Don’t ever expect Kusal Mendis and Chandimal to meet ODI batting demands

Kusal Mendis may be still young, but that doesn’t mean he will soon or ever be able to transformed to a limited over fast format player. The best living example for this fact is Dinesh Chandimal, who had his debut at very young age @ 20 years as an ODI player in 2010, but nearly a decade after he is still a shaking duck in the middle in limited over arena…

Precisely After Nine Years of regular chances to play nearly 150 ODIs…  where is he to day…??? Still struggling in the middle, just to keep his wicket intact by swallowing a huge number of dot balls to keep his wicket as seen from his Strike Rates still in 60s & 70s in most matches, coming to bat in the top order…..

The bare naked truth is, he is a huge bottle neck for the entire ODI batting unit, negating whatever momentum gathered by openers upfront to doom every single match as seen from his recent overall record, with no improvement at all.  Kusal Mendis is no different, except that he gets out quickly after trying to keep his strike rate up to the required mark, unlike selfish Chandimal.

Without a doubt Mendis & Chandimal are solid & skilled Test players cutout to play long Tests innings. The selectors & coach should be smart enough to understand this FACT proved repeatedly with their performance records go well beyond 50 encounters.

Expecting Kusal Mendis or Chandimal to play limited over cricket is like… Asking a patient skilled artist talented in molding or carving beautiful sculptures… to take over the job of quick Hopper Making to cater a large number of customers in a busy night stall… 🙂

Please Read my previous blog post:      Attn. Chief Selector De Mel – How SL Axed the BEST in ODIs to rely on WORST

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  1. Fair comment this and it baffles me why these two struggle in limited over cricket. Both are/were dashes and one would imagine tailor made for limited overs cricket. When Chandi came out, he was stroke maker of sorts and I cannot work out why he has such a huge struggle in limited over cricket. Mendis is another stroke maker and would expect him to be a natural limited overs players but is having a huge struggle. Given the total lack of options, I mean we are playing Chandi for crying out aloud, I still think Mendis should be pursued with. He is only very young and worth the investment.

  2. The answer is very clear, why these two are not cutout for fast paced shorter formats.

    There is a HUGE difference between Stroke making on prevailing opportunities (exploiting loose balls, flat decks, weak opponents/ bowlers, in no pressure cake walks etc) & Consistent Stoke making on any DEMANDING tough situation, under any condition, facing even top opponents in the trade are quite DIFFERENT. That is why shorter formats, especially ODIs, required a special talent & a set of skills to switch tempo at will to accelerate SR.

    Obviously the guys like Chandimal , Thirimanne , Kusal Mendis are not competent or born to do that.
    When the situation demands, guys like Chandimal & Thirimanne cannot cope up with it & simply tend to stagnate for own survival, putting the rest of the team in trouble. On the other hand, guys like Mendis would loose their wicket quickly, trying to match the demanding strike at the point becoming a walking wicket (just see the recently doomed Eng series for example, having criminally replaced the SL’s top ODI run-scorer of past 18 months -Tharanga- , Mendis continued his terminal contributions of 0 & 0 in Asia cup to score his hat-trick 0 & 5 in the two vital matches facing the full strength Eng side on relatively tough situations..! After massively contributing to loose the series…. he thrived to make a 50 after 23 innings of failures, fully exploiting the super-flat deck, facing the fully depleted 2nd string put by Eng in the dead-rubber final match.. then see what happened in NZ conditions… dumped all 3 odis to collect 38 runs @ 12 Av.

    AS already proved by Chandimal, young age doesn’t mean that he would be transformed sooner or in 10 years to acquire a set of skills that is not in his born genome. It is really foolish, futile thinking, to waste more ODIs on him. He was already given the highest number of ODIs (50+) played by any in SL in past 3 yrs at the cost of loosing numerous series & that investment is a a clear waste. WC is around the corner & SL certainly don’t need any more craftsmen to make expensive sculptures in ODI arena.

  3. Agreed to your comments on the form of Chandimal & Mendis.
    However, the stats you’ve presented would have been much more independent (in intention) if you didn’t purposefully filter the matches on/before 17th-Oct-18 – which doesn’t capture the 56(33b) by Mendis on 23 Oct 2018 vs Eng.
    [having said that, that single fifty alone cannot bring a light to his score log in recent past].

  4. In 2003 WC, there was a young SL batsman. highly rated, promising and gifted batsman. Despite all these factors, he was able to score 21 runs in nine matches in that WC. People in SL went crazy. he was heavily criticized by the public and media. just after the WC he lost his place in the squad traveled to Sharjah..however, he found his way to the national team, as selectors and administrators had faith and patient on him. in 2007 WC, it was his century took SL to the final. 2011 he hit a more than run a ball century in the final. along that he is believed to be the greatest tactician in the game his era. Mahala Jayawardene….

    there was another guy..A guy from SL U-19 team who was the runners-up in 2000 under 19 WC. he was promising and gifted. But whenever he got opportunities, he did not grab them as one likes. There was a joke at that time..wherever he was, If SL travels to a major tournament, he found his way to the team. there were stories on his father’s connections..there were stories on his ethnicity. the public and media again destroyed him through the SLC showed a lot of patience on him simply because of his capacity as a player and a captain. If he was here, he might be the man who leads SL team to the upcoming WC with more than 10,000 runs under his belt. Jehan Mubarak….

    Kusal mendis can be a mahela or depends on the extent we have faith and patience on the young man. 2019 WC is already gone fro us. Letting him have a go there will give him good exposure. We all know he has done more than MJ and sanga at his age. is in test cricket. But he is definitely not a pujara, thilan like player.He is a naturally aggressive one. So let him go.

    I agree with your concern on Upul Tharanga. The margin of error is so thin for him, giving that he has spent enough time in the international arena to improve his game, which he is not done as one likes and the opening slot where he used to bat is more competitive due to the presence of dikka, dhana and sadheera (dikka and dhana have done well too). I personally think he can be used at 5.

  5. BK – You have missed the point. The stats specifically produced here is an example to show the long stints he repeatedly failed. This failing stretch lasted 22 ODI innings between the two 50s he managed over 16 months & the overall destruction he caused to the team SL during such long lapse was enormous.

    Can any international team afford to tolerate… RUINING 22 ODI ings to scratch sorrily
    267 runs @ 12 Average ? as a specialist batter occupying the top order… can any ODI team afford to allow him any longer a gratis spot to doom series after series.. just because he is young ?? If someone has the the true potential & talent to meet the demands appropriate to the format, he doesn’t need 50 consistent chances to prove it…. but remember, within past 3 yrs Mendis had already wasted 50 odis, showing no any progress at all (nearly 1/4 of senior pro Tharanga’s innings played over a decade).

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