Beating the skipper on top & leaving batters to nap is the right answer to SL's ailing instant cricket?

Some blog posts contain unedited fan-submitted content — Create an account to start your own blog

There are some news reports in Sinhala media, speculating a change in ODI captaincy before the forthcoming series Vs India.

As indicated, Tharanga would be happily handover his barbed-wire crown to anyone, if the new selectors decide to keep SL Cricket's unending musical-chairs party going on further, as preferred by former selectors.

The question to be asked is, beating the skipper on on Top & leaving the batters to nap is the right answer for SL's Odi standard decline prevailing for more than 2 years now?  Upul had virtually led the Odi side only in 3 complete series Vs SA, BD & PK (Vs India only 3/5 matches he played due to suspension). He won the away triangular (vs WI, Zmb) series in Zmb, becoming the only SL skipper to win such a series on debut as skipper. But Mathews, who led the side in all 3 formats (including 2 world cups in 2015 & 16 & ICC-CT in 2017)  for a period extended from mid 2013 to 2017 over 4 years, even failed to to avoid a history making series defeat humiliation against the same Zmb side on our home soil, just a few months after Tharanga recorded the triangular series win in Zmb.

The naked fact is, stripping the captaincy from Tharanga would not resolve the severe underline problem continuously had with a brittle batting unit. They were unable to put up even 230-50 runs on the board in the past couple of series Vs Ind & Pk (10 odis). Tharanga had to lead this half strength side in both series vs ICC No1 side India & 2017 ICC-CT trophy champs Pk, with a bunch of brittle batting failures who occupied several spots from No 1 to 7 in a significantly depleted side, nowhere near its full strength in batting and bowling (lacking regular OdI guys such as Asela, Mathews, KJP, Pradeep, Dhanajaya etc.). 

But Skipper Tharanga fought hard & led his side from front, becoming the most productive SL Odi batter since Aug 2016, in regular run-making with 2x100+ scores made in away series vs formidable sides (SA in SA & Pk) & 6 x 50+ scores. Upul Tharanga had scored 944 runs @ 47 Av - 84 SR -  2x 100 -  6 x 50 from 25 Odi innings and tops the SL batting list in run making and batting average in past 15 months since August 2016 among top-order No1-5 batters.

It was a well accepted fact that the series whitewash vs Pk was mainly due to, SL batting failures among top 7 in this series (Chandi 5- 41, Thisara 5-91, Dickwella 5-62, Siri 5- 24, Mendis 2-12, Sadeera 2-0, Kapu 1- 18). They collectively managed just 248 runs from 25 innings @ 9.92 Av in entire 5-odi series. NO side can win matches with this kind of batting unit.!

Only Upul Tharanga (5 odis - 199 runs - 50 Av-  1x 100+ & 1 x 50+) & Thirimanne (5 odi - 174 runs @ 35 Av - 2 x 50+) had scored some runs in the 5-Odi series Vs Pk.

Odi skipper Upul Tharanga became the first SL batsman to carry his bat out in an Odi match when he scored an unbeaten 112* out of his team’s score of 187 in the second match Vs Pak at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Despite surviving a couple of chances given in his inning, Tharanga fought hard until the end to bring a victory for SL, but unfortunately ran out of partners & stranded at the end just short of 32 runs.

Upul contributed 59.89 percent of  team’s total which was only the 2nd highest after Australian Damian Martyn’s innings of 116 not out in a total of 191 which contributed 60.73 of his team’s total. Overall, Tharanga became only the 11 th batsman to achieve the feat in ODIs (50 overs).

Tharanga and Vandarsay (22) put up a fighting 76-run 8th wicket stand. Tharanga rose to the occasion and tried his best to single handedly win the match for SL. But with last two batsman were ran out, he couldn't pull out one of the most stunning wins of his career. If at least one of the top 7 batters managed to stay with him for a little while scoring at least 20 runs like tailender Vandersay did, the 32 runs deficit could have been easily wiped off to win the match.  Similar thing happened in SA after Upul's knock of 119 made @ 132 SR and putting up 139 for the 1st wkt in 16 ovs & raising it to 216 for 2 wkts before getting out, leaving just 150 more to score,with 7 wkts in hand. But fell short by 40 runs. If SL batting unit had a single batter or two who could have supported Tharanga's efforts, with some substantial contribution in those matches, both series Whitewashes Vs SA & Pk would have been easily avoided. 

SL suffered 10 consecutive series defeats (including 2015 WC & 2017 ICC-CT) from 12 series played under Mathews, since Jan 2015 with full-strength side (including Dilly & Sanga in most part of his tenure) in operation (except the most productive Odi batter since Nov 2016 Tharanga, Upul was repeatedly overlooked & missed 10  series squads in Odis since Jan 2015 to 2016 Nov under Mathews). Upul was given just a couple of solitary matches as opener & other random 8 odis were given in lower order in the tail from No 7 or 8 over 2+ yrs, under Mathews since 2015 .

SL had completed 20 Odis under Tharanga since Nov 2016 and won 4 odis (won triangular series in Zmb & BD leveled the series that could have easily won by SL, if not for the rain ruined decider almost won in Dambulla) & lost 14 (2 matches lost without Upul playing due to suspension Vs Ind series). The prime cause for those losses is clearly evident from batting records. From the lost 16 Odis, only TWICE Sri Lanka had managed to put up a score beyond 250 (that was in SA ). In all other 14 odi losses SL had only managed pathetic totals ranging from 101 to 238 (7 innings under 200 runs) mostly on 300+ required perfect batting wickets. This was clearly due to incapable batters occupying the entire middle-order, as proven yet again in this whitewash.

The biggest disappointments for SL, undoubtedly, have been Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis. Both had a splendid 2016 scoring runs although Mathews couldn't materialize wins fore SL, despite regular contributions from batters.   

But their contributions have nosedived since then. Chandimal had scored only 255 runs from 14 innings at 18.21 at a pathetic strike rate of 59.16. He has gone past 50 just once and that remains his only innings to come at a strike rate in excess of 80 playing under Upul. Kusal Mendis was considered a worthy successor to Kumar Sangakkara at No 3 but he failed to hold onto his spot in the last three matches against Pak after failing to score a 50 in his 10 previous innings.

As time will prove, changing the pillow would not resolve SL cricket`s headache. I am not a soothsayer, but read my previous blogs to find the 100% accuracy of my predictions so far published over two years :)

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Looks like this guy is a Tharanga fan.

cricexp's picture
Member since:
14 March 2015
Last activity:
4 hours 50 min

No need to read whole this article, Mathews stepped down because he was losing matches here and there, not because he was a bad captain, Tharanga selected because they thought he will bring the team to a winning way and not because he is a good captain...so now its simple, if Tharanga is not able to win matches there is no purpose he retain the in the captaincy

Anonymous's picture

Looking at the 2019 WC,Tharanga has to be replaced, no doubt. Not that we are against him as a player or a person, rather would like to back a player coming from difficult circumstances, but he does not ooze confidence to the team & rather seems lost at the vital junctures in the game. His contribution as an ODI batsman too currently not that good, being the most experienced ODI player in the team, getting a few big scores when the game was already lost, he should step down from the captaincy & concentrate on his batting.He does not deserve to be in the T20 team at all on his current form.

MDKJulius Caesar's picture
Member since:
21 March 2015
Last activity:
16 hours 41 min

Cricexp:

How come almost consecutively LOOSING 10 SERIES from 12 played is loosing matches "Here & There" ?

This included 3 Global Competitions, despite having the full strength side (ie: despite Sanga & Dilly producing their career best stints in 2015 WC) ??

Is this what you expect from a "good" captaincy ? LoL

Out of 3 complete series SL played under Tharanga with the full strength Odi side; SL won an away triangular series on his debut as skipper & almost won another series that ended as a leveled series just because the rain ruined the almost achieved victory in the decider. Virtually the only series defeat full strength SL side suffered under Upul was Vs mighty SA in SA.

As we all know the 2 series defeats suffered Vs Ind & Pk were with severely depleted horribly under-strength side and even Tharanga was not there as a batter or skipper in 2/5 Odis Vs India.

Only a fool would comment without reading the whole article or comprehending the viewpoint.

(Last edited by MDKJulius Caesar on November 15, 2017 - 11:46)
MDKJulius Caesar's picture
Member since:
21 March 2015
Last activity:
16 hours 41 min

@ Anonymous (not verified) on November 14, 2017 - 23:55.#1

What matters is the subject & substance in the article.... not the pedigree of writer. Fan or not is immaterial, if the points cannot be denied :)

Anonymous's picture

Anonymous@ #3

What do u mean by... "his contribution as an ODI batsman too currently not that good" ?

Tharanga is the best odi run maker in the side during past year.

Are you saying; Contributing nearly 1000 runs in a calendar year with near 50 batting average and almost 90 strike rate with 2 hundred plus scores and six fifty plus scores is not good? What else do you expect from him as a batter?

As the writer pointed out in this blog the games were lost clearly because of the repeated failures, inconsistencies, slowness & pathetic form of rest of the batters. They were nowhere near international standards in performance.

Do you expect Tharanga to put up the entire score of the side by himself, substantial enough to win matches, while the whole bunch repeatedly crumble for peanuts ?

Even he had attempted that. Tharanga became the first SL batsman to carry his bat out in an Odi match with an unbeaten 112* out of his team’s score of 187 in the 2nd match Vs Pak at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Upul contributed 59.89 percent of team’s total which was only the 2nd highest after Australian Damian Martyn’s innings of 116 not out in a total of 191 which contributed 60.73 of his team’s total. Overall, Tharanga became only the 11 th batsman to achieve the feat in ODIs.

UT fought hard a lone battle until the end trying to bring a victory for SL in that Odi , but unfortunately ran out of partners & stranded at the end just short of 32 runs. Similar thing happened in SA after Upul's knock of 119 made @ 132 SR and putting up 139 for the 1st wkt in 16 ovs & raising it to 216 for 2 wkts before getting out, leaving just 150 more to score,with 7 wkts in hand. But fell short by 40 runs. As author pointed out, If SL batting unit had a single batter or two who could have supported Tharanga's efforts, with some substantial contribution in those matches, both series Whitewashes Vs SA & Pk would have been easily avoided.

Look at Pk series stats given in this blog (Chandi 5- 41, Thisara 5-91, Dickwella 5-62, Siri 5- 24, Mendis 2-12, Sadeera 2-0, Kapu 1- 18). They collectively managed just 248 runs from 25 innings @ 9.92 Av in entire 5-odi series.

Can Tharanga's batting efforts alone could win matches for SL, with this kind of batting unit to support him ? As stats proved ,Tharanga is the only batter consistently scored runs for SL in past year, while failures with low & slow peanut scores collectively contributed for loosing matches. So how u interpret it the other way ?

Anonymous's picture

Sri Lanka's batsmen in ODIs from 16 Nov 2016 and 16 Nov 2017 cricinfo report

Keruwawa pahadili ... upulata banala wadak nathi bawa ona kenekuta therenawa

35 wadi average saha 80 wadi SR thiyenne kee denatada? mehema match dinanna puluwanda? anek ratawalwala playerslage stats ekka sasaduwama andenawa. Upulawa halala bindumal, kiri-manna wage kenekuta captaincy denawa kiyanne iwarama thamai. anek athata dickwella, gunathilaka wage aluth kenekuta dunnath eyawath iwarawela lankawath thawa anaganna eka nawathanna ba. samaharu kiyanawa mecchara kal crket kapu angelotama apahu demu kiyala....munta oluwak aththema na.

Player Inns - Runs - Higehst - Avg - SR - 100s - 50s

1) U Tharanga- 25 929 119 49 90 2 5

2) N Dickwella- 26 908 116 34 92 2 5

3) Kusal Mendis - 24 742 102 32 82 1 6

4) D Gunathilaka -12 509 116 42 84 1 4

5) A Mathews - 11 420 70 52 77 0 3

6) L Thirimanne- 8 339 80 42 66 0 4

7) Chandimal - 14 255 59 18 59 0 1

Me widiyata beli kapuwama lankawe cricket walata awasana thitha watena dina dura na. Upulata hondai galwena eka.. me idoreta hinduna linden adagena nanawata wada. aye bella kapuwe nathnam batting walin thawa records godak thiyanna puluwan adugane lankawe namawath thawa thiyanna world records athara.

cricexp's picture
Member since:
14 March 2015
Last activity:
4 hours 50 min

buddy SL worst ever ODI captain is Upul Tharanga..that is a fact..it is simple as that

MDKJulius Caesar's picture
Member since:
21 March 2015
Last activity:
16 hours 41 min

anyone can say anything as they wish... but it will not become a fact as they think. A FACT is a matter that should be based on substantial evidence, solid stats in this case and fact cannot be disputed. Hardly with just 3 full series played, having to lead a totally depleted side, mainly against World's top rated mighty opponents, cannot conclude the efficacy of a captaincy as any fool would know. This is an indisputable FACT backed with solid evidence.

Therefore judging as the worst in history is just words of an idiotic buddy, who obviously doesn't know the meaning of fact... LooL

(Last edited by MDKJulius Caesar on November 16, 2017 - 12:19)
cricexp's picture
Member since:
14 March 2015
Last activity:
4 hours 50 min

hahahaaa...I feel your pain buddy

(Last edited by cricexp on November 17, 2017 - 00:04)

Post new comment

Note
All anonymous comments are moderated.
  • Avoid abusive remarks and personal attacks.
  • Avoid posting unrelated links.
  • Avoid vulgar or obscene language.
Already a member? Log-in now. Not a member? Sign up for a new account.
CAPTCHA
This step helps us prevent automated submissions from spammers.