(Brooks et al.)
Lahiru Kumara: An X Factor with Pace
By: Shazeen Ifamy
Sri Lanka’s win against Oman yesterday was a good win given the current form of the team in the T20 format. However, Sri Lanka’s win wasn’t convincing to any point but a win is a win and it will certainly boost the confidence of the team going forward. If we are to look at the positives of the game then it would be the fact that our batsmen faced fewer dot balls and were able to work the ball into gaps to gain singles regularly. Another positive note is the fact that both Avishka Fernando and our captain Dasun Shanaka found form with the bat.
However, for me, I believe that the performance of Lahiru Kumara was the true positive note for Sri Lanka as he was able to bowl his full quota of over and pick up 4 wickets for 30 runs but the impressive thing about this spell is that he went at an economy rate of 7.50. Now the reason and this is a positive note for Sri Lanka is because Kumara usually goes at an economic rate of 8 or above and doesn’t usually pick up wickets to make up for his expensive overs.
Now with an impressive performance under his belt, Kumara has opened a new opportunity for Sri Lanka to make a possible game-changing discussion that Nuwam Pradeep looks unlikely to play the world cup as a result of his injury during yesterdays game which is to bring Lahiru Kumara into the main team squad as he is currently a reserve player for the world cup. Now the reason that I am suggesting this is because Lahiru Kumara is an X factor given his raw pace as we saw him continuously trouble Oman’s batsmen regularly with his pace and bounce. Another reason why Sri Lanka should make this move is that the pitch in Oman won’t be that different from the pitches in U.A.E and will most probably offer good pace and bounce. Now let’s say that the pitches might not have pace and bounce but Kumara can still trouble the batsmen because his got pace and plenty of it as well.
In contention playing Kumara could backfire if he is unable to trouble the batsmen and pick up wickets. Furthermore, if he fails to control his economic rate and gives away expensive overs it could hurt Sri Lanka hence playing Kumara is a gamble as if he bowl and performed well as yesterday it would help Sri Lanka but if he is unable to take wickets and is expensive it could seriously hurt Sri Lankan. However, with the negatives aside I strongly believe Sri Lanka should move Kumara into the main squad as a replacement for Pradeep as he is an X factor and could boost Sri Lanka’s chances during the world cup as his pace will surely trouble even the best batsmen in the world.
In conclusion for this plan of playing Kumara to work Kumara’s economic rate mustn’t exceed 8. However, the most important factor for this plan to work is that our batsmen have to fire and be able to both set and chase big totals as this would allow Kumara to bowl with freedom and pace. All in all, if used right Lahiru Kumara can be a match-winner for Sri Lanka in the world cup.
Brooks, R., Kodikara, I. S., Hassan, A., Njikizana, J., Melville, M., NurPhoto, McCawley, J., Schwoerer, K., Images, G., Kotze, C., S.kodikara, I., Contributor, A. F. P., Goodall, F., Maina, S., Wanniarachchi, L., & Rooney, Q. (n.d.). Lahiru Kumara of Sri Lanka confers with teammate Dinesh Chandimal during Day 1 of the 1st test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, on June 6, 2018…. news photo. Getty Images. Retrieved October 8, 2021, from https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/lahiru-kumara?page=2.
Yes Lahiru’s express pace will be an X Factor, but he has to control his line (like Rabada does) One missing factor in his bowling is the absence of yokers. Especially wide yokers on off side. Dravo bowls many wide yokers very effectively As Bravo is not very fast he has selected wide yokers to tame the batters at the death. But if Lahiru can bowl yokers (like our Malinga did) at the wkt he can deceive even specialist batters at the death. But what I have seen is he is still bowling short pitched bouncers where even a tail ender can divert for a six if he can make a little contact. His express speed contributes a lot in this case. So our fast bowling coach has to guide Lahiru to master him how to bowl effective yokers at the death instead of bowling every delivery as short pitched.
I agree to you.Mr.Susantha Jayawardena.Lahiru kumara balls mostly bouncers.When he is bowling always bouncers experienced batters can hit a six to it very easily. I have never seen Lahiru kumara is bowling yorkers .He has to bowl different types of deleveries including yorkers.
Both these points are very good but we should not forget the fact that Lahiru Kumara is young, he is only 24 years old plus he is learning very match. In the second T20I against Oman, he bowled another very good economic spell and picked up two wickets bowling the yorker. Another thing to consider is the role of Kumara in the team, his role is to bowl fast hard length deliveries and push the batter on the back foot and build pressure. Kumara is still young, fit, fast, and talent and it’s scary to imagine the level at which Kumara will bowl when he reaches the peak of his career at 27 or so and if Kumara will work closely with Vaas Aiya, he will truly become a top class fast bowler just look at what Vaas Aiya was able to do with Chameera.