What is the chairman of selectors talking about?

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Ashantha de Mel, who is back as Sri Lanka's chief selector, believes Upul Tharanga is "suspect" against the new ball and he plays "well away from his body". Tharanga, according to de Mel, belongs in the middle-order in ODIs because of this.

This is what de Mel told The Nation recently,

"Upul’s technique against the new ball is suspect. He is playing well away from his body and that is why we have decided to bring him down the order in the ODIs and play him in the middle where he has contributed."

It's a ridiculous statement.

Tharanga has scored 4311 ODI runs while opening the batting. He is second only to Sanath Jayasuriya in the list of openers with most runs scored while opening the batting for Sri Lanka in ODIs.

Sri Lanka's most successful openers in ODIs

Player Matches as opener Runs made as opener 100s when opening
ST Jayasuriya 384 12674 28
WU Tharanga 133 4311 12
TM Dilshan 87 3532 11
RS Mahanama 118 3283 4
MS Atapattu 93 3128 6

Since making his debut in 2005, Tharanga has made 12 ODI centuries and he is fifth on the list of highest century-makers in the 50-over format for Sri Lanka. In addition, Tharanga averaged 56.42 at last year's World Cup and was the fifth-highest run-scorer in that tournament. And all this while opening the batting.

So, what is de Mel talking about? What does a fast bowler, who last played for Sri Lanka 26 years ago, know about batting technique? Perhaps de Mel should leave a batsman's technique to be assessed by qualified coaches, or former batsmen even, and stick to the facts when picking a team.


Jagath Perera's picture
Member since:
7 April 2010
Last activity:
1 year 8 weeks

Marcian is correct!

The Miz's picture

@Jagath P: Oh! mighty Jagath..Please do forgive me for my "gon" kathaa.You know,I was just agreeing with Asantha,..but what does that old fool know.He just played 17 tests and 50+ ODIs.You obviously know loads better than him,eh....
Ane palayan ban...

The Miz's picture

I have no personal grudge against Tharanga,actually I wanted to see him succeed as he suffered a lot due to the Tsunami.But we have to look at the reality.Tharanga has a real problem against quality outswing bowling.We have only three years till the next WC in Australia,where Tharanga failed miserably in recent times.If we want to have consistent solid starts,Tharanga is not the answer.It's high time we moved forward and look for a different opener with a solid technique rather than going in the same circle...

The Miz's picture

4th ODI: "Umar Gul to Tharanga, OUT, a sharp slip catch by Younis. Loose shot from Tharanga. Short of a length, OUTSIDE OFF, holding the line a bit if anything, and Tharanga drives at it WITHOUT any foot movement. It's a healthy edge to the left of second slip, and YK is alert there"

And you blind nitwits keep on defending him...Keep up the good work Hilal..

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
3 hours 2 min

The Miz,

According to your logic, we'll have to drop Chandimal at the end of the series too. You don't judge a player based on your opinion but facts - that's what the stats are for - and you don't drop players based on one or two matches.

As I pointed out, Tharanga's record speaks for itself. He is one of Sri Lanka's most successful openers. That's why he's playing. Obviously, Ashantha's theory was thrown out of the door by team management, captain and seniors which is why Tharanga is still opening.

All opening batsman get out in the same fashion - they get caught behind often.


UppercuT's picture
Member since:
19 October 2011
Last activity:
1 year 9 weeks

@The Miz, even tho i agree with u FOR A CERTAIN EXTENT, at the moment, there is NO ONE in the current set up who is better than tharanga. then there is his pretty decent ODI record, somehow even with his lack of technique he knows how to make runs like russel pointed out in his column:

----Tharanga’s technique isn’t considered by some to be good enough to last in Test cricket, especially with all the slips in place. But he seems to have the know-how to make runs, so it might not be a bad gamble to give him another go.-----russel arnold.

even tho this was abt his test position, i think we r in a similar scenario in ODI, Sl just dont have SOMEONE better than him, so i guess we have manage with wat, we ve got

(Last edited by UppercuT on June 16, 2012 - 08:04)

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