Apart from 14 yrs wide experience & 7k ODI runs with 15 tons & 37 x 50+ …. Upul Tharanga is the most productive top order ODI batter we have today in SL…. ! He proved it with ample credentialed acquired recently & over the years in the past.
- With such a solid background, experience & current form… In any other Nation, he would have been a regular automatic choice, to open the batting (it is strange to see often dismanaling of his progressively improving prime career, where 3-yr chunk was already wiped off @ 28yrs… especially in a current ODI side like SL mostly filled with eternally failing doom boys).
But in the eyes of SL think-tanks… he is still considered as a fringe player, readily disposable at any time as they wish, for the slightest patch of dip in production. This is a well-known undeniable FACT.
- The latest episode of such was seen recently, even after becoming the 3rd ranked in the world’s best productive OdI batters in 2017, only behind Kohli & Sharma (1k+ runs @ near 50 Av – 90+ SR with 2×100 – 8 x50) …. just a brief patch of 8 innings without a 50 was enough for the selectively blind authorities to kick him out as seen in 2018 (despite winning the MoM award too for his last 50+ in the solitary series won registered by SL in 2018). Upul missed the series Vs Eng after a solitary match & the entire series in NZ this year, due to unjustly axing to accomdate the worst ODI failures in past 2 -3 yrs, Thiimanne, Chandimal & Kusal Mendis. This is the kind of unfortunate treatment uniquely rendered to him throughout his career.!
I can’t recall seeing any other player in history in SL or even in the world cricket, whos was interrupted like that in their whole careers, like Tharanga had experienced. Every senior batter in the world had gone through such brief dips in their, illustrious careers as evident from their records. SL’s past legends such as Sanga, Mahela, Sanath etc had even much longer lean patches even after topping 5k runs.
- If you look at the career stats in the recent past 2-3 yrs of current senior players such as Mathews, Dimuth etc in test batting, you will find even very long lean periods extended up to 2 years.
- For most recent examples: Mathews Test Av 27 in 13 innings – 2016 & Av 29 in 18 innings -2017 and Dimuth Karunarathne Test Av 29 in 18 innings – 2016 & Av 22 in 8 innings so far this year 2019….
Did THEY EVER GET THE AXE as THARANGA experienced through out his career for the slightest hiccup, despite bringing an exceptionally good steady flow of runs to SL… as evident from his following records (recent & past)….. ?
The Answer is a clear NO.!
උපුල් තරංග 1000,2000,3000,4000,5000,6000 පහු කිරීමේදී පලමු ස්ථන තුන තුල සිටිනවා…..
- – 1000 – 2nd place with kusal mendis(28 innings)
- – 2000 – 1st palce(63 innings)
- – 3000 – 1st palce(93 innings)
- – 4000 – 1st palce(119 innings)
- – 5000 – 2nd palce(157 innings)
- – 6000 – 2nd place with sangakkaka (192 innings)
- – 7000 – just 64 more runs needed to share the 3rd spot with sangakkaka (221 innings)
**** (Please Note: The fallowing facts were extracted from a recent blog article, published @ IC by Pivithuru )
Since June 2016 ළන්කාවෙන් පිටත වැඩිම ළකුනු ගත් පිතිකරු – SL ODI runs record in AWAY Series as well in past 2.5 yrs..
ලෝක කුසලාන WC තරඟ + ICC- CT තරඟවල ළන්කා ක්රිකට් ඉතිහාසයේ 3වැනි හොඳම පිතිකරු උපුල් තරන්ග – 3rd Best SL batter in World tournaments:
Note: Since Upul was unfortunately overlooked for 2015 WC (where Dilshan & Sanga improved their Averages & Strike Rates massively by few notches up on 300+ decks, under the ever-maximum FR benefits enjoyed by all in that WC), he missed the certain chance of scoring a few more Hundreds under those conditions prevailed at the time. Since 2011 WC (where UT was ranked as overall 5th Best batter with 395 runs @ 56 Av – 84 SR with 2 x100 & 1 x 50), as a top order batter, he had just a solitary OdI in ICC-CT in Eng 2016, where he made 57 runs @ 83 SR.
- Most recently Opener Upul Tharanga was asked to prove his current form & he proved it yet again, yielding 329 runs – scoring 2 x 100s & a 60+ leading the SL-A team to 5-0 whitewash as skipper in just concluded unofficial ODI series vs Ireland-A. Upul also made a winning impact as opener for his franchaise side Dhaka Dynamites in recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019 in all final stage matches. In the final match also Upul made a blistering 48 and given his DD side the best possible start to chase a tough 200 target, but the middle order couldn’t snatch the possible victory & wasted his effort, as seen through out in SL Odis as well in 2017.. It is now up to Ashantha De Mel & his panel to give SL’s assertive Opener Upul Tharanga his due place in ODI side up to WC.
Despite all those proven credentials to back this Opener, if the current Selectors also repeat the the same mistake by overlooking the SL’s 3rd BEST ranked batter in World Tournaments, by blocking his last WC appearance in England to serve SL …. as I see it, that should be considered as a NATIONAL CRIME.!