Kusal Mendis has more chances to open with Danushka & here is my probable team
Current form of the first seven batsmen determined according to their performances in the most recent three T20 series SL played during the last 9 months will be the basis for selecting the right combination for tomorrows first match. Five positions are almost decided in my opinion. Those are; Danushka (1), Bhanuka (3), Oshada (4), Dasun (5) and Wanindu (7). The tussle will be for the 2nd openers spot & no 6 batsman. When you look at the records of the last 3 T20 series played with South Africa (in March 2019), New Zealand (in Sep 2019) & Pakistan (in Oct 2019) as shown in the following link for averages, SRs, boundary/sixes rates (taken from Cricinfo), without any doubt one will agreethat Kusal Mendis will take the second opener’s place and Dickwella will be the no 6 batsman. My reasons are given below.
This link provides the statistical records for all the SL T 20 batsmen during the last 3 serieses (from 1st Feb 2019 to 26th Oct 2019)
SECOND OPENER – Kusal Mendis or Avishka ?
Averages for both players are:
Kusal M – 4m-209r-27.3av-127SR-11/4(4s/6s)-40%P4-22%P6
Avishka – 8m-111r-13.9av-94SR-8/3(4s/6s)-29%P4-16%P6
Above details show that AVISHKA’s recent form has been not up to the requirements in many aspects. His av & SR were only 13.9 (min has to be at least 25.0) & 94% respectively (min of at least 130% is required) and even boundary percentages was very low & below the required level. KUSAL MENDIS in comparison has achieved higher ratings in all above mentioned parameters. Avishka’s way of playing the initial deliveries is questionable and one wonder whether he is in a lean patch these days.
So the second opener has to be KUSAL MENDIS.
NO 6 POSITION – DICKWELLA or KUSAL J or SHEHAN J ?
Last 9 month averages for the 3 players are as follows
Dickwella – 6m-154r-25.7av-142SR-17/2(4s/6s)-44%P4-8%P6
Kusal J – 3m-25r-8.3av-78%SR-2/0(4s&6s)-32%P4-0%P6
Shehan J – 4m-56r-18.7av-119SR-6/1(4s/6s)-43%P4-11%P6
Above statistics show that Dickwella is leading in all 3 parameters.
Beside Dickwella was played in the practice match means he will most probably play in the first T 20 match.
Therefore no 6 position will be taken by Dickwells.
MY PROBABLE TEAM WILL BE;
- Kusal M
As Rajitha’s death bowling has not been good I prefer to play Pradeep. Anyway the decision to play Sandakan or a fourth seamer (in that case Rajitha) may be taken on the match day depending on the condition of the pitch, but looking at Australian pitches in general, Sandakan has more chances to play.
By Susantha Jayawardena