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Upul Tharanga Should not be in the World Cup Squad

The world cup squad is about to be selected. Everyone knows that getting into the world cup squad enables a player to earn a lot of money. And it seems Upul Tharanga is trying his best to get into this squad by asking his pals to send articles in favour of him to various websites and newspapers. He has a lot of support from the media.

Is Upul Tharanga such a great player?

His supporters say point out his overall batting average in ODI cricket is 33.74, and that makes him a great player. Tharanga bats at the opening position in one day matches when field restrictions are in place. That is the best position to bat in one day matches. As an opener his average is 33.95. This is not such an impressive average given that Tillakaratne Dilshan’s batting average as an opener was 46.04. Look at the batting averages of players like Mathews, Kohli, and Ponting. You cannot put him into that category. The other thing to note is that he has struggled against top quality bowling attacks like Australia and South Africa. His average against Australia and South Africa is 24.38 and 24.8 respectively. Only against England he has a good average. However, one must note that he scored most of the runs against England prior to 2015 when England was not a good one-day side and when they did not have a strong bowling line-up. However, his batting average against Bangladesh is 45.3 while his average against Zimbabwe is 61.14. Both these teams do not have great bowling attacks. Also, his footwork is awful, and his technique too is quite weak. Given those impediments, will he succeed in England?

Let’s give a chance to Danushka Gunathileke

One of the reasons why Sri Lanka has been failing in one-day cricket is that 3 or 4 wicket keepers are picked for the final eleven. This was the case during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. One must recall that in the 1996 world cup-winning side except Mahanama and Kaluwitharana everybody could bowl.

Danushka Gunathileke is still an inexperienced player. But he has a lot of potential. Remember the innings he played against India during the 2017 ICC Championship Trophy. People bring out disciplinary issues against him. However, if that criterion is always considered, players like Gayle, Stokes, Ponting, and Warne could have never played for their teams. What is more he is a handy part-time spinner and a spectacular fielder. People say Tharanga is highly experienced. But his experience is representative of failing against top quality teams and over performing against weak bowling attacks. Furthermore, he cannot bowl unlike Danushka. Nevertheless, he is a favourite of the media.  

There are so many talented players like Milinda Siriwardena, Dasun Shanaka, Danushka, and Kapugedara who do not get picked for the side as they do have the backing of the media.  

VersusMatInnsNO100s50s0sHSRunsAvgS/RCaStACA Africa XI

1

1

0

0

0

0

10

10

10.00

45.45

0

0

Afghanistan

1

1

0

0

0

0

36

36

36.00

56.25

0

0

Australia

23

22

1

1

3

2

111

512

24.38

64.16

3

0

Bangladesh

22

22

2

3

5

2

118*

906

45.30

80.46

13

0

Bermuda

1

1

0

0

0

0

30

30

30.00

63.83

0

0

Canada

1

1

0

0

0

0

19

19

19.00

61.29

1

0

England

18

16

2

3

3

2

120

674

48.14

81.30

0

0

India

45

43

3

2

6

5

174*

1228

30.70

83.48

6

0

Ireland

4

4

1

0

0

1

24

32

10.67

48.48

0

0

Kenya

1

1

1

0

1

0

67*

67

113.56

0

0

Netherlands

2

2

0

0

1

0

72

90

45.00

96.77

0

0

New Zealand

20

19

0

1

5

0

103

622

32.74

71.58

2

0

Pakistan

36

34

1

1

5

2

112*

950

28.79

70.74

9

0

South Africa

26

25

0

1

3

1

119

620

24.80

82.23

6

0

West Indies

13

12

1

1

0

1

101*

299

27.18

56.84

1

0

Zimbabwe

21

19

5

2

5

1

133

856

61.14

81.06

9

0

Overall (16)

235

223

17

15

37

17

174*

6951

33.74

75.93

50

0

3 Comments

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  1. In the 1990s people tried to do this Aravinda dear Silva too. They tried to get him dropped and never play for Sri Lanka. Thankfully Aravinda prevailed. Why do you think Tharanga has support from media and is asking his friends to write articles supporting him? I think that’s a big lie you are believing. Tharanga and Kusal Janith are the best two limited overs openers in the country and we should have given them a good run before World Cup.

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