from Nine innings at an AVERAGE of 100.00
2) The first-ever double century stand for any wicket in a WC.
3) TWO Double Century stands for the first wicket by the same openers at a World Cup are these unique records.
*** Note: ALL THESE WERE ACHIEVED without having the BENEFIT of New Field Restriction Rules currently in effect!
Which country in the world would dismantle such a productive combination of openers to try out constantly failing rookies ?
Now the Bad & Ugly are gone, it remains to be seen how the hopefully GOOD would work for SL Cricket's future.