© AP PHOTO
An interesting point to ponder: WHO are the most consistent High Scorers in SL Cricket today?
During the past 22 months (since July 2013) the most startling deficiency seen in SL batting was, lack of batters with consistency in putting up big scores (50+) & build productive partnerships to reduce the burden continuously shouldered by the Three Veterans. Their tireless super-heroic massive efforts were behind all the successes achieved by SL.
During that period, apart from Mathews, sadly none of the youngsters, who were regularly offered with ample opportunities (to play more than 10 ODI s) were able to make any significant impact, with consistent performances.
Look at the performance levels of youngsters who were given the opportunities to play more than 10 ODIs, during the period from starting from July 2013 to April 2015 WC-QF:
Number of innings utilized to produce a solitary 50+ score:
Chandimal – 26 in – 0 x 100 – 4 x 50 – (26 / 4) = 6.50 ins per 50+
Thirimanne – 37 in – 3 x 100 – 6 x 50 – (37 / 9) = 4.11 ins per 50+
Kusal – 29 in – 1 x 100 – 3 x 50 – (29 / 4) = 7.25 ins per 50+
Dimuth – 11 in – 0 x 100 – 0 x 50 = (11 / 0 ) = Not a single 50+
*** Collectively 103 innings yielded just 17 x Fifty-plus scores = 6.05 ins per 50+ score .
This means, overall 6 innings were utilized to produce a SOLITARY 50+ contribution by one of these youngsters during the past 22 months (since July 2013). The despairing reality is, they all consistently failed to contribute any big scores, despite having the Massive Benefit of NEW field restriction rules in place (which was utilized by all capable batters around the globe to enhance their high scoring frequency & Strike Rates, significantly)..!
Look at how our Veterans massively IMPROVED their career frequency of high scoring, utilizing the benefit of New Field Restriction rules existed during past 22 months.
Sanga – 49 in – 9 x 100 – 14 x 50 – (49/23) = 2.13 (career frequency 3.22 ins per 50+)
Dilly – 46 in – 5 x 100 – 13 x 50 – (46/ 18) = 2.55 (career frequency 4.43 ins per 50+)
Mathews – 46 in – 1x 100 – 11 x 50 – (46/20) = 2.30 (career frequency 4.81 ins per 50+)
Mahela – 40 in – 3 x 100 – 7 x 50 – (40/10) = 4.00 (career frequency 4.35 ins per 50+)
Overall Consistency is; achieving most in least number of efforts (a dynamic overall measure for frequency). Batting average is, runs scored per inning (overall static measure) and it is the average measure of Accumulation Productivity & not an indicator of Occurring Rapidity or Frequency.
Therefore, Scoring most number of runs in least number of innings (a measure of rapidity) is considered as the absolute measure of overall batting consistency of a player in Cricket. Average cannot be used as a consistency measure in anyway, because the average boosts up significantly, with number of unbeaten innings.(Example: if someone scores an unbeaten 90* in one inning and then 3 x ducks in a row & another couple of unbeaten 2 x 15* = 120 / 3 = his Average is 40.00 despite getting 3 Ducks from 6 innings (50% of his innings ended up in total failure), isn't it.? that is why you cannot factor this in anyway to consider scoring consistency.
It is hard to imagine the immediate future of SL Cricket, without the services of big three to pull the load & build any inning, in chasing or setting targets. Long partnerships are desperately needed to achieve that. Everyone is talking about the dire need of consistent batters to do the job done by outgoing veterans. There is only one option available in cold storage, without due recognition or deserved place in this island nation, full of "JUSTICE" & wise Officials /Fans selectively bent on various "meritorious" deeds according to their mindset filled with vacuity.
Overall Career ranking – High Scoring Frequency Ratios of SL players (as of April 2015): Number of Innings needed to score a 50+ runs (including 100+ scores)
Played Number of Innings / number of all above 50 scores including 100+ scores:
1) Sanga – 3.22 ins (380 / 118)
2) Tharanga – 4.12 ins (169 / 41) – Note*** achieved without having the luxury of New Field Restriction Benefits enjoyed by others.
3) Mahela – 4.35 ins (418 / 96)
4) Dilly – 4.43 ins ( 288 / 65)
5)Thirimanne- 4.68 ins ( 75 / 16)
6) Mathews – 4.81 ins (130 / 27)
7) Chandimal -5.66 ins ( 85 / 15 )
UT has maintained a career frequency of 4.1 innings per each above-50 score & his high scoring frequency is only 2nd to Sanga's (better than the rest despite NOT having the benefit to improve it with currently existing New rules enjoyed by all others, because his career was on hold since 2013).
The Batting Consistency Record of "Nonexistent" SL Opener Upul Tharang (Nonexistent in the eyes of empty headed Former Selectors & some Tunnel-Visioned Fans):
– Topping 1,000 runs from just 28 innings (fastest 1,000 runs scorer in SL history)
– Topping 5,000 runs from just 157 innings (2nd fastest 5,000 runs scorer in SL history).
Yes, the Consistency that matters & this guy holds the best overall batting consistency record in SL.! Thirimanne & Chandimal certainly have the potential to fill part of the vacuum left by retiring seniors (in the long run), yet SL would never be able to find a capable Number One Opener for many years to come to fill the void created by Sanath (removing SL regular Number One for Seven Years – UT) in 2013, as clearly seen during "Sana's-Circus" in past 22 months.
It is up to the new selectors to recognize the deserved, purely on merit /achievements/productivity & treat them fairly. Utilizing their valuable services without any petty personal prejudices would certainly lift the overall standard of cricket in SL.