Our Cricket is in good hands with bench players performing well in Pakistan Tour

Danushka Gunathilaka

Although Sri Lanka lost both ODI matches to Pakistan, it was not without showing a great fight back by our bench players.

There were lot of positives we can take from the very good performance of some players who got a golden opportunity to perform in 6 ODI / T20 matches in Pakistan with world class opposition.

It was a blessing in disguise as none of these highly talented players otherwise will be only warming the benches for many more months/years during the future tours without being considered to play in the SL ODI team.

Players who performed exceptionally well are,

(1)  Danushka Gunathilaka (Opener, batting AR, Off spin)

(2)  Shehan Jayasuriya (MO bat, batting AR, Off spin)

(3)  Dasun Shanaka (MO bat, Batting AR, PH, Seam)

(4)  Vanidu De Silva (LMO bat, Batting AR, Leg spin)

(5)  Vinod Bhanuka (WK, MO Aggressive bat)

Good thing is that all the above five players are aggressive specialist batsmen and also can be considered as multi-disciplinary batting all rounders and that will improve the team balance to a very high level. They will definitely be assets to our ODI format (also in T20 format) to improve the middle order batting problems we faced during the recent WC and NZ T20 matches.

I hope our selectors will utilize the service of the first four above players wisely in the coming ODI matches. Vinod Banuka may be tried in few more non ODI matches to build up his confidence level as he has played in  very few matches.

I think the selectors have still not identified the value of Dasun Shanaka yet. Being the only specialist batsman in the team who has a great potential as a middle order Power Hitter (he has the maximum sixes ratio i.e. R6 of more than 30%) he should be elevated in the batting order to no 5 position (the most ideal position for him) in ODIs. He will then get an opportunity to bat in the middle overs at around 30 over mark, so that he can play a longer inning while achieving an overall SR of 125% minimum. This will give a tremendous boost to the innings total in order to pass 320 runs on a good batting track.

In my opinion Angelo Perera’s selection for this tour was not justified. In the last match he wasted very important 25 balls  to score some 13 runs (that too with 11 singles) without playing a single cricket shot and his batting was not even better than of a tail end batsman. I wonder on what basis Angelo was picked for the two squads when he has not performed well in the recent List A matches or any domestic match. A case of favoritism ? Our selectors has an answer.

Even Oshada is not the ideal batsman for ODI or T20 formats. His game is more suitable for test matches. There are better & more talented players who should have been selected  instead of these two players for the Pakistan Tour

MY TEAM FOR THE T20 MATCHES WITH PAKISTAN

Danushka Gunathilaka

Avishka Fernando

Shehan Jayasuriya

Dasun Shanaka

Banuka Rajapaksa

Minod Banuka

Wanindu de Silva

Isuru Udana

Lahiru Madushanka / Sandakan

Nuwan Pradeep

Lahiru Kumara

Prepared by Susantha Jayawardena

One Comment

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  1. Lot of praises are being given for the super performances of our bench players in the two ODI matches. The way Dasun Shanaka has batted in the early stage of the second match when SL were 5 wkts down for 28 runs was a very good example that he should be promoted to no 5 in ODIs and no 4 in T20s.

    The bad thing is our selectors & the think tank have not yet realized the importance of such a move and continuously sending Dasun to bat at 7 position, a factor which I do not agree at all.

    In T20, he should be at the wicket at least at the half stage of the innings, means at around 10 overs. Then he can organize the inning nicely and start to play his attacking shots after 15 overs where he can easily score the runs at an astonishing SR of over 200%. Overall SR of over 150% can be expected from him in a T20 match.

    Only a very few Middle Order Power Hitting batting all rounders are playing in the International circuit, like Glen Maxwell, and Butler. If we utilize Shanaka’s power hitting abilities in a wise way by assigning him the no 5 position (in T20 he can bat at no 4) I am sure he will become the best middle order power hitting batting all rounder in the world

    Our selectors / think tank should open their eyes to do something special in the coming 3 T20 matches.

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