Can we challenge this strong Indian squad?

India have picked a very strong team for the world cup that covers all areas.  Specially 3 spinners have been picked including Ravindra Jadeja considering his fielding skills as well.  

Do we have enough skillful players to match with these players?  Can we challenge them or even beat them like we did in the champions trophy in 2017?

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  1. It’s a big question where not a single Sri Lankan can come up with an answer. You know very well why. Our past selectors and the SLC management were having some enjoyable time with other non cricketing issues during the last 3 year period without implementing a proper 3 year preparation plan for the WC. They never picked the young prospects who deserved to be (may be 3 / 4 guys) tried for the WC. I can give one good example. Take the case of Oshada who is in everyone’s dream team for the WC. but he hasn’t got any previous experience even in Sri Lankan high profile tournaments. What a shame. He is now 27 yrs. If he was picked by the selectors at an early age of 20 / 22 yrs now he could have been be a top class no 3 batsman with lots of international exposure. Due to lack of previous experience we cannot play him in the WC. Same thing with many young super talented cricketers in the country. Fast bowlers (140+kph), Spinners, opening batsmen, power hitting all rounders etc. etc. all of them are hiding in the dark.

    I will now give the best example for judging the correctness of my above comment. Check the WC squad announced by India. There are three youngsters who are going to be very good performers this time
    (1) Hartik Pandya (lower order Power Hitter) age 25 y, First played @ 23 yrs, ODI exp 45 matches
    (2) J Bumrah (Fast bowler) age 25 yrs, First played @ 22 yrs, ODI exp 49 matches
    (3) K Yadav (Left arm Chinaman, wrist spinner) age 24yrs, First played @22yrs, ODI exp 44matches.

    See how the Indian think tank & the selectors have planned for this WC. They started grooming the above 3 players 3 yrs back (in 2016) planing for the 2019 WC. All three of them have played in 45 ODI matches with top countries. If our selectors did a decent jod during the last 3 yrs in grooming the deserved youngsters we could have picked at least 3 players out of the following lot.
    Avishka, Oshada, Sandun W, Kamindu M, Wanindu H, Asitha F, Vishwa F, Sadeera S, Madushanka, Chamika K & Ishan J.

    I dont think we are in a position to send any talented youngster to this WC due to poor planing of SLC management and the previous selectors. Of course De Mel is trying his best to send the most suitable 15 players and in his effort to do that he may have to drop some senior players. Like Dickwella, Dhanushka, Tharanga & even Chandimal. However he can still pick a well balanced side with senior, deserved and in form players.

    As I mentioned in my yesterdays post if we can include Dimuth, Thirimanna, Banuka & Dasun Shanaka to the squad we may be able to perform well this time. Banuka will be the replacement for Oshada. Even the selectors have mentioned about that. We must have three power hitters selected from the batsmen. They have to be either batsmen or batting All Rounders. Both Udana and Thisara and even Jeewan are bowling All Rounders and cannot contribute the same way like a batsman or a batting all rounder to achieve a big total score like 350 runs.

  2. HW, I had a close look at the Indian squad. As we all know they have the world’s best 3 top order batsmen (Sharma, Dhawan & Kohli) and their performance during the last 12 months with each of them appearing in 19 /26 matches has been excellent. The most strange thing is, the top 10 batsmen in their squad (including all rounders) has scored some 5300 runs during the same period and the top 3 guys have scored 70% of that total. So it could reflect very bad on their batting strength if there is a top order failure. I will provide some very interesting comparison statistics later after the team squad is confirmed. And also you dont see adequate number of lower order power hitting options apart from Hardick Pandya. All the remaining middle order and lower order batters has a combined SR of only 82% which is not at all adequate. I dont think overall strength of the Indian batting line up is that much great or powerful as per the statistics. There are few other countries (like England,NZ, Aus, even SA) who have got more fire power in the lower order than India.

    If we can include Dimuth, Lahiru, Banuka, Dasun and Jeewan to our batting line up and if they perform as per their true potential and with the addition of two Kusals and Angie I am sure that our batters can do better than theirs. But their spin & fast bowling departments have some real match winners.

    So HW, dont worry too much on the strength of the Indian Squad. Wait for my strength comparison charts within few days time. You will get surprised after you see those details.

  3. @Susantha Jayawardena : I believe that we can beat any team on our day. However, following Indian team has the potential even to win the world cup. 1) Rohit Sharma, 2) Dhawan 3) Kohli, 4) KL Rahul/ Vijay Shankar 5) Dhoni 6) Kedar Jadhav 7) Hardik Pandya 8 ) B. Kumar 9) Shami 10 ) Kuldeep Yadav 11) Bumrah

    Dude, possible reason why their middle or low order doesn’t have impressive stats recently is that they don’t get the opportunity to bat much as their top order always performs. However, their middle order has the potential and all their top 7 batsmen have the ability to hit sixes at will (I don’t know how many much batsmen we have in our top 7). Moreover, we can’t expect Indian top order to fail so often at the world cup. For last few years India have been fighting to win the top position in ODI rankings and we have been fighting not to slip to the bottom in the rankings. That gives enough information about the strengths between two teams.

    We can’t expect miracles with the inclusion of Dimuth, Lahiru, Banuka, Dasun and Jeewan as none of them has done miracles in ODIs before. Moreover, both Dimuth and Lahiru are not attacking players.
    As Dimuth’s inclusion is confirmed and Dasun and Asela are almost OUT according to the selectors, I would like to go with the following team.

    1) Dimuth 2) Danushka/ Avishka 3) Kusal Janith 4 ) Dananjaya de Silva 5 ) Mathews
    6) Kusal Mendis 7 ) Isuru Udana 8 ) Jeevan Mendis 9) Thisara /Akila/ Chameera 10 ) Lakmal 11) Malinga

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