Inclusion of Dimuth, Lahiru, Banuka & Dasun will improve our chances of reaching the Knockout Stage
Things are getting better and better with our team selection process after some encouraging news were released yesterday & today and I would therefore like to update with my latest comments on the team selection.
CONCLUSION (Given first as the Fans will first get an idea on the purpose of this report )
(1) Dimuth, Lahiru and Mathews are established and reliable century makers. So as a minimum scenario we can expect at least two of them to score big. Means there will be two individual contributions of 70 / 80 runs or at least expect one of the three to score a century.
(2) Both Banuka and Dasun are Power Hitting Batting All Rounders.Their contribution to the team total will be expected to be much greater than the contribution from Bowling All Rounders (who are Udana & Thisara).
(3) Combination of these five players will enable Sri Lanka to achieve large Team Totals like 350 runs and increase their chances to reach the Knock out stage.
(1) Dimuth (2) Kusal P (3) Lahiru (4) Kusal M (5) Mathews
(1) By including Dimuth, Lahiru & Mathews who all are considered as reliable century makers and will bat within the first five batting positions, there is a great possibility of scoring big team totals in the range of 330 to 360 runs I guess. During the last three tours to NZ, AUS & SA we never had this luxury and our batting was so weak where we could not even bat for the full 50 overs.
(2) My team will also have Kusal P who is the only batsman we have who can exploit the initial field restrictions during the first 10 PP overs to the maximum. His shot selection is fantastic on both sides of the wicket and on fast, rising deliveries as well. He has been batting during the last year at no 3,4 positions but still he used to score sixes at a rate of 8%. So if he opens he will be able to score more sixes during the first 10 overs and achieve R6 of 15 % min. which is the recommended minimum for a power hitting opening batsman. During the early years of his career Kusal was opening the innings for SL therefore the opening position is not a new thing for him.
(3) Dimuth opening the inning will be the best thing that can happen to our ODI team. Although he last played in an ODI in 2015 reason for his non inclusion after that was not due to his poor performance but due to some other unknown reasons. During the recent Super Provincial Tournament he batted very well and achieved a healthy SR of 91%. He will be a more useful batsman to keep one end stable and avoid any early collapse.
(4) Of course Lahiru was introduced into the team to replace Sangakkara one day. I think according to the style of his batting he can play the anchor role while achieving a min SR of 80% which is adequate for a no 3 batsman who is playing an anchor role.
(5) If both Banuka and Dasun are playing there will be a competition for the no 3 position between Lahiru and Kusal M. But if only Banuka is playing and not Dasun Kusal M can play at no 4
(5) If both Banuka & Dasun are playing I prefer Mathews to bat at no 4.
(6) Banuka (7) Dasun (8) Dhananjaya
(2) Also it is learnt that the selectors have now decided to include Banuka R to have much needed fire power during the lower middle overs. This is a very good idea. Although he has not played previously in any ODIs he has performed well during the last year in some 10 to 12 List A matches and has scored runs at a very healthy SR of 118% which is very good. Other latest news is that Dasun Shanaka is going to be fit for the WC. That means we will have two best power hitters, I mean the best Power Hitting Batting All Rounders in the country. Advantage of having a power hitting batting all rounder is, that he can come into bat as early as at 30 over point. As he has a good batting technique (unlike the bowling all rounder) he can settle down quickly and go for a long inning and play attacking shots pretty early. In simple terms if a batting power hitter comes into bat at around 30 overs he will be able to bat during the full 20 over period and will be facing around 60 balls (half of 20 overs). Therefore he will have the chance to even score a quick century or some quick 60/80 runs.Usually the power hitting batting all rounders are able to achieve SRs around 125% SR and that will definitely boost the team total beyond the 300 run mark.
(4) If we include both Banuka and Dasun Shanaka to the line up, definitely we will have to drop Chandimal from the team. Even before inclusion of Banuka and Dasun, I would not think Chandimal deserves a chance in the team We do not want to have too many slow scoring batsmen who have SRs around 80%. Only two of them are more than adequate. Dimuth and Lahiru will be the only two slow scoring batsmen we will have in the team. We must accept their slow scoring batting as their task is to score big or score centuries. In the squad we can have another slow scoring batsman and I will go for Dhananjaya instead of Chandimal. Dhananjaya scores faster than Chandimal and he will also give some bowling option to the team as well. During the recent Super Provincial tournament it was demonstrated that Dimuth (SR 91%), Lahiru (SR 82%) & and Dhananjaya (SR 89%-) all can score faster than Chandimal (SR 77%). So Chandimal has to leave the squad.
(9) Udana (10) Thisara (11) Jeewan
(3) What will happen to our already established low order power hitters like Udana, Thisara (and the new comer Jeewan) ? I consider three of them as bowling all rounders so they are good enough to score small cameo innings only. Beside as they will occupy no 7 & 8 positions they will be facing very few overs like 10 the maximum (or 60 balls). During this short period they will have to take many risks in their shot selection, and play pure slogging, cross batted & unconventional shots. As they will hit at every ball and if they are connected they can score at a higher rate of sixes than a batting all rounder can do. Some of the bowling all rounders can achieve SRs upto 150%
(12) Akila D
(5) Other major issue to be highlighted is leg spinners position. In bowling I do not see a big difference between Jeewan and Vandersy. So why we waste one position by having Vandersay in the team. Akila is our main spinner who will bowl 10 overs. From the the second spinner we can expect 5/7 overs maximum. As there will also be 4 fast bowlers including two bowling all rounders, about 15 overs of spin can be shared with Akila / Jeewan or Akila / Dhananjaya. So I will include Jeewan instead of Vandersay in the team. If we play Jeewn, instead of Vandersay team balance will improve tremendously.
(13) Malinga (14) Lakmal (15) Chameera
(6) The main two fast bowlers have to be Malinga and Lakmal. My third fast bowler is Chameera. He is picked based on his speed. When other countries have 3/4 bowlers bowling at 145+ kph speeds we must have at least one bowling at 140+ kph.
Th team I am proposing is having 6 Power Hitters three from the batsmen and three from the bowlers.
So my squad selection is going to be as follows:
(2) Kusal P (PH 1)
(3) Thirimanna / (12) Kusal M.
(4) Mathews (13) Dhananjaya
(5) Banuka R (PH2) / (14) Dasun S (PH 3)
(6) Jeewan (PH 4)
(7) Udana (PH 5)
(8) Thisara (PH 6)
(11) Lakmal (15) Chameera
Above squad has the following batsmen / bowler combinations
– Batsmen (6)
– Batting All Rounders (2) (one bowling fast & one bowling spin)
– Fast Bowlers (3)
– Fast Bowling All Rounders (2)
– Spin Bowling All Rounder (1)
– Spinner (1)
Above 8 batsmen-(which also includes 2 batting all rounders ) & the 3 bowling all rounders can be combined to form the following nucleolus of our batting line up (up to no 8 position) to produce the BEST TEAM BALANCE (Refer to Part 1, i.e. my previous post also). All the batsmen and all rounders that I picked have the ability to score runs at the recommended SRs and sixes ratios, therefore we can expect them to score min 350 runs if they perform as per their current strengths.
EIGHT BATSMEN COMBINATION FOR THE BEST TEAM BALANCE
- (1) Opening batsman 1 (SR 90%min)
- (2) Power Hitting (PH 1) opening batsmen 2(SR 100%min)(R6 15% min)
- (3) Middle order batsman 1(SR 80% min)
- (4) Middle order batting all rounder 2 (SR 90% min)
- (5) Middle order batsman 3 (SR 90% min)
- (6) Lower order power hitting (PH2) batting all rounder 1(SR 90% min)(R6 15% min)
- (7) Lower order power hitting (PH3) bowling all rounder 2(SR 110% min)(R6 25% min)
- (8) Lower order power hitting (PH4) bowling all rounder 3(SR 110% min)(R6 25% min)
The biggest advantage on the proposed team is that we will be able to have six (6) power hitters as shown above, and we will always have the option to utilize more than the recommended minimum number of four to achieve much higher team totals above 330 runs as explained in the following Game Plans