How good is Kusal Mendis?

– Scored 1023 Test runs in 2018, 2nd highest in world and most by a Sri Lankan

– 5th youngest batsman to score 1000+ Test runs in a year in Test history

– Scored 1512 International runs in 2018, most by a Sri Lankan

– 3 Test centuries in 2018, most by a Sri Lankan batsman

– His 196 was the 3rd highest Test score in 2018, highest for a Sri Lankan

– His Test partnerships (308 with DDS) and (274* with Angelo) top two highest in world cricket in 2018

– His 274* with Angelo partnership is SL’s 2nd highest 4th wicket partnership

– Batted an entire day in New Zealand Test with Angelo, only 4th SL pair, 1st pair in world cricket over 10 years (since 29 Feb 2008)

– Scored 4301 International runs in 110 matches before the age of 24, only Mahela (5918 runs in 141 matches) scored more for SL

– Scored 2527 Test runs in 36 Tests before the age of 24, only Mahela (3076 in 42 Tests) scored more for SL

– Scored 6 Test centuries before the age of 24, only Mahela (9) scored more for SL

– 34 International catches in 2018, most by a non keeper in world

– 21 Test catches in 2018, most by a non keeper in world

– 91 International catches since 01st January 2016, most by a non keeper in world

14 Comments

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  1. He is a victim of those FB page admins who begs ‘like’s, ‘share’s and ‘comments. What he is going through is the difficult passage through which every SL batsmen had to go due to our poor infrastructure of cricket. Apart he was unfortunate to represent the country in the darkest era of SL cricket and in such a young age he has been a main stray of the team. Ideally, this is the period he has to grow under seniors. in between multiple failures, he shows his potential. He has already done things which the great Virat kohli has not done and things we did not expect from sanga, mahela and aravinda even in our dreams..

  2. Yes he’s done well so far,sad to see people without any cricketing sense making fun of him.social media is a double edged sword, sportsmen are better off staying out of social media.

    mendis also needs to work on his technique especially cover driving and leaving balls outside the off stump.

    Hopefully he can turn around his ODI game. his form has been horrible since july 2017(as you’ve neglected to mention)positive thoughts i get it!.Hopefully he’ll light up the world cup.

  3. I keep seeing ridiculous posts comparing KM to UT which is absolutely mind boggling. I have no clue what people have against this kid or why he is continuously a point of discussion to being dropped and replaced by UT. In 10 years time this guy will be spoken of in the same breath as Sanga and Mahela. Be patient with him. He has had some brilliant knocks in his short career (along with the occasional brain fade moments too). His slip catching is probably the best in the team and his general fielding is top notch too. Give him time people. He will come good. His comparison stats to Mahel and Sanga around the same age would be on par I would reckon.

  4. Daniel — Your article heading needs a big correction…as “How good is Kusal Mendis in TEST Cricket?

    Otherwise it becomes meaningless article heading . No one can deny the fact that Mendis is naturally gifted to play longer version of the game adjusting well to it’s demands. But that doesn’t mean he can become a good ODI batter as well (as already proven with costly 50+ matches wasted on him bringing total disaster & contributing massively to the decline of ODI standard in past 2+ yrs).

    Kusal Mendis had played 57 ODIs @ pathetic 26 Av – showing further decline in ODIs, unable to cope-up with the demands of shorter version, against stronger opponents (in 2018 – 16 Av/ in 2019 – 12 Av) . Kusal Mendis’ last 17 ODI innings yielded sorrily 268 runs @ 15 Av for poor SL – heavily contributing to the defeats against Eng/ SA/ NZ / & BD/Afganistan ensuring instant exit from Asia bringing continuing misery to ODI side with the adorable COURTESY of his angel Coach Hathurusinghe .!

    There were/are many other classic Test batters similar to him (Ie: Dimuth, Chandimal, Thilan Samaraweera etc. ) seen in the past & present with limited talent & skills specifically suited just for Test cricket. They never blossomed in ODIs & would have been much better off, if they had confined their entire careers focusing only on Test cricket, when found-out their total failure in limited-overs arena . Persisting with such players, expecting to cross over the line at some point out of their naturally gifted scope had never ever worked out, as evident from history.

    A batter with good temperament & exceptional ability to play longer innings doesn’t mean that he is a readily available ingredient to mold a hero in fast-paced arena as well. Most of such will never become successful limited over guys as already proven with many cases in history ( ie: Thilan Samaraweera 50+ Odis @ 27 Av – SR 60s / this decade’s fast-paced era debuted Chandimal, even after playing 146 ODIs over Nine years, could NOT Improve his match dwindling Strike Rates – 59 in 2017 /SR 76 in 2018 / SR 43 in 2019… became a huge bottle-neck to the ODI team in most doomed matches – costing heavily for SL).

    Let this guy Kusal Mendis confined to Test Cricket only along with Chandimal (as Dimuth) . If the authorities are brainy enough, that way you can avoid this youngster’s inconsistency reflected in his Test cricket today… obviously due to his unending string of miserable failures in ODI cricket. If you want to protect this guy from breaking down totally, that is the essential must need to be done right now to get the maximum out of his born talent. !

  5. For me this is the real thing but I presume we will drop him soon and expect him to blossom on the bench! His issues are with shot selection, particularly as he arrives. I think his ability to make runs is no longer up for debate – only Kholi got more in 2018 and this guy made hardly any runs at home.

    He reminds me of a young Aravinda and my call is he must play all forms of cricket. Yes he is not doing well in limited overs cricket but then who is. The question is if we can this guy up and running in limited overs cricket with KJP at #3 – we will have a solid base.

  6. No matter how long you live with unrealistic expectations & hopes .. Can we expect a turtle with a hard shell to withstand brutal hammering & patiently reach a winning goal spending plenty of time … to develop wings to fly quickly at some point, enabling it to win a Horse Race? LoL

    By the way Kusal Mendis had played the most number of matches in each format among all SL players during past 2 years in international cricket, naturally enhancing his chances of gathering more runs in Test cricket in 2018, than the rest like Dimuth Karunarathne.

  7. Sri lankan spectators ,media personels,bloggers ,editors are responsible for current situation of the team, they try to distroy of promising young stars may be due to their personal agendas. As fans we must support the players instead of criticising them. They are so much kusal mendis haters. Please note that ,now every team thinking how to take kholi’s wicket. Similarly they want to take the wicket of kusal when playing against sri lanka. Andrew silva’ s blog is useless. We should support these youngsters. Droping them wont do any good. If a new player come similar thing will be done by bloggers like you. Also your blog doesnot allow anyone to comment

  8. @Kalof : Yes of course partially blind people like Kalof, stormy etc. always ready to deny the naked truth highlighted with hard evidence (in the form of undeniable performance stats in the middle) pumping life to their near & dear inert dummies, bloating up to star class . I have nothing personal against any player & already acknowledged Mendis’ true potential/class in Test arena. But i’m not blind to have eternally long unrealistic expectations of transforming him to an ODI star and waste any more chances of others on such a failure (Such wrong-footed wasteful Investments made on Thirimanne & Chandimal are two living examples seen today).

    They can only blame & accuse all who accept the obvious reality over hopeless expectations, spanned over unlimited time . We make constructive criticism hoping for an end to the internal chances wasted on such incapable dummies, purely for the sake of terminally ill SL ODI cricket.

    Endlessly expecting miracles to materialize on blind faith & trying to convince others with hollow speculations nowhere near reality would only expedite the journey of SL cricket to the grave yard. Selectively trying to push the reality convinced over three years under the carpet & asking to extend that wasteful crime of ruining the chances of much more potentially capable guys knocking at the door….? just to accommodate an already tried & classified ODI failure like Kusal Mendis is a mega crime.!

    Whether you like it or not, this is the absolute truth proven solidly over past 3 yrs , costing 50+ ODIs to SL.

    People who still blindly support this destructive act of nuts (sans grey-matter), at the helm of decision making in SL cricket are directly responsible for the current sorry-state of our limited over cricket ..!!!

  9. @Kalof : Yes of course partially blind people like Kalof, stormy etc. always ready to deny the naked truth highlighted with hard evidence (in the form of undeniable performance stats in the middle) pumping life to their near & dear inert dummies, bloating up to star class .

    I have nothing personal against any player & already acknowledged Mendis’ true potential/class in Test arena. But i’m not blind to have eternally long unrealistic expectations of transforming him to an ODI star and waste any more chances of others on such a failure (Such wrong-footed wasteful Investments made on Thirimanne & Chandimal are two living examples seen today).

    They can only blame & accuse all who accept the obvious reality over hopeless expectations, spanned over unlimited time . We make constructive criticism hoping for an end to the internal chances wasted on such incapable dummies, purely for the sake of terminally ill SL ODI cricket.

    Endlessly expecting miracles to materialize on blind faith & trying to convince others with hollow speculations nowhere near reality would only expedite the journey of SL cricket to the grave yard. Selectively trying to push the reality convinced over three years under the carpet & asking to extend that wasteful crime of ruining the chances of much more potentially capable guys knocking at the door….? just to accommodate an already tried & classified ODI failure like Kusal Mendis is a mega crime.!

    Whether you like it or not, this is the absolute truth proven solidly over past 3 yrs , costing 50+ ODIs to SL.

    People who still blindly support this destructive act of nuts (sans grey-matter), at the helm of decision making in SL cricket are directly responsible for the current sorry-state of our limited over cricket ..!!!

  10. @Kalof : Yes of course partially blind people like Kalof, stormy etc. always ready to deny the naked truth highlighted with hard evidence (in the form of undeniable performance stats in the middle) pumping life to their near & dear inert dummies, bloating up to star class .

    I have nothing personal against any player & already acknowledged Mendis’ true potential/class in Test arena. But i’m not blind to have eternally long unrealistic expectations of transforming him to an ODI star and waste any more chances of others on such a failure. Such wrong-footed wasteful Investments made on Thirimanne & Chandimal (in ODIs) are two living examples seen today.

    They can only blame & accuse all who accept the obvious reality over hopeless expectations, spanned over unlimited time . We make constructive criticism hoping for an end to the internal chances wasted on such incapable dummies, purely for the sake of terminally ill SL ODI cricket.

    Endlessly expecting miracles to materialize on blind faith & trying to convince others with hollow speculations nowhere near reality would only expedite the journey of SL cricket to the grave yard. Selectively trying to push the reality convinced over three years under the carpet & asking to extend that wasteful crime of ruining the chances of much more potentially capable guys knocking at the door….? just to accommodate an already tried & classified ODI failure like Kusal Mendis is a mega crime.!

    Whether you like it or not, this is the absolute truth proven solidly over past 3 yrs , costing 50+ ODIs to SL.

    People who still blindly support this destructive act of nuts (sans grey-matter), at the helm of decision making in SL cricket are directly responsible for the current sorry-state of our limited over cricket ..!!!

  11. For people who like to go with stats, take these…
    Aravinda De Silva in his first 5 years in ODI cricket – Avg= 27
    Sanath Jayasuriya in his first 5 years in ODI- Avg=20.18
    Marvan Atapattu in his first 5 years in ODI- Avg=10
    Mahela Jayawardene in his first 5 years in ODI- Avg= 32 (Even after that 5 years he only got 21 runs in 9 innings in 2003 WC

    Every SL batsman had gone an inconsistent period of 4-5 years in international cricket and people who survived this period have gone for the glory… It is due to the poor infrastructure of our cricket and giving them a 5 year is fair compensation. Even the present hero Kusal Perera had to go through a similar 5 years before he established in the side. If someone says Kusal Mendis is built only for test cricket, it is a joke. He is a naturally aggressive player. Anyone can see it when he plays. During the last 4 years, SL has invested heavily on Kusal Mendis in ODI cricket and so we have to let him play for the WC. If he finds his rhythm, he is the biggest match winner we have in upcoming WC. If he would not, keep him on the bench, and by WC 2023, he will be a mature cricketer with experiences with games biggest event. There is always a risk. Giving that the potential posses to Kusal Mendis, it is worthwhile to take this risk.

  12. @mega turbo – FYI, repeated posts & comments off beyond my control…. probably due to technical issue. What’s the point comparing the CAREER STATS in an entirely different era over 3 decades distant past ?

    Here is the real comparison of some ordinary batters who made their debut in this decade & at 5yrs or less of their ODI careers (leaving the exceptional batters like Kohli -50+ Av, Jo Root -50+ etc) .

    So where is this so called “prodigy” Kusal Mendis (55 odis @ 26 Av) stands in relative terms in this highly competitive & high-performance-productivity demanding fast-paced era seen in this decade?

    SL simply cannot afford to waste more ODI matches on him expecting miracles, when clearly there are potentially better youngsters (ie: Avishka Fernando, Kamindu Mendis etc) knocking at the door:

    Niroshan Dickwella – 35 Av (25 yrs)
    Travis Head – 34 Av (25 yrs)
    Soumya Sarkar- 34 Av (25 yrs)
    Henry Nicholls – 36 Av (27 yrs)
    Jonny Bairstow – 48 Av (29 yrs)
    Jos Buttler – 38 Av (28 yrs)
    Rohit Sharma – 33 Av
    Shikhar Dhawan – 43 Av
    Ambati Rayudu – 50 Av

  13. The major problem with some mono-focal SL fans & the responsible think-tanks is… they all deeply lacking the overall analytical view to judge reality.

    Someone here even pointing out KJP’s failure in limited over cricket in initial 3+ yrs to justify Mendis saga. KJP’s ODI saga slotting him to Open extended over 3 yrs is typical example for the above mentioned horrible weakness in decision makers (virtually halting just then 5k+ runs topped 2nd quickest SL player UT’s prime career @ 28 yrs & if those 3 yrs were not scrapped off from his career- today he would have topped 10,000 odi runs with 20+ Hundreds today… considering the amount of matches he missed, come close to 1/3 of his career innings at that point).

    Since mid 2014, it took almost 3 yrs and 50+ odis & many lost series including 2015WC hopes, for those at top to realize the futility of having KJP as Opener.
    Ultimately KJP ended up totally dooming 50% of his (50+) innings as ODI Opener in single-digit scores mostly lasted under 10 balls – wasting 27 innings – to collect astonishingly low 105 runs @ 3.88 Av – 51 SR , while Upul was dumped in the bin virtually without giving any decent international opportunity over 3 yrs, other than a very few solitary matches randomized over 3 yrs until 2017 regular spot, where he topped 1k runs within the year, only behind Kohli & Sharma.

    I have pointed this absurdity in Cricinfo during late 2014, but it took 3 yrs for those top-nuts to realize that in the hardest way possible :))) Today KJP is doing well in the middle order, not as Opener in any format.!

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