Its generally understood by all Sri Lankan fans that there is absolutely no lack in potential or talent within the current batch of players to win matches against top ranked teams in any format, but all are confused as to why it isn’t happening.. Why do we constantly lose and have been losing for the past few matches? Why are the players inconsistent? What’s going on?
Well, the answers may vary but its about time we took a different style of thinking… The current think tank is focusing only on what to do right and this is the usual thing.. “What can we do to get a good opening stand? What can we do to get a match winning score? What to do right to get more partnerships? Where do we bowl to Maxwell??..” These are the questions usually addressed.
But this has not been giving results across time.. So the correct way of thinking should be rather than focusing on doing the right thing, pay more attention on NOT doing the wrong thing!” What shouldn’t we do to get low scores? what shouldn’t we do to get out after getting starts? Where should we NOT bowl to Maxwell?” should be the questions asked. This approach would bring solutions while the previous one would bring more and more problems..
Hence, the most important thing is to get the basics right and stick to a plan. Having a settled team for starters would help a lot. Having 5 openers for the five ODI’s vs Australia is pure lunacy.
Having trust in players and giving them opportunities is a must to see results. BUT, the opportunities should be given to the ones who deserve it the most. Yes Kasun Rajitha did bowl horribly in the first T20, but so did Thisara Perera . Excuses for Rajitha is inexperience while excuse for Thisara is ??? Yet the selectors backed Thisara and dropped Rajitha!! This is precisely not the consistency what I mean. Or even the consistency shown to Thirimanne. That’s stupidity. If anybody deserves to be backed, its the new,young and inexperienced players. (Why the selectors drop Siriwardene is also a conundrum)
Based on these reasons, i think it would be best to have a small pool of players and be consistent with the selections amongst them. My preferred squads for all formats,
1)Dananjaya De silva
2)Kaushal/Dimuth/Avishka Fernando/Roshane silva
3)Kusal Janith Perera
7)Dasun Shanaka/Milinda Siriwardene
11)Nuwan Pradeep/Suranga Lakmal/Aponso
(All these players should be in the mix. Spots with more than one player named above is for selecting the right player according to the conditions)
1)Dananjaya De Silva
3)Kusal Janith Perera
5)Chandimal (not ideal, better off with other players but unrealistic as he’s VC)
*Not right to judge Danushka Gunethileke by this tour because all our openers failed against Starc . Danushka did a very good job in England and he’s ideal for the batting powerplay.
*Dananjaya is an opening batsman and should open in all formats. He has a rock solid technique and can give us good starts.
*KJP is in just after missing a long time of cricket and shouldn’t be judged too harshly but he’s not suitable in the lower order. Experimenting him @3 in the tests paid off as his counterattacking batting removed a lot of pressure. In the shorter formats, he will be ideal to maximize the powerplay even if an early wicket falls(which is a risk we must take. Powerplays were not maximized by our players because they didn’t want to lose wickets).Kusal Mendis @4 and Mathews @6 is not too late.. We need middle order stability.
*Shouldn’t experiment too much with young fast bowlers. Can be pretty damaging.
*Fast bowlers shouldn’t be overloaded and should be rotated.
*Don’t judge Kapugedara by his past, he has been good after making his comeback. He has the ability to strike the bowl well cleanly and is a must for T20s.
*T20s should be played with 3 frontline bowlers . Getting 8 overs out of Mathews,Dananjaya,Danushka,Milinda/Dasun combined shouldn’t be an issue.