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Dear Susantha it’s quite obvious it’s too much of responsibilities and power to De Mel as the Chief Selector and the Team Manager, he is beginning to make vital mistakes at crucial point’s, why i say he said before the match he dropped Banuka for established player’s, where was these player’s wen we toured Pakistan and won 3 nil.
So before he becomes another Hathursinghe and make blunders and awful statements must releive him from being the Team Manager, soon he should be told or adviced to be more tactful,meaningful in selecting player’s for tours or on team selection before he messes with player’s confidence or his future.
Dear Anura,I too agree that Asantha’s role as the Team Manager has not done any good with regard to the build up of our T20 outfit, but instead it has created more & more new problems that need to be addressed before the WC. As the chief of the tour selectors he made some bad decisions for the last two matches concerning the selection of the first 7 batsmen. I think he is not able to recognize the required quality and standard of a batsman for a modern T 20 match, probably could be due to the fact that he was playing only as a bowler during his career. And to add salt to the problem the second tour selector (captain Malinga) too is bowler. And the third tour selector? Usually he is the vice captain and therefore had to be Dickwella. And we all know that Dickwella is a second choice / option player in our T20 team after Kusal Janith. So it is very clear to everyone why these three people made many foolish & bad decisions on selection and batting positions for the first seven batters in the 2nd & 3rd matches. You can list out some of their bad decisions as follows;
(1) Danushka the first choice opener was dropped for the 3rd match – (not acceptable)
(2) Why Dickwella was once again introduced as an opener where he has not performed well and/or tried recently as an opening batsman.
(3) Dropping Bhanuka and Oshada for the 2nd match was the most surprised decision. They were the only two batsmen who played well in the practise match (both played two typical T20 innings) and they should have been given more chances to improve their game on fast / bouncy tracks and the first 2 matches were played on such tracks. So dropping both for the second match cannot be justified.
(4) Continuation of stepmother’s treatment to Bhanuka, the most ideal recent discovery in the T20 outfit. In the last match he should have batted at no 3 and not at no 7.
(5) Only reason for this could have been that Asantha thought that Bhanuka was not a good batsman in comparison to all other 6 batsmen who came to bat before him. That also confirms my earlier comment that he is not aware of the quality required from a T20 batsman.
(5) Bhanuka’s demotion to no 7 has badly affected the final result of the match for SL I feel. It was a perfect wicket for Bhanuka to play his trademark leg side sixes (he proved that in the match by scoring a 6 and a 4 in only 11 balls he faced). One can imagine if he came to the wkt earlier what damage he could have done to Aussies, but both Asantha and Malinga had other ideas and they both kept him till the 17th over. One can suspect whether this was a deliberate action of the tour selectors to avoid Bhanuka showing his heroics to the public. What a shame ?
(6) Step mother’s treatment to Banuka can be well proven even from the cricinfo statistics of the three matches. There were 11 SL batsmen/bowlers played in a minimum of 2 matches. Out of all of them Banuka was the batsman who was able to face only 17 deliveries which is also the minimum, whereas all the other 10 batsmen (which includes two bowlers as well) had faced more than 21 deliveries.
(7) Why they dropped Dasun S. for the last match? It’s a major surprise !!! When SL was planning to give the captaincy to Dasun after the retirement of Malinga, he should have been playing in all matches. Beside he is the second Power Hitting batsman we have in the team (apart from Bhanuka). None of the other middle order batsmen in the team are power hitters or regular six hitters.
(8) Even not playing the fifth bowler was the other selection blunder of Aantha. We saw what loose balls were delivered by Shehan J in his 2 overs. SL didn’t have any other regular/part time bowler to bowl 2 more overs.
(9) There was very poor team balance (a subject Asantha used to talk very highly in team meetings) with only 4 bowlers and no good part-time bowlers.
(10) Wanindu H should have been played in the last match. In the first 2 matches as the wickets were fast and bouncy, Wanindu could not produce any good result. But the third match was played on a track where he could have produced better results. As Sandakan is also not yet bowling well we should have tried Wanindu as he is the only good and accurate (on slow wickets) leg spinnier we have.
Asantha working as a Team Manager and handling tour selections are not going to do any good for SL cricket. As he is also the chief selector all the players have to face undue pressure due to the fact that they are performing with so much of fear to retain their places. SLC should realize this very soon and make the necessary changes to appoint competent team managers for every tour and limit responsibilities of Asantha de Mel for only squad selection issue in the SLC.