Who’s going to share the new ball with Dushmantha Chameera?

Before starting, in yesterday’s article I mentioned Minod Bhanuka in my team but you guys chose Chandimal over Minod. By batting records you can choose Chandimal over Minod but everybody knew that Minod is the better keeper of the 2. A wicket keeper may not be important for a T20 game unlike a Test match. But a keeper’s crucial decisions in DRS calls, maintaining the intensity of the fielders and obviously catches (win matches) are important. Plus Minod opening can maintain the left-right combination.

That might be the Stats spoiler of the day: In every series win under Dasun’s captaincy, Minod Bhanuka played as a wicketkeeper at least a single match in each series.(Credits: Sri Lanka Troll Cricket Facebook page)

You can find my previous blog here:

So now we’ll take a look at the bowling department

Compared to the batting order struggle, choosing the bowling seems to be an easy job because we have only 3 positions to fill up and we have 4 bowlers. Hence we can choose those players according to match conditions.

Fast bowlers

It’s a no brainer that Chameera will be at 9. For 10 and 11 we have to go with either 2 spinners or 1 pacer-1 spinner combination. But assigning the role for each bowler is going to be the biggest headache.

We have got no suitable new ball partner for Chameera. They have tried Chamika, Dasun and the spinners with not much success. And since Chameera have to bowl 2 or 3 overs during power plays, Chamika has to lead the death overs attack which I personally feel is a lot to ask from him at this moment.

So we’ve left with two choices here. First is bringing in Nuwan Pradeep to the XI to sort out the power play overs struggle. Second, that Shanaka have to improve himself as a full time bowler. The second option is too much to ask from Shanaka considering that he has to lead the team and need to work on his batting as well. If you believe Shanaka can pull this off remember what happened to Kusal Perera who had opened the batting, lead the team and kept wickets for 9 matches?

So it’s my opinion that including Nuwan Pradeep will be better for our bowling attack.

Rookie spinners

The reason I said to include Nuwan Pradeep is because due to the inexperience of the two spinners Praveen and Mahesh. Because Hasasranga’s overs will be best suited for controlling run flow/picking up wickets. I suggest that Hasaranga bowling 11th, 13th and 15th overs plus one over in the first ten is the best plan.

If Nuwan Pradeep doesn’t play, the role for spinners (including part timers) will be like bowling at least 3 overs during the power plays and 5 during the middle overs. If Pradeep comes in, it’ll be easy for one specialist spinner and part time bowlers. (Purposely I didn’t mention Hasaranga in spinners list here because I’d already assigned his 4 overs in previous paragraph)

In that case I will add Mahesh Theekshana into my XI because he’s got the mystery element. If the situation demands runs control over wickets I’ll consider Praveen.

And sums up the list of No.9, 10 and 11

9. Dushmantha Chameera

10. Mahesh Theekshana/ Praveen Jayawickrama

11. Nuwan Pradeep

And that concludes my list of the best XI for Sri Lanka in the upcoming T20 Worldcup. Even though our Sri Lankan cricketers haven’t got that much of experience in T20 internationals, I used those limited stats to analyze their performance and never included their domestic T20s performance. Because for example, Dasun Shanaka’s strike rate against spin in T20s is 110.95 But in Internationals its goes down to 93.25

By the way I analyzed the bowling stats during each phase of a T20 internationals for Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep and Chamika Karunaratne. (Praveen’s and Mahesh’s data were not enough) Then only I came up with this bowling idea. Due to some technical difficulties I couldn’t upload that data. Apologies for that.

The Best XI Backups

1. Kusal Perera (wk) Minod Bhanuka

2. Avishka Fernando Dinesh Chandimal

3. Bhanuka Rajapaksa

4. Angelo Mathews

5. Charith Asalanka Kamindu Mendis

6. Chamika Karunaratne

7. Dasun Shanaka (c)

8. Wanindu Hasaranga

9. Dushmantha Chameera

10. Mahesh Theekshana Praveen Jayawickrama

11. Nuwan Pradeep

Whoever plays in the team, no matter what happens they’ll perform to their full potential because they’re going to represent their country. As loyal fans we’re going to support them. But don’t forget that, just because a player didn’t perform well in a particular match or series doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a bad player.

Don’t forget to put your favorite XI in the comments and please do let me know if you have any ideas for my next article. (I thought about analyzing Mickey Arthur’s 2 year tenure with Sri Lanka Cricket)

Leave a Comment


  1. Brother please include the stats of Binura fernando also. Then only people can see the poor standard of Pradeep.

    BINURA has 5 Wickets in 4 T20I matches. Economy only 7 (pradeep 9 per over) and better bowling average with a bonus of a bit of batting.

    its a pity that Pradeep wasn’t given a chance in south african series. if it happened just like Akila his true quality would have been exposed.

    Pradeep has been known for Gifting full tosses in most crucial death overs. I hope he corrected himself. Even though he bowled well in domestic league death overs. HE HAD NO PRESSURE THERE.

    (point to note: just before 2 months we selected him for england tour saying “experienced’ but failed…

  2. Mathews won’t be playing definitely .So it’s time everyone moved past his inclusion. So if we look at the squad selected . KJP’s availability is the only uncertain factor.

    Given the points you highlighted , I agree. Minod keeps much better intensity in the field than Chandimal, and better with the DRS etc. However he must keep in mind to not overdo it and end up putting unneccassary pressure on our bowlers .

    I still believe Banuka should bat in the middle order instead of no.3 because of the points I noted in the previous comment. He obviously struggles against genuine pace and if he bats in the middle order the first spells of most top quality fast bowlers would be over.

    Pradeep or Binuras inclusion is a must . Hope their death bowling and skill set has improved . However Dasun and Chamika must be able to chip in with two overs each. We should play and extra spinner only if it’s a rank turner.

  3. My team would be

    1.KJP/Minod(wk)( if KJP is unavailable)
    2.Avishka( license to go hard in the PP)
    3.Asalanka (anchor from one end, to bat till the end )