To the Nose-length-focal visioned bandwagon surfing in these forums & decision makers with similar focus:
Why are you all blind to the reality questions asked by someone in pervious blog. It seems you all don't have answers to any of them or simply cannot comprehend even the basics of the game of cricket. Do you know, even the world's best international players cannot regain their full form or rhythm to deal with situations, without having a sufficient run of CONTINUOUS CHANCES to play some International Cricket? Then why are you expecting UT to be any different & do miracles in every seldom (once in a blue-moon) chance given?
He was axed from ODIs in July 2013. SL had played a total of FIFTY SIX (56) ODIs since then up to now. But Tharanga was given only 5 solitary ODIs (one or 2 at a time) scattered all over in 2014 & another 4 in 2015 with similar treatment, while others who replaced him were given 47 ODIs at a trot to put up miserable long strings of failures throughout, destabilizing the opening spot (except for 2 good innings recently in this year). Kusal 46 innings @ 25 Av & 20 x single digit scores lasted less than 10 balls, with 8 x DUCKS! Other opener Dimuth was no different, 15 Av with 2 x Ducks. Both of them got too many continuous ODIs to fail repeatedly. Can anyone deny this fact?
Now look at Opener Upul Tharanga's ODI stats during his most recent 4 year period, from July 2009 to Aug 2013, when he was unjustly dropped for longer than 2 years, basically NOT ALLOWING him any international exposure long enough to regain his full form:
Tell me which country would do this to a 28 year old player with following credentials, by virtually PAUSING his international career for longer than Two Years ?
UT's ODI record from 2009 July to 2013 Aug (AXING point age was 28 yrs):
89 innings- 3,033 RUNS @ 37.44 AVERAGE – 76.96 STRIKE RATE – 7 x 100 -19 x 50
Before making utterly foolish comments, answer the above & following questions from (Test scenario as pointed out by another poster in pervious blog) to validate your rubbish talk.
1) Who helped SL to bring their LAST SUCCESS in a Test Series, with HIGHEST batting contributions (92 & 45) in the vital series decider, in Aug 2014 ? Which position did he bat to bring that success ?
2) Who is the world's first player to be DROPPED (unrelated to any injury) from the squad for the next Test Series, after putting up such an outstanding series winning performance in the previous Test (happened in SL's NZ Tour squad selections
in Dec 2014) ?
3) Why such a productive player's unjustified immediate layoff extended over 12 months, preferring all other ailing batters over him (Thirimanne, Dimuth, Silva & even 34 year old Mubarak & Kithuruwan in 2015) who never put up such a match-winning performance for the whole year 2014 or 2015 despite getting continuous (many more) chances, until the solitary Test this guy was given Vs Pk in June, 2015 ?
4) Who was the most consistent batter in the side (46 & a run-a-ball fluent 48) in that last Test Vs Pk played in June 2015 (batting @ number 3 & stemming the side from further erosion, despite first wicket fell under 15 runs, inside 7 overs in both innings, on a tricky deck in Kandy at Pallekale)?
Then they point-blankly dropped the most consistent player again for the FIRST TWO TESTS vs India, despite making another run-a-ball fluent 50 Vs India in the tour game, preferring the same bunch of ailing batters to put up another bout of failing performances resulting in toppling the Test series, as given below:
(1) Karunaratne 6 ings – 67 r @ 11 Av
(2) Silva 6 ings – 87 r @ 14.Av
(3) Thirimanne 6 ings – 142 r @ 23 Av
(4) Mubarak 4 ings -71 r @ 17 Av
The guy who had scored 92,45,46,48= 231 @ 58 Av in his last 4 Test innings was immediately subjected to another confidence-shattering 2 Tests layoff again without allowing him to play 2 consecutive matches, to regain his full flow or rhythm. Can anyone justify this treatment?
Conveniently Forgetting all this, why these people are picking only UT to blame for the 3rd Test debacle Vs India? Didn't they see how all other top order batters (in both teams) got out, unable to cope up with new ball in initial spells, on that one of a kind Green-topped suicidal deck never seen before in SL? Do you know 10 top-order wickets (including Indians) fell for just 53 runs, inside initial SEVEN overs in that Test? How often this could happen in a Test ? That itself explains the gravity of situation prevailed on that deck, in each inning new-ball initial spells!
Out of the blue, why did they ask continuously sidelined Tharanga to open on that deck (just after handing over another 2 match layoff since his solitary Test this year)?
Why did they hide regular opener Dimuth, who played 20+ continuous innings as Test opener since December 2014 up to then? In such a situation do you expect UT to do miracles? This shows the selective blindness of those criticizers !
To pinpoint the obvious discrepancies going on in mother Lanka, you don't have to be a supporter of any particular player or a group. People who see that reality, speak against misdoings to salvage our Cricket (now obviously going down the drain with seventh consecutive series defeat in all formats, as clearly predicted by some).
Give Upul Tharanga a FAIR window of opportunity with a few series in both formats to play continues run of matches (as offered to rest of all, even for repeated failures). Is this too much to ask? Apart from above facts, criticizers conveniently ignore that he has 14 international hundreds, SL's 2nd fastest 5k+ runs & many SL/World records that none in the current bunch can even think of. These credentials are not easy-cake that anyone can achieve. For the sake of SL cricket, they should not destroy a rare assert like him, virtually by stalling his career! At least 7 years of future remains in him.
After giving him a substantial run in both formats only, they can decide his long term worthiness to the team.
There is no doubt, Tharanga is the most discriminated player in SL cricket, after Upul Chandana in the Nineties! Some mono-visioned ignorant people will continue to wag their tails for injustice, until SL's game of cricket will be completely wiped off from world map.