All my predictions during the past six months at CricInfo comments columns have become true. As evident from ongoing matches played in Aus & NZ, a player with the highest potential to make long partnerships & big Tons, is a must for any side to reach 300+ scores in current WC!
Just look at the most recent encounters: Ind Vs PK, Kohli's Ton lasted up to 45th, Dhawan & Raina rallied around him with 70's. Look at SA vs ZM, SA were 4 down for 83, but Miller & Duminy put up a double hundred stand lasted right up to the end, exceeding 30 overs! When you look at the warm up matches & the recently concluded bilateral series, you find this essential factor behind almost every 300 plus score except in a few occasions, where 4 or more batters have contributed with 50 plus scores.
But for SL, the guy (Upul Tharanga) who has the highest potential with a World Record of SEVEN Double-hundred stands & The All-Time Highest Ton Making Frequency Record in SL, was unfortunately left out to play Domestic Cricket by Sanath Jayauriya.
Comparison chart of SL players in history, ranked according to the frequency of making big 100+ scores in their careers:
BEST Rated individual 100+ score making Frequencies in SL players' career stats –
SL Best Ranking Ratios – Number of Innings per 100+ Score:
1) Tharanga – 12.8 ings per 100+ Score.
2) Dilshan – 14.1 Ings per 100+ Score
3) Jayasuriya – 15.5 ings per 100+ Score
4) Sangakara -17.8 ings per 100+ Score
5) Mahela J – 23.0 ings per 100+ Score
6) Athapathu – 23.5 ings per 100+ Score
7) Aravinda – 26.9 ings per 100+ Score
Without a doubt, this is what we are lacking in our brittle batting lineup. As we have seen so far (in this WC & recent matches), in most instances bowlers were helpless in defending any score less than 300 or restricting formidable opponents under 300 mark. In such favorable conditions for batting (fast outfields, small grounds in NZ etc) plus the new field restriction rules applied over entire inning, this is not a surprise. Apart from the three veterans in the side, none of the other batters could manage a solitary 50 plus contribution, in the entire Seven ODI series Vs NZ.
Obviously, there is no point talking about anything else or blaming bowlers for the imminent down fall, clearly predicted six months ago, when Sanath Jayasuriya decided to continue his blindfolded selection policy. He extended Upul Tharanga's year long exile, by excluding him from the squad that toured England in June 2013, despite putting up two Hundred plus scores for SL-A Vs Eng-A just a couple of months before! Then he extended it further by eliminating UT from Indian series (limiting to a solitary Odi) & completely excluding him from the squads that played 14 consecutive ODIs Vs Eng & NZ leading to this WC.
All teams send their best available options to face a WC, except SL. Leaving out such an assertive resource available is inexcusable & the consequences are unavoidable, as we are experiencing right now. If they continue this miserable attitude further, we could certainly see a complete destruction of SL cricket in near future, when the load bearing three veterans say good bye.
Only a miracle could change the inevitable outcome of this WC for SL now…!.