Poor Selection Policies will spoil Sri Lanka’s Chance of Winning the T20 World Cup 2024 (Part 1 & 2)

Kusal Perera


                                  (Part 1)

The SLC selectors, in their WC Squad Selection Process have not given much thought to the latest power hitting requirements in the Modern T20 Game where all the other countries have included aggressive batters in their batting line ups who can achieve SRs of over 150%. This is only possible if there are at least 4/5 powerful batters who can hit at least 35% of the runs in sixes or 70% combined fours and sixes rate.  If SL want to do well in the World Cup they must target minimum total scores of 200 runs in every match. 

(A)   Dhananjaya (SR 102%) & Sadeera (SR 122%) are not Power Hitters, and need to be replaced in the squad by two suitable Power Hitting Batters.

(B)   Power Hitting Strength of the Team) is to be improved 

(1) Selected WC T20 Squad is very weak with regard to aggressive  power hitting batting strength. The selectors have failed to pick a balanced batting unit, consisting of 8 specialized aggressive batters, possessing a good, past and recent record on the Power Hitting aspect.    

(2)   Both DHananjaya (DDS) & Sadeera S are good only for tests & ODIs but not for T20s due to their inability to score quick runs & hit sixes regularly. Hence they cannot be classified as Aggressive, Power Hitting Batters. DDS & Sadeera’s Sixes PCT (percentage of runs scored in sixes) during the last 12 month period were only 10% & 6% respectively and due to this reason their overall Strike Rates have fallen to abysmal low values of 105% and 122% respectively during the same period. Power Hitters in all other teams achieve  min 35% sixes PCTs and a very high SRs of min 150%.

(3)   If Sadeera and DDS occupy two middle order slots it will be a difficult task for SL to achieve team totals of 200 runs or more. 

(4)   DDS’s part time off spin bowling will not be an issue as Kamindu M is a better right arm off spinner who can generate  up to a maximum turn of 3.5 degrees with his right arm off spin, compared to 2.5 degrees of turn the other finger spinners in the team can get.   

(5)   Why didn’t DDS play in any practice match? Was it due to a selection favor, not to expose his true aggressive potential? 

(6)   DDS hasn’t even performed in any fast & batting friendly pitches modified recently in SL, hence his selection for the WC Squad is  questionable. What are his Sixes PCT & SR on fast pitches? 

(7)  Both Kusal Perera & Bhanuka R are more aggressive players & have much better batting and power hitting strength records, therefore should be included in the squad to improve the  power hitting strength of the team.                                            

                                  (Part 2) 

(C)    Top Order, No 3 batting strength is weak &  need to be Improved. Experienced top order batter must play at no 3   

(D)    Bring in Kusal Perera as an opener (he can bat at No 3 as well)

(8)   Only first two places in the top order (Pathun N & Kusal M) are settled but selectors have not picked a suitable player for No 3. It is learnt that Kamindu M is going to occupy that position. Although he may have played at no 3 position in domestic matches but lack of his international exposure will be a drawback plus  the youngster will be under lot of pressure to perform in unfamiliar situations as well as oppositions and that too in a WC. That may produce adverse results.

 Ideal position therefore to play Kamindu is no 4. It is too early for him to play at no 3. An experienced Left Hand power hitting opening batter like KJP is the ideal player for no 3 or as an opener.  He has  performed well in the past in the top order, in many tests, ODIs and T20s, 

As Kamindu is also a left-hand batter we can have a future plan for him to take over KJPs place when the latter retires. That will keep the Left & Right hand combination within the three aggressive top order batters, Kamindu, Pathum & Kusal M for at least 8/10 more years as these three batters are very young. 

There is a great advantage in playing a Wkt Keeper batter  to open an inning. Due to the great eyes of a wkt keeper who is used to pick a delivery always at the release point of a bowlers hand and make quick adjustments in his body, hand and foot movements. This will definitely help the batter to make the shot very early. 

Although Kusal M now opens the inning with Pathum N, if Kusal P and Pathum opens it will bring some advantages to the batters due to maintaining a Left and Right hand combination where opening bowlers and fielders will always be troubled after the batters change their ends.

(9) There are only two opening batters (Kusal M & Pathum N) in the top order. There has to be a third opening batter in the squad, to be be used as a replacement during an injury or resting one of the two openers.  That also confirms the necessity of a  major requirement to have three opening batters in the squad.

(10) Finally, given below are the advantages the team will get if Kusal Janith Perera is included in the squad.

• He is the only well experienced Left Hand Opening Batter SL have

• Having  L/R hand openers, the batting side has many advantages

• Can trouble the opening bowlers & fielders from the opposition  

• He has opened the innings in the past in many Tests, ODIs and T20s

• In the 4 practice matches he performed as a Super PH Opener,

• Avg of 37.7 –  SR of 174% – P4 of 42% – P6 of 37% – P(4,6) of 79%

• It’s a surprise to note how our selectors can ignore Kusal Perera’s past performances in many Tests, ODIs, and T20s, and the current  Super Power Hitting abilities (as noted above) which was proven as an opening batter in the recent practice matches.

(Part 3 & 4 will be issued soon)

Prepared by 


Fredericton NB, CANADA

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