SL was generally doing fine in Tests under all skippers (Chandimal, Mathews & now Dimuth) compared to shorter version limited over cricket, simply because there was not much shuffling taken place in the batting line up.
If someone is genuinely thinking of getting out of the mess we are in today, all you got to do is stick to the basic norms accepted in all other nations related to ODI cricket. Unlike in SL, they value the wide experience, overall performance maintained over last 25-30 innings, number of impact innings produced during that period & proven potential in terms of hundreds & fifty pluses made in an individuals’ career etc. They would never asses any proven player on brief dips in form spread over 10-12 innings or never bench them based on a solitary match of a series (especially after interrupting with 5-6 months long layoffs).
Trying up to Ten openers within two years & keep changing combinations every other match doing experiments with rookies, even in the few matches remaining up to a WC was never heard of in ODI arena.
At least one senior Test Opener Dimuth Karunarathne was allowed to settle, despite intermittent lean periods extended well over 10 to 18 innings from months up to a year involving many series at a time (ie: in 2016 allowed the full quota of Tests without axing despite total failure – 18 innings @ 29 Av & current year 2019 – 8 innings @ 22 Av so far).
- Being a senior player who had proved his ability in the past, in each occasion he dipped in form, Dimuth was spared from the cruel axe to give him the full mental freedom to regain his lost form without pressure. Also, many others in both formats enjoyed this freedom. This selective liberation was clearly seen in the past 2-3 yrs & sadly it was limited only to a certain PRIVILEGED bunch lucky enough TO ENJOY THE MENTAL FREEDOM & constant immunity from axing (ie: seniors like Mathews who was badly failed straight 2 yrs in Tests, averaging 28 in 2017 & 29 in 2018 & juniors like Kusal Mendis in ODI averaging 27 in 2017, 16 in 2018 & 26 in 2019 from 7 ings so far).
Now even there is some gossip talk going on about an outrageous possibility of Test player Dimuth Karunarathne ( 17 ODIs- 190 runs @ 15.83 Av- 68 SR) being parachuted to the 2019 World Cup squad at the last moment, as the SKIPPER this time!
Isn’t this move identical to the last minute virtual theft of a WC squad spot to slot in the same guy in Flopped 2015- WC (Dimuth – 18 Av)… based on a solitary TEST inning (with the courtesy of SJ & buddy Mathews). How sad to see these endless wrongdoings keep happening in SL cricket, even at this stage?
- If the gossip is true, then this must be another nefarious move purely intended to swell the Joshapian presence at the WC carnival, just for the pure prestige & pride of spoon holding higher-ups wearing the ties of same Alma Mater.
- Millions of heart-broken SL Cricket fans are only eligible to witness the ongoing hanky-panky monkey proceedings & weep.!
This obvious disparity in team selection process raise the dreadful question;
Whether SL is having any firm selection policy/ standard process applied across all players on equal teems in assessment at all…. based on merits, past credentials, current form, experience in specialty etc, taken in to account equally, irrespective of how influential the player is or his whereabouts?
- Imposing repeated axing based on single innings on a senior pro like Tharanga with 7k ODI runs & 15 ODI Tons, despite scoring heavily in the year prior to such axing @ near 50 Av, was never seen anywhere in World Cricket.
If such a senior player is selected to a squad, he should be at least given the entire series to play. That is the general norm in world cricket. No other country would bench such players after allowing one match in a series (as seen in the series Vs Eng in 2018, and extending that axing for 5 months without matches until current SA series).
- Letting to stagnate for 5 months without internationals, then again the same process repeated to bench him after 1st ODI in SA, blocking the opportunity to play at least 2 consecutive matches. If he is not good enough to utilize in the series, then why did they sent him to SA?
No matter how experienced the man is, in suffering this kind of treatment in numerous occasions during the curtailed last five years of his career, after all Tharanga is also a human being susceptible to mental suppression.
- Why don’t they realize that simple fact ?
- Even Thendulkar, Brian Lara, Kohli or our own Sanga were subjected to such treatment, would they be able to function normally?
- What kind of treatment is this?
Did we have any progress since his last ODI series winning inning?
Did we win any series by doing that?
How many 100+ or near hundreds were seen in ODIs since Tharanga’s 119 Vs SA, 112* Vs Pk & 95 Vs India in 2017?
- It is so ridiculous & looks more like repeating the deliberate attempts unleashed to break his career apart (similar to what he experienced since mid-2013 – 2017)
- Limiting to Solitary innings in months apart intermittently appearances allowed will not surve any purpose other than ruining his steep progress in batting productivity (1k+ runs @ 48 Av – 90+ SR) gained since finding a regular spot in 2017, to play the whole quota of 25 matches as Opener after facing 4 yrs of harassment shelving in the fringe without matches.
When Tharanga was given the assurance of his position after 5 years to play the whole year of 2017 until Hathurusinghe blocked him in 2019 – he had made at least FIVE single handed valiant efforts to avoid two Whitewashes suffered Vs SA, PK (with unbeaten 112* & 90 ball 119 but rest of the batting totally flopped & wasted the winning chances) & to avoid the Humiliating series defeat Vs Zmb (unbeaten 79*@ 108 SR batting @ No 5 & ran out of overs due to Opener Dhanushka wasted 25 ovs @ SR 70s) & Upul also made 95 @ 116 SR in India to put up a comfortable upfront launching pad to make 300+ score & clinch the series Vs India, but 8 wkts crumbled for 80 runs to ruin that chance. Solitary series win in 2018 came with Tharanga`s vital match winning 50+ score in the Final of triangular series in BD.