Thisara Perera’s continuous inclusion in the side raises question marks about Sanath Jayasuriya-led selection committee’s decision-making.
A person who bats at No 7 in ODIs is expected to contribute not only with the bat but with the ball too. However, his performance in terms of both the ball and the bat has been quite dismal during the last two years.
In spite of this, it is quite shocking to observe that Kumar Sangakkara recommended the inclusion of Thisara Perera against India few days before the match.
The following data reflect how dreadful his bowling has been from 2015 onwards in ODI cricket.
Thisara’s bowling performance in ODIs from 2015 – Source: Howstat
Year Overs Maidens Runs Wickets 4wickets Avg S/R ER
2015 116.3 0 757 13 0 58.23 53.77 6.5
2016 23 2 158 5 0 31.6 27.6 6.87
2017 10 0 77 0 0 7.7
Even his batting is left to be much desired. He was not selected by any IPL franchise team during this year, although he was part of the IPL in its previous editions. He is quite weak against genuinely quick bowlers, and his uncomfort against short-pitched bowling is well known. Most of his strokes are concentrated on the leg side, which makes the task of opposing bowlers quite easy against him. Despite all these shortcomings, he is being continuously selected by Sanath Jayasuriya without any rationale.
In fact, Jayasuriya has a track record of picking ordinary players who come from powerful families, like Ramith Rambukwella, while dropping players like Milinda Siriwardena, even though they had performed impressively.
Thisara’s batting performance in ODIs from 2015
Year Mat Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R
2015 17 12 1 0 0 3 47* 117 10.64 93.6
2016 6 5 0 0 0 0 21 70 14 101.45
2017 3 3 0 0 2 0 55 116 38.67 143.21
There is no question that Thisara Perera should not have been included in the squad to the Champions trophy under any circumstances. Then why is he being selected?
The Naivety of Sri Lankan Cricket Fans
Sri Lankan cricket fans together with the media are quite naïve and cannot think in a logical manner. Some in the media want to see certain glamour players being selected in the side, immaterial of whether they contribute towards the success of the team or not. A case in point was Romesh Kaluwitharana. He was repeatedly selected for ODIs in spite of his pathetic batting record in ODIs due to sentimental reasons, as the fans loved him and that he was a favourite of Late Tony Greig.
Dasun Shanaka, a promising, young all-rounder, could have been a much better selection than Thisara Perera. Thisara’s continuous section epitomises the incompetency of Sanath Jayasuriya to make sound decisions.
It is time for Sanath Jayasuriya to go home.
Romesh Kaluwitharana’s ODI batting record
Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R
112 5 2 22 15 102* 2798 26.15 78.73