Dasun Shanaka should be promoted to no 5 in ODIs & No4 in T 20Is. Selectors please note
This is a comment that I have been making for a very long time, but unfortunately this idea has never been given any consideration by our think tank/selectors. The reason for this could be that our selectors have so far not identified the real strength of Dasun Shanaka and the extra value that he can bring in achieving a higher team total if he bats at a higher position than no 7.
Dasun Shanaka can be classified in modern day white ball games as a Middle Order Power Hitting Batting All rounder. Very few countries in the International circuit have specialist batsmen batting in the middle order while occupying no 4,5 or 6 positions who are also specialized in Power Hitting. If you look at Cricinfo statistics for the last 12 month period there are only 2 PH middle order specialist batsmen who have av SR of more than 110% and a R(4+6)ratio of more than 60% (R(4+6) is the % of runs scored in boundaries & sixes). They are Dasun Shanaka (No7) & Maxwell (Aus) (no 5). Their last 12 month records together with few others who have close to 60% (4&6) ratios are as follows.
There are many top order batsmen (like Gayle & Sharma) who have more than 60% (4+6) ratios but they achieve very high SR as well as more fours and sixes by exploiting the field restrictions, therefore they don’t fall into the category of middle order power hitters who have to bat with a well spread field that makes scoring sixes & fours more difficult.
From the above comparison it is clear that our own Dasun has the maximum sixes ratio of 30%. As he has the greatest of strength in timing and middling the ball to send it over the ropes it’s not to be surprised that he has the best Power Hitting record in the world. .
In addition to his power hitting abilities he knows how to build up a long inning by rotating the strike as well as scoring quick short runs at the start of the inning. During the 2nd ODI with Pakistan scoring 68 runs in 80 balls (SR of 85%) was a very good example. Until he faced 30 balls his SR was only 57%. As he had to come to the wicket after SL lost 5 wickets for 28 runs at the beginning he had to play a waiting game. The point I am trying to focus is that we must make use of his batting abilities in a more wiser way and promote him in the batting order to no 5 position in ODI matches and no 4 in T20 matches.
As a target our think tank should control the batting position of Dasun in such a way that he will face the maximum number of deliveries. In my opinion in ODI matches he should come to bat at or around 30 over mark. For T20 he should be at the wicket at or around 10 overs. Then he will have an opportunity to face the last 15 overs, and last 7 overs respectively where he can move into the top gear and score runs at an astonishing SR of more than 200%. The same high SR has been achieved during the last stage of his inning in the last ODI match with Pakistan.
THEREFORE WE MUST PROMOTE DASUN IN THE BATTING ORDER TO NO 5 (in ODIs) AND NO4 IN T 20I. IF WE CAN GIVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FACE MORE DELIVERIES WE CAN EXPECT HIM TO SCORE A BIG INNING WHILE ACHIEVING VERY HIGH OVERALL SRs of 150%(in T 20I) and 125% (in ODI) RESPECTIVELY
If we continue at no 7 position with Dasun, I think we are wasting our resources and I hope our selectors & think tank will seriously think about it & implement the scenario in the coming 3 T20 matches.
Prepared by SUSANTHA JAYAWARDENA