Sinking Acts Never Change – Ashantha de Mel repeats Labrooy & Sanath

It seems the newly appointed selectors under Ashantha de Mel, unfortunately repeats the same grave mistakes, by putting faith on never improving world’s worst failure like Kaushal Silva as Opener.

Kaushal Silva is the bottom ranked WORST Test Opener among all Openers in the World, who had played 25 tests or more, during the period since his debut as Opener in 2013 to date.  බලන්න කණගාටුයි සිල්වා ඉන්නෙ පතුලෙ ………

This is 33 yr old Kaushal Silva’s (career 74 ings/ 28 Average) batting misery… increasingly continuing even in his recent 16 innings since last 50+ score came Vs Zmb, more than 2 yrs ago.   බලන්න කණගාටුයි සිල්වා  ළන්කාවෙ ටෙස්ට් ක්‍රිකට්වල අගතියට මේ තාක් කරපු විනාශය…..

There are FOUR batters chosen again to the squad, with unacceptably low Test Performers (av in 20s or less) in batting since 2016 to date, with pathetic Test batting Averages ranging from 15 to in 27. No other Test Team in the whole World has a batting unit filled up with such failures… No wonder why SL Cricket is sinking to the Abyss  – තිරිමාන්න 15 av, කුසල් පෙරේරා 22 av, කව්ශල් සිල්වා 23 av,  දනන්ජය ඩි සිල්වා 27 av –  දකුණු අප්‍රිකාවෙදි ආයෙත් “කොත්තු අනනව” සිකුරුයි…. ළන්කාවේ ක්‍රීඩා ළෝලීන්ට මේ සුපුරුදු තාරාවන් බිත්තර දාන සැණකෙලිය නැරඹීමෙහි අවසානයක් ඇත්තෙම නැද්ද?

Note: ONLY 2 batters (Kusal Mendis & Dimuth) among Top Ranked 5 batters were chosen to the squad apart from 5th ranked injured Mathews, leaving out Chandimal (due to failure in last series) & Upul Tharanga (never given a chance to this 4th ranked batter with 37 Av with 2 x100 & 3 x 50 from just 16 innings – The BEST efficient  50+ big scores producing player among all @ just 3.20 innings per his 50+ scores (including 2 hundreds), he is above 2nd placed Dimuth with a 3.26 ratio (19 x 50+  took 62 innings).

Productive Opener Tharanga was overlooked so far, since his requested opted out 6 months period was over in March 2018. Despite the dire need of such a solid performer to the horrible side, why he was overlooked so far, despite showing immense progress in productivity as a Test Opener, since recalled after 7yrs in 2014 is baffling ?

Fast tracking young blood is a good move. But rushing & pushing such instant flash-talent, straight away to the deep-end in SA could be a fatal mistake – judged by just 10 extra ordinary innings purple patch in an 109 domestic 1st class innings ( @ 36 Av) long career, in our substandard domestic first-class scenario – This was proved many times before in our cricket history.

Judging by a 10 inning domestic level purple patch, pushing him instantly to the wolfs in mighty South African setup is rather unacceptable. If he keeps maintaining the newly found glory in domestic scene, (since 1st class domestic career started in 2011)….  a gradual promotion through SL-A would have worked out better, minimizing the potential mistake. Kusal Perera, who is still struggling to improve his averages beyond 20s in both formats & Jehan Mubarak’s fate are good example for such placements found in national side, purely on flashes of brief domestic highs..!

Unfortunately, It seems, nothing changes for SL cricket and another Whitewash in South Africa is inevitable.


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  1. I have read somewhere in an interview article recently, that Ashantha de Mel was praising Kaushal Silva as an Opener, because he can survive to see-off the shine of the new ball, surviving in first few overs. Actually, I was amazed to see the depth of so narrow logic of our chief selector. Just imagine …getting the world’s bottom ranked worst player to Open the Test matches on that kind of logic?

    Unfortunately, it seems none of the SL selectors (and local head coaches) appointed in the past or present never had the analytical ability or view point to choose right players for the right job, based on performance merits, looking beyond their personal favorites & opinions.

    They reality is they look at every other petty thing, other than the actual performance levels in recent past & overall productivity maintained by individuals over past 2-3 years on top of their long maintained & credentialed career specialties. Every other nation have their own statisticians to up date those vital facts to the selection panels to finalize their squads, significantly based on it.

    That is why we don’t see such lowly ranked players never get in to those international teams. Comparatively this is a huge drawback seen in SL cricket today, causing the steep decline in standards during past decade.

    Sadly, It is continuously dwindling & suffering with no progress or hope in vicinity.

  2. Agree in every sense…Now the whole burden of batting is on Dimuth’s and Kusal’s shoulders. Dikka will come at 7 after the damage is done and will score stroke-full 30-40. A big hole in the middle. The decision to include Angelo, Milinda, Oshada and sir Kaushal is based on performances in well known miserable domestic competition and a home series against IRE – A (Even IRE national team will not survive in turning pitches in SL). I will not wonder if this Sl team will all out twice in the same day against SA.

  3. The obvious question is, if they can look at the substandard domestic highs to justify useless selections, why can’t they look at the utmost important matter like international records?
    Is there anything better than the actual performance stats achieved by players with their hard-work in the middle? Why can’t they recognize the impressively progressive performance merits maintained over period of time in international arena, over hopelessly placed constant failures showing no sign of improvement?

    All we could see in team selections over past six years was a game of musical chairs, over a particular set of personal favorites, gain merit-less easy entry to the national teams, while the deservedly productive few asserts with no strings to pull them, get the frequent AXE and left out in the dark… shattering their progress. The ultimate looser in this ongoing process is, our Cricket fanatic Nation & Millions of ardent fans!

    The above mentioned set of players assured free entry to the national side (in both formats) despite repeated failures in previous innings running up to 30 – 40 innings, churning out horrific results to the Nation with their appalling batting Averages falling in the range of 20s or less & strike rates in ODIs in 60s -70s… during that period.

    All we could see with a change of selection panel/ Local Head Coach was; a change of few players within the same privileged bunch, according to the level of personal proclivity of selectors at the helm in that particular moment of time. A few clear examples comes to my mind to pin-point this circus, are given below revolving around a grossly mistreated/mismanaged player of our time:
    – In mid 2013 – SJ picked his personal favorite Kusal Janith to Open ODIs, discarding Tharanga just after registering his career best unbeaten 174* (came close to breaking SJ’s SL record) & topping 5k Odi runs as 2nd quickest in SL.

    At 28 yrs, well established Odi Opener Upul’s ODI career was virtually put on hold by Selector Sanath J, for more than 3 yrs to accommodate his favorite KJP as opener. It took more than 3 yrs & wasted 57 ODIs on him to ultimately realize the futility of having Kusal Janith as Opener for our selectively blind selectors! The costly damage done to SL is evident from ending up 50% (27/57) of KJP’s innings as Opener in single-digit scores (KJP 27 Odis – 105 runs – 3.88 Av – 51 SR) mostly lasted under 10 balls!

    Just before the 2015 WC – Upul Tharanga was axed from his hard earned spot in the next squad selected for that doomed tour of NZ in Dec 2014/15, just after a series defining batting contributions (92, 45) in the series decider Test Vs Pk in late 2014. Eventually, Sanath picked clueless Dimuth (15.8 av in odi) to open in NZ/WC in 2015, overlooking UT. Dimuth ended up sinking 7 odi innings (in WC/NZ) to collect 106 runs @ 15 av – 65 SR thanks to SJ’s parochial selections.

    In mid-2015, Kapila took over from Sanath and UT got a single opportunity in the last Test vs PK to bat @ No3, replacing just retired Sanga. Appearing nearly after one year in the dark, since his previous Test series winning 92, 45 contributions, he made splendid near fifties (47, 49) in both innings to be axed again for the next 2 Test matches in the immediately followed next series Vs India. Selector Kapila & Co preferred long discarded failures Mubarak & Kithruwan without any justification to doom that series, apparently according to his personal preferences. Upul was kept in the total dark again for the whole year, offering just a solitary random match thereafter.

    Angelo Mathews broke down in the middle of a series in Zm in 2016 & Upul was recalled again to lead the side as stand-in captain in the triangular series & he became the first SL skipper to win an away series on debut. After suffering a 4yrs long pause imposed on his career, he got back the regular spot in the ODI team as skipper & Opener in 2017 & he responded immediately lifting his batting standards to the world’s top class, becoming one of the only 3 batters to top 1k runs (@ 50 Av – 90+ SR) in 2017 with 2 away Centuries (vs SA & Pk) & 6 x 50+ (including 95 Vs Ind) plus another 3 near-fifties (46 /49 vs Ind & unbeaten 44* vs Zmb). Upul became third best ODI batter, only behind Kohli & Sharma.

    Yet, since Hathurusinghe took over the entire management, the coach started pampering his own favourites such as Chandimal & Mendis & tampered the team accordingly. He promptly overlooked the best OdI front order batter in past 3 yrs (Upul ), who even won us the solitary ODI series in 2018 as well becoming MoM in the decider. Coach axed him picking the first rare duck that happens to be only the 2nd in 41 Odi ings played by UT over 3 yrs.

    Replacing the side’s sole run maker Upul, Hathurusinghe amazingly preferred to carry on with the worst failure in ODIs during past 22 months to that point since Jan 2017 to 2018 Oct : Kusal Mendis in his place. KM had played 22 Odis – 287 @ 12 Av – 73 SR – 7 x 0 in the previous 22 month period. Mendis & Chandimal (past 35 innings had a match sinking SR @ 70s) were mainly responsible for all Whitewashes & Asia Cup primary stage elimination suffered by SL over past 3 yrs.
    Until de Mel took over, Hathurusinghe blindly preferred to carry on with his personal favourite duo at any cost to SL, in clearly mismatched, unwarranted wrong formats! He even made odi place undeserved Chandimal as ODI captain, despite such an enormous damage done over 3 yrs by those 2 failures in shorter formats.

    Now, Ashantha de Mel had taken over the spoon to cater his own favorites. As seen with Kaushal Silva’s inclusion & other inappropriate selections… now the things seems to be happening according to his own flavor.

    How sad to note all these unpleasant destructive happenings unstoppably revolving around things other than cricket.

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