Selections for next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup have come as a massive surprise for many Sri Lankans. Even the great Aravinda de Silva can hardly believe that the national selection panel has included five players who have not played an ODI in the last 18 months. He could not figure out why the likes of Niroshan Dickwella and Akila Dananjaya have failed to make the cut.
“Niroshan Dickwella is one of the brightest prospects to emerge in recent times and with talents like that you need to persevere. He has a lot of courage to play fast bowling. People say that he is erratic and rash and all that but that’s how young players are. What I see instead is a bit of character in Dickwella. He is not afraid to go out and play shots. If you take my career, people criticized me for being too aggressive and luckily for me I took those advices with a pinch of salt. I struck to my instincts,” De Silva told Sunday Island in an interview.
I think no matter what the selectors did, not everyone would agree but I must admit, I am surprised at Oshada’s omission. I thought he did really well in tough SA conditions in his debut series and they picked Thiri who had yet another poor series in SA.
I hear Ara on Dikka but I think this was a 50/50 call. Yes Ara was a bit wild but Dikka hasn’t been making any runs lately and playing crazy shots. As for Dimuth, well he only put his hand up on the SA tour and was not in the ranks before.
Oshada although is a good prospect for no 3 position in test matches is not yet developed to take the same position in the ODI format. His only problem is the very slow SR which is in the mid 60. When you are targeting totals like 325 /350 runs in the WC the no 3 batsman should score runs a much faster SR like 80/90. Both Lahiru T (SR 80/90) and Kusal P (SR 85/95) are better batsmen for the no 3. So although Oshada is a good batsman his low SR doesn’t make him a suitable batter for no 3/4 who can replace Lahiru or Kusal P. I think all 7 specialist batsmen picked by the selectors are the most suitable ones according to their current strength.
We are again experimenting for a big tournament but this time no Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan or Murali or no experienced batsman to save the day. I dont think we will win even one match.