Kusal Perera can emulate his idol Sanath Jayasuriya

Not many batsmen tore into bowling attacks like Sanath Jayasuriya — who possessed great power and hand-eye coordination — did in the 1996 World Cup. The southpaw’s assaults rattled the confidence of rival teams. Five editions later, a struggling Sri Lanka crave for the kind of brilliance that Jayasuriya exhibited.

Comparisons in sports trigger excitement. It’s a way of staying connected with the original. Kusal Perera is known as the next-generation Jayasuriya. The 28-year-old’s style of batting resembles Jayasuriya’s. Perera has confessed that Jayasuriya is his hero. But it’s one thing to adopt your idol’s style and quite another to match his or her feats. Perera, so far in his six-year international stint, has done enough to be Sri Lanka’s key player at the World Cup.

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  1. He certainly can emulate Sana and a few of us said this even as Kusal was collecting ducks by the truck load early in his career. The key with him is he can win you a game on his own and these sort of guys don’t come around everyday. However, just finding such a player or having that talent alone isn’t going to do it. It has to be harnessed which we are struggling with now. This guy still has two WC’s ahead of him and looking for him to settle down and emulate his idol.

  2. To get the maximum result from Kusal Janith he has to open the innings with Dimuth. Then he will have the phycological advantage on the safety of the wicket at the other end and he can go for his attacking shots in exploiting the field restriction early in the inning. His strength as an opener is the great ability in placement and hit over the infield during the first power play overs. If you look at his statistics, it is proved by the very high boundary ratio of 50% he has achieved (half of an inning from boundaries) which is one of the highest values among the Power Hitting openers from other countries. This high boundary ratio has been achieved while batting at no 3 & 4 positions (during the last 12 month period) and will definitely be improved if he opens the innings.

    So my suggestion is for Dimuth and Kusal Janith to open the innings. One of the weak points on his shot selection is that he is not powerful hitter as Sanath. If he bats later in the innings (No 4,5 or 6) his elevated shots may end up as catches as there will be 5 fielders on the fence covering such shots.

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