Cricketry’s Playing 11 for the first test against New Zealand

We already know that the Sri Lanka Cricket selectors have selected a 15 man squad for the New Zealand test series. While we have our concerns about the selection, especially not choosing Dhanushka Gunathilaka who performed well in the warm-up game and the complete omission of Roshen Silva. However, that could be a discussion for another day.

Today, our Cricketry Sri Lanka team is planning to do one of our favourite things, team selection.

So here are our thoughts on the playing 11 for the first test match. As we all know, the first match is to be played in Galle, which is traditionally a spin-friendly one. Therefore, we think that it is smart to take the field with three spinners, including a batting allrounder and two-seamers. This would allow us to play seven batsmen.

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  1. It’s a weak combination on the openers. If you look at the composition of the 15 player squad it is very clear that the selectors have taken in to consideration the test match experience / performances during the last 3 / 4 test serieses in selection the 15 man squad. So definitely Dickwella should play and that will give an advantage of playing Kusal Janith in the top order. He is a player who has performed very well in no 3,4 &5 positions in test matches. In ODI’s he has a very good record playing with Dimuth as an opener. Beside he is also a wkt keeper who has the best of ability to open an inning.
    So in order to get the best team balance Kusal will have to play as an opener. Other choice is Tirimanna who has opened the innings in recent test matches with Dimuth but he had a very ordinary performance. If Tirimanna is played the first 3 positions will be occupied by three of the slowest scoring batting specialist batsmen (Dimuth. Tirimanna & Oshada) and that will enable NZ to create lot of pressure on our top order with great success. So in my opinion the best choice will be to use Kusal Janith as an opener. If he bats at no 7 it will be a waste cos he wont be facing many deliveries and SL will be not utilizing his great ability to play a long inning.
    So my proposed XI will be
    1 Dimuth
    2 Kusal Janith
    3 Oshada
    4 Kusal Mendis
    5 Mathews
    6 Dhananjaya
    7 Dickwella
    8 Akila
    9 Embuldeniya
    10 Lahiru Kumara
    11 Vishwa Fdo

    It’s sad to note that Chandimal cannot find a position in the final XI due to his poor current form as a batsman. He will not be able to play as awkt keeper as Dickwella has shown more superiority in his wkt keeping as well as batting than Chandimal.

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