Post Match Press Conference with Kusal Mendis – 1st T20I vs New Zealand

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  1. Reason explained by Kusal for him to open the innings is acceptable. But then why Avishaka (who is also a RH bat) was also not asked to open the innings. Probably the think tank might have thought to keep the left & right hand batting combination of the openers. But the way Avishka failed to connect any of the attacking shots he played against their left arm and leg spinners, I thought it would have been perfect if Avishka was allowed to open and play his favorite attacking shots against the opening bowlers during first PP overs.

    Even in the second match, Kusal Mendis should open with Avishka and Kusal Janith can bat at no 3. So two left handers coming at no 3 and 4 (Kusal J & Dickwella) will be good against facing left and Leg spinners in middle overs.

    I think we lost the match at the moment when Shanaka dropped that easy chance given by Taylor when he was 33 . I was so surprised to see that a very good fielder like Shanaka dropping that sitter.

    Anyway overall performance of this young team was very good.

    Another important point our think tank should do is to promote two of our Power Hitting batting all-rounders according to the situation. If very few wickets have been lost after 10 / 12 overs, instead of sending Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka should be promoted. Similarly Hasaranga can also be promoted if necessary. We need to give the maximum opportunities to these two batting all-rounders in the future matches to perfect their power hitting abilities during the middle overs.

    In todays match Avishka’s slow batting / failure was another reason for the loss. He wasted 17 balls to score 12 runs which was totally unacceptable.

    Because of all the above noted factors our score was at least 20 runs short of the expected score. Anyway we should not change any of the batsmen for the next match. Probably Lahiru Kumara can replace Rajitha, who was not bowling on a consistent line and length and gave away too many boundary balls.

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