Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne praises Nuwan Pradeep after win against Scotland

Nuwan Pradeep helped Sri Lanka get over the line against Scotland

“It’s not easy to bowl yorkers, especially with the ball getting wet because of the rain. If you don’t execute it well it will go for a six. But Pradeep knows how he has to bowl, and he went for the straight yorker. I hope he takes that confidence into the World Cup,” Karunaratne said.

Before Pradeep could be all over the hosts, Sri Lanka were set up in the game thanks to half-centuries from each of the top three batters. Karunaratne, in particular, was relieved to have hit form as the pressure on him has multiplied since he was handed the swiftly-moving captaincy baton recently.

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  1. It’s great to see Pradeep doing a fantastic job as praised by Dimuth. I think out of the 4 fast bowlers I was so impressed by the bowling of Pradeep and Udana. They were always trying to bowl yoker length deliveries during the death overs and keeping the run rate low as well as claiming some important wickets. I am not impressed with the bowling of Thisara at the death. He was bowling many short or length deliveries at the death (as usual) and was so expensive. He rarely bowled a yoker. During the last 5 overs of the inning any inform power hitter will score as many as sixes to score 10 to 15 runs an over. So selecting the best of our two / three fast bowlers is very important.

    This situation will also open some selection problems for the WC final XI. It looks like Malinga, Udana and Pradeep are the best of our five fast bowlers. So Lakmal will have to be benched. Thisara is in the team mostly because of his power hitting abilities. But during the recent matches and even yesterday he failed in his batting. So once Kusal J is back in the team middle order power hitting issue will be solved I guess. So if that happens and if Thisara will fail in his batting in future practice matches I wonder whether it will be a good idea to drop Thisara from the team and include Lakmal.

    • Yes. Lakmal, Pradeep and Udana bowled well. All three pacers are now matured and experienced and that is one reason they are doing well. We should not be pushing youngsters to the top level too soon. Experience matters and you can only gain experience by playing for a long time. Give players a long run and don’t chop and change.

  2. Also all our players should realize one thing very clearly. They are really short of match practice when compared with the players from all other 9 countries. So during the next two practice matches every player has to adjust themselves to the conditions and try to perform to their maximum ability. Out of the 11 players played in the last match Mathews, Thisara, Dhananjaya ‘s performances were well below par and they must raise the level of their game in the next match.

    Mathews (as usual) was playing like he was playing in a test match. I know he is a very slow starter. But playing 9 straight dot balls out of 10 balls he faced should not be the way to approach this years WC. He has to take an example from his new captain who played a wonderful inning without having any previous ODI experience behind him for the last 4/5 years. Dimuth was always playing deflected shots on both sides of the wicket, thereby rotating the strike, taking singles & allowing the more aggressive other batsmen (Avishka and Kusal) to attack the bowling. But Mathews first 7 shots were all straight forward defensive shots straight to the fielders and frustrating the batsman at the other end too. This is not the way he should approach the game. He has to improve a lot on his shot making especially at the start of the innings. After 9 dot balls he hit a lofted off drive (in trying to hit a six which was too early for him to do) and gave a catch. Even Thirimanna’s (who is a much slower batsman than Mathews) batted sensibly and much better than Mathews while achieving a SR of 105%. I hope Mathews will use all his experience behind him, watch how all the other no 5 batters start their innings and improve his game in the next match.

    I am not going to comment anything on Thisara’s poor show as well as his poor batting technique. As I always say he has a very poor consistency both in his batting and bowling performances. We can expect his good show either in batting or bowling, one in every 7 / 8 times. Beside he is not a batting all rounder and I don’t know how our think tank (selectors) have decided to promote a bowling all rounder to no 4 position. MY STRONGEST SUGGESTION IS UNLESS THISARA IMPROVES HIS BATTING AND BOWLING HE SHOULD NOT BE IN THE TEAM. As we have very good 4 fast bowlers (Malinga, Pradeep, Udana & Lakmal) we do not need a fifth fast bowler. Dimuth, Avishka, Lahiru, Kusal M, Kusal P, Mathews, Dhananjaya, Jeewan & 3 fast bowlers(batting upto no 9) Or without Avishka we can play 4 fast bowlers and 2 spinners (batting upto no 8).

    Or else we have a possibility to bring in Dasun Shanaka (who is fit now) to replace Milinda. (Last day for proposing the final team is tomorrow). Advantage of having Dasun Shanaka in the team is he can be promoted if required to no 4 or 5 position since he is a batting allrounder (and not a bowling all rounder). He is a much better Power Hitter who has a better Sixes Rate than Thisara as well.

    Susantha Jayawardena

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