The first issue Sri Lanka should solve before World cup commences…

Sri Lanka vs South Africa Warm Up Match World Cup 2019

Sri Lanka lost their 1st warm-up match against SA yesterday. What went wrong for SL?

Putting to bat first SA scored 338 runs in their 50 overs. Giving to the nature of pitches and terms, one can say SL did reasonably well with the ball. Once SL was in a position to limit SA for 310-20 score, but depleted death bowling unit due to unavailability of Malinga, leaked too many runs in last three overs. Inconsistency of Lakmal and Pradeep as death bowlers was evident once again.

While chasing the target, despite two early wickets SL was pretty much on the hunt, getting 170 mark by 30 overs. Usually, the score in 30 over mark is expected to double by 50 over and SL was exactly on the way to the victory. The turning point of the chase was the wicket of Karunarathne. Since then SL innings began to lose its way.

What was highlighted was the inability of Dhanajaya Silva to play the crucial role of Number six. Yesterday match was a classic example of the need for a free-flowing, adoptable batsman at number six. As Dhanajaya has shown a number of times, he was not the ideal option at that point and he will not be in the future as it seems.

SL needs Dhanajaya to play for playing IX, giving that he is the most thrust spin bowler in the team. In Provincial Super 4 tournament he was brilliant with the bat, playing at number 3. If SL wants to use him, better to play him at the top, as an opener or at number 3. I suggest he can open with Karunarathne and it will make a left-hand/right-hand combination.

Who should play at number 6 then?

Kusal Perera once thought to be next Sanath Jayasuriya and opted to open the innings for a while and miserably failed. Then he returned to the side as Kusal Perera himself and performed well in the middle order.  In Champion Trophy 2017, he helped Sri Lanka to beat India, playing at 5 and his most memorable innings which came in 1st test against SA came also batting at the middle. He is the first option.

Another way is just placing Dhananjaya Silva at the top and push down the batting order as it is. Then Dhananjaya, Karunarathne, and Thirimanne will play at first three spots and two Kusals at 4 and 5, while well experienced Angie at number 6. He has been in that role for a while and is capable of playing at any spot in the middle order.

I think SL should solve this problem in the second warm-up match against AUS.

5 Comments

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  1. I agree with the idea but just not sure if the top 3 with Dimuth, Thiri and DDS will get us the kind of start to chase 300+ as this will surely be the target given our very weak bowling resource. One thing is for sure, DDS is batting in the wrong spot. He is a career opener and not sure why we insist on batting him all over but the top (we did the same with Thiri in the beginning and he lost the plot as a result!).

    Also I like the the two Kusals at #3 and 4 giving them the best chance to impact the game and keep the scoring rate up. Certainly have a few issues to work out but like all issues, the plan should be one where if it works, it has a chance to win us a game and batting DDS at #6 is certainly not a plan.

  2. Absolutely agree,de silva doesn’t have the power game to play @ 6.Anyone who’s seen him play realizes this (except our chief selector !).My top 6 would be.

    1.Avishka 2.Dimuth 3.Dananjaya de silva 4.KJP 5.Kusal Mendis 6. Anjelo Mattews

    for me Avishka should be allowed to play freely .if he falls early then DDS & Dimuth should look to build a partnership till the 25th over at least..Sl should then go hard from the 30th over onwards .

  3. They need to decide whether Thirimanne plays or de Silva plays. They both shouldnt play. Kusal perera can bat at 6. Mathews should not bat any lower than 5. I wish he would bat at 3 but it will never happen.

    Karunaratne
    Avishka
    Kusal Mendis
    Dhananjaya De Silva
    Angelo Mathews
    Kusal Perera
    Thisara Perera
    Jeevan Mendis
    Isuru Udana
    Nuwan Pradeep
    Lasith Malinga

  4. As this article points out we had a great chance during the chase and I felt we botched it yet again and failed to bat the 50 overs. We were about 4 down in the 37th over with a run rate around 9 and Angelo at the wicket. Surely our Batsmen are experienced enough to know that in the t20 age we can score 10 to 12 an over during the last 10 with wickets in hand. I was worried when Angelo hit his six because it went over fielder in the deep. There’s a time to play the shot and that wasn’t it. Angelo’s and Dimuth’s job should be to bat through the innings and rotate the strike. We could have easily chased 10 an over in the last 5 overs. If we had fallen 10 short I can live with the result. But we didn’t bat 50 overs again and that should be the 1st goal of the batting unit.

  5. Agree with your comments. We cannot play Karunarathne, Thirimanne, and Angie in the first six. One has to sit out. Apparently, it is Thirimanne. I only worry about the fact that whether Avishka can deliver at the top on a continuous basis.

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