15 players who can perform (according to their true potential) as per the toughest of requirements in the WC

    My team of 15 players is picked based on their current form (performance             during the last 12 month period) who can perform according to the toughest  of requirements in the WC this year. The criteria used is explained below.

The 15 player Squad reads as follows.

  • (1) DIMUTH

  • (2) KUSAL P

  • (3) LAHIRU / (12) KUSAL M 

  • (4) MATHEWS

  • (5) BANUKA / (13) DHANANJAYA


  • (7) JEEWAN / (14) THISARA

  • (8) UDANA  

  • (9) AKILA

  • (10) MALINGA

  • (11) LAKMAL / (15) CHAMEERA

  • As the availability of Dasun Shanaka has not yet been confirmed, I Have added W Hasaranga to my squad proposed in  my earlier post. Hasaranga will provide many options expected from a genuine all rounder (we do not have one yet in our ranks) beside his power hitting ability and he has also appeared in 9 ODI matches during 2017 / 2018 year period.





(1) Top 5 batting positions are to be occupied by at least 3 experienced & reliable century makers.

During the last 2/3 years  we never had this luxury with our batting line up therefore we ended up in scoring very low totals, hardly passing 300 runs and not batting through the full 50 overs in many occasions. If you have  3 reliable century makers in your side, even in the worst scenario you can expect at least two of them to score some 60 / 80 runs or one to score a century, and easily a 300 min target can be guaranteed. My pick for these three places is (batting position given in parenthesis): Dimuth (1), Lahiru (3) & Mathews (4). 

It’s being said that Dimuth & Lahiru are both Test match players and are very slow in run scoring. But that was the situation in the past. During 2011 to 2015 Dimuth has played in only 14 matches & his av SR was only 65% (batting av around 15.0) but after 2015 he was not selected for any ODI matches not due to any reason for slow scoring but for some other reasons. I think he was having a raw deal from the selectors whereas he didn’t have any opportunity to improve his game as a ODI opening batsman. During the recent SP 4 tournament we all witnessed that both Dimuth and Lahiru have adjusted their stroke making and played many attacking shots and were able to achieve very high SRs which were well within the  limits of the SRs required in the WC for their batting positions. It can be  further confirmed from the following Cricinfo records. 

Dimuth (2011/2015 period) av SR = 65%;     In SP4 (2019) av SR = 91%  

 Lahiru (2010/2017 period) av SR = 71%;    In SP4 (2019) av SR = 82%

(2) Opening Batsmen: 

Dimuth (1) & Kusal P (2)

Kusal P will be the first Power HItter who will have to exploit the field restrictions  during the first 10 overs & score sixes regularly. He has a target to achieve that is a sixes rate (R6) of 15% min. On the last 12 month records his R6 was only 7% but during that period he was batting at no 3 or 4 position. So if he opens he will get more opportunities to score sixes and he can definitely improve this rate beyond 15%. Dimuth has to main tain a SR of at least 90% he can achieve this scoring boundaries with propoper placement with the out field has many gaps.

Lahiru (3) & Kusal M (3)

There are two options i.e. Lahiru and Kusal M but as Kusal’s recent performance has been so inconsistent therefore I prefer Lahiru for that position. No 3 batsman can maintain a SR 0f 80 % min as his task is to build up a long anchoring inning and play a waiting game.

It is also to be noted that if we loose Kusal early in the inning, no 5 batsman has to be promoted as Dimuth, Lahiru and Mathews are all not fast scoring batsmen. They should not bat together for  a long period as it may slow down the game and a very low RR being achieved.

Mathews (4) 

This has to to go to Mathews. Earlier he was batting at no 5, but now the no 5 position is assigned to a much faster scoring batsman like Banuka or Hasaranga. I consider Hasaranga as a batting allrounder due to his reasonably high batting average which is 31.0 in ODI matches. 

Banuka (5) or Dhananjaya (5)

For the no 5 position we need to have a specialist batsman who can score fast with a SR of 90% min. Whoever performs better in achieving a higher SR as well as has the ability to play a long inning  has to bat at no 5. As the no 5 batsman is expected to come in to bat at around 30 overs he has 20 more overs and so approximately he can  face 10 overs  or 60 balls. This 60 balls may be sufficient for him to even score a quick century or a 60 /80 run knock.  However both batters have  specialties in their approach to the game. Banuka can bring lot of fire power during the middle overs, on the other hand Dhananjaya will give more bowling options.   

Hasaranga (6), Dasun S (6)

Both Hasaranga and Dasun are considered as batting all rounders and are more organized power hitters than both Udana and Thisara. That’s why Hasaranga and Dasun should bat higher than Udana and Thisara.

Jeewan (7) Thisara (7) Udana (8)

Two bowling all rounders out of the above three will occupy no 7 and no 8 positions.

Specialist Bowlers

Akila (9), Malinga (10), Lakmal (11), Chameera (11)

Chameera was picked as he is the only bowler we have who can bowl  at 140+ kph speeds in addition to his past good performances.

 Above men tionedteam combination will enable Sri Lanka to score competitive team totals such as 350 runs if these players will perform according to their true potential as demonstrated by them during the period of last 12 monbths.

Guide lines and controlling factors which will be necessary according to various situations in different phases of the game and the individual strengths and scoring abilities of the batsmen are shown in table 3 below.

                                                              TABLE 3

                             GAME PLAN FOR SCORING 50 OVER TOTAL OF 350 RUNS


Prepared by

Susantha Jayawardena

Leave a Comment


  1. Its a very poor and ordinary decision to put allrounders very early from number 6. I say again and again number 6 should be a proper batsman, which has been the root for all the batting collapses Sri lanka have gone through over the last few years. Number 6 position in a team is very important and he should be a proper batsman who can accelerate & hit hard and has the consistency as well

  2. SL Genuine Cricket Lover. I think you are totally confused from the real meaning of an all rounder. According to my selection the first six batsmen s or/and batting all rounders are specialist batsmen. That’s why for no 6 I picked a batting all rounder and not a bowling all rounder. Better you go to Wikipedia and check the difference between a batting all rounder and a bowling all rounder. For an example Dhanajaya is a batting all rounder (He is a specialist batsman where his batting average is much greater than his bowling average) That’s why I specifically mention the no 6 position has to go to a Batting all rounder. In my team no 6 is given to Hasaranga and Dasun as both are batting all rounders. Please refer Wikipedia link for the definition of all rounder, batting all rounder and bowling all rounder. If we use Thisara, Jeewan or Udana at no 6 it will be a problem. I specifically mentioned that in my write up. So I am sorry to tell you that I am not in agreement with your comment.

  3. SL Genuine Cricket Lover One more point in response to your comment. I know your point / concern. In the recent tour to NZ and and England tour of SL we have sent Thisara to bat at no 5 & 6. Almost all matches where Dasun S was playing he batted either at no 5 or 6. Sending Thisara at no 6 was a big mistake It was not only a single match but in 3 matches. In one match he went at no 5. Thisara is a bowling all rounder (therefore he doesn’t come into the category of a batting all rounder or a specialist batsman).

    Your point of SL batting failures in the recent past was mainly due to the poor form of our specialist batsmen. If you look at the ODI averages for the last 12 months,our specialist batsmen like Chandimal, Kusal Medis, Tharanga all had very poor batting averages like 27, 22 & 16 respectively which were even below the batting av of a bowling all rounder. In all matches Dasun was batting at no 5 because he usually bats at no 4 or 5 for his club although his average is not high. If you take all our specialist batsmen only Mathews had a good average (57) during last year all the other batsmen were having averages below 32 so its a total failure of our specialist batsmen.

    In other countries every specialist batsman or a batting all rounder is maintaining more than 40 av whereas our batsmen maintain av like 35 or even 32. Also in SL a batting all rounder averaging 32 cannot be found.
    In any case in my team there are 7 specialist batsman and just one batting allrounder (either Hasaranga or Dasun) But always its a matter of performing in initial matches (including warm up matches).If either Dasun or Hasaranga will not perform good with the bats we can utilize 6 of the 7 specialist batsmen to occupy upto no 6 position. Thank you for bringing this very valid point into a discussion.