Bhanuka, Oshada have addressed power hitting deficiencies – De Mel

Sri Lanka’s Chairman of Selectors Ashantha De Mel is happy that the tour of Pakistan enabled them to identify several players with power hitting abilities. Sri Lanka whitewashed the hosts 3-0 in Lahore and will tour Australia for a three match series later this month.

“He is a six hitter. Not just sixes but he clears the ropes by a good distance. We sent him to India with the ‘A’ team and he scored a hundred in hundred balls in an unofficial Test match. In T-20s, you need players who can play like that. After the pull outs, we felt to try him out. We told him to not to get bogged down and just play his natural game. He hit eight sixes in two games which is outstanding. Spinners had no chance against him. He was sweeping them for sixes. Then he was cutting fast bowlers for sixes. This is one of the best attacks in the world mind you. He was hitting them over extra cover for six as well. The knock he played was unbelievable. He shared a 77 run stand with Dasun Shanaka. He was on 65 and Dasun, who is a big hitter as well, was on 12. It was just natural shots not slogging. The Mahela like drives over extra cover were fabulous to watch,” noted De Mel.

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  1. It’s encouraging to note that our selectors have now identified the importance of the Power Hitting concept in modern day white ball games. In 1996 Sri Lanka only introduced power hitting (used to call as pinch hitting that time) by our two openers Sanath & Kalu in exploiting initial field restrictions, but we never developed this concept thereafter although other countries learned from our tactics and even introduced middle order order power hitting through specialist batsmen (or through batting allrounders).

    Mistake our SLC did was instead of using specialist batsmen (or batting all rounders) introduced bowling all rounders like Thisara, Prasanna and Udana (at a later stage) who usually came into bat during the last few overs of a match and achieved high SRs through pure slogging where we never saw any consistency in their batting.

    If a team wants to get the maximum result on power hitting, you must have either a top order or middle order specialist batsman or a batting allrounder who bats at no 6 and above.

    I think SL should continue to play Bahnuka (at no 3) and Dasun (at no 5) and Vanidu (at 6/7) so at any time either one or two of them can be expected to score big while achieving an av SR of well over 130%.

    SLC should also deploy a Power Hitting coach at the earliest (as mentioned by De Mel) possible time as there is certain amount of coaching is required how to hit a six to a slower ball or a yoker.

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