Downfall of Dinesh Chandimal, a curious case

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He is one of the finest young batsmen in world cricket, but now cracks have started to appear in his batting.

It took barely one season for young dinesh chandimal, to fall from the top bracket of world’s best young batsman’s list. In February-march this year, he was a star in making. Toured Australia, he was in devastating form against the home side and Indians, scored more than four hundred runs in that CB series. Four months later, after just completing an odi series against India recently, he is looking a jaded player. Suddenly, critics have started to found plenty of shortcomings in his technique, and most importantly, his temperament has also come under scanner.

His scores, against India, are 13, 6, 0, 28 and 8. At a time, when team management was describing him as a ‘next big thing ‘in sri lanka cricket, he came with lackluster performance. One could say that up and down in form is a normal thing in sports. Some people could say that even his team mate kumar sangakkara was struggling for runs, before Pakistan series, even India’s most talented young batsman rohit sharma, was a disaster in just concluded series. So, what’s the big deal, if chandimal failed in a series?

Well, in chandimal case, it’s not just about- not scoring runs. It’s about his technique, and temperament, to some extent. When he plays outside subcontinent, he looks a solid player. His records in Australia, South Africa and England suggest it too. He scored his first odi hundred in Zimbabwe, second in England. In test cricket, he scored two half century against South Africa in their hoe soil. In Australia, during CB series, he was equally good to another young batsman, from India, virat kohli. Former greats, like Tony Greg, ian chepal and sanjay manjrekar, had no doubts to call him as a ‘future of sri lanka batting’.

But, whenever, he plays in sub continent pitches, he looks an ordinary batsman. He struggles against pace bowlers, as well as against spinners. So, what’s the reason behind it? waqar younus, former Pakistani fast bowler, identified during the pak-sri lanka series, that chandimal has the tendency to break down under pressure, especially in spin friendly, slow and slugish pitches in sub continent. His stats also show it. In sub continent, his best score is just 65, which he scored recently against Pakistan in third test match. Against Pakistan, he was helpless against saeed ajmal and shahid afridi. Against India, he had problems against R Ashwin and Irfan pathan.

Another weakness in chandimal’s game seems that he not comfortable at no. 4 position. Though, Captain mahela has described him a ‘long term no. 4 ‘, but it seems that he struggles to cope with the pressure of middle overs. Like mahela, chandimal too is a attacking batsman. But, as sri lanka management had forced mahela to bat in middle order, its look like, that same thing is happening with chandimal. In today’s twenty-20 era, where natural strikers of the ball are precious, sri lanka is wasting chandimal’s talent by playing him as a middle order batsman.

Yet, situation is not too  alarming, as he is still a 22 year old boy. But surely, it’s a big worry for sri lankan team, as all describing him the next legend from the island. May be, its just matter of time, when he will start to make runs in sub continent too.

But surley, its time for sri lanka cricket to think seriously about chandimal’s role in the team. They have already wasted the talent of chamara kapugedera, by playing him as a lower order batsman. With the kind of talent chandimal have, they cant do same with him.


first class player's picture

this is due to Marvan Atpattu as he has changed chandimal' s stance, bat grip and bat swing. Chandimal struggles with the new tecniques. and if he doesnt follw that Marvan go and complain with the team management and the national selectors and chandimal gets warned by the selectors.Chandimal is a natural aggresive batsman but Marvan has taken away from it. however his tecnique is good to cope with bouncy tracks but its not ideal for slow wickets. as a person within the system i can confirm this for a fact. this all cahnging came after he was dropped from the team vs Aussie's last year when he got out to left armers. Marvan might be the stylist batsman we produced but not the best one!

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
7 weeks 1 day

At this level I don't feel that a batting coach needs to change the technique of a player. If this has been done it is a clear case of over coaching.

If the selectors are warning Chandimal based on the fact that he doesn't take "over coaching" on board, that shows a flaw there as well.

All Chandimal has to do is to go out there and let his bat do the talking....if he keeps getting runs no one will mess with how he does it.

ROAR OF LANKA's picture
Member since:
4 July 2011
Last activity:
2 years 50 weeks

I saw on the tv Marvan was uttering to Mahela to push Chandimal back down to no-7..and get Jeewan Mendis ahead....Chandimal should never bat below 4 and if he does it should be only in tests..Time for Marvan to get out...

Ranjan Rodrigo's picture
Member since:
8 January 2012
Last activity:
1 year 28 weeks

So much is wrong in SL cricket. Any official remaining long gets
too dictatatorial.Even players. May be Chandimal can take a break and Jeevan can move up.

Ranjan Rodrigo Sydney

Anonymous's picture

Kapugedara didn’t get much chances like Chandimal..I’m sure that if team gives some more matches to Kapu in one series he will click..unfortunately Kapu got some important matches like final/semi final/knockout and everybody expecting him to be a hero in the same matches..Kapu & Thirimanne have great rhythm to mix leathal with willow sharply and team should give more chances to Kapu...

shiran_champ's picture
Member since:
2 August 2012
Last activity:
5 years 4 weeks

I dont know about the claims abt Marvan ..But I was feeling the same .Chandi was never afraid was hitting the ball hard when he started .. then he had a one bad series and all of a sudden that aggression seemed to have lost and now he just looks like an ordinary player.sure he had problems with his shot selection and temperament from the beginning ..but changing his natural style is not the solution.he seems to be lost now

Anon's picture

When I see Chandimal's batting, most of the times he use his bottom hand(right hand) instead of left hand to generate power. Normally we see other way around from most great batsmen. I mean left handers use right hand and right handers use left hand to generate power.Bottom hand only plays a supportive role in a big shot.But it's not case in Chandimal's batting...After playing a big shot Chandimal normally ends up in awkward positions due to this reason, I think. By the way, I'm just an ordinary fan and this is what I feel when I see Chandimal's batting.

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
5 days 11 hours

The case of Chandi is certainly confusing given his success overseas. Its insane he would strugle in local conditions but thats a fact. One thing about him is he is unorthodox times and seems to need to odd "pol Adi" shot. That could be a mental issue. I saw him make his debut against Dale Steyn and co and looked serene till he got out the 'pol adi'. To even mention he would have trouble with spin is inconceivable after how well he played the pace men in both SA and Aus but that's what the records shows. I feel he should be handled a bit like Sanath just go out there and play with freedom and we will take the failures as part of the bargain.

Sakala Bujang's picture
Member since:
8 April 2011
Last activity:
15 weeks 3 days

He did play a useful knock in the SLPL, but maybe he's just out of form. If attapatu is in fact messing with his natural game then that's a massive mistake - sri lanka have ALWAYS thrived on unorthodox players.
However I think occasionally he's a bit to jumpy and aggressive; when e was successful they gave him positions of high responsibility in the batting order when in reality he needed a good partner to bat with and be lead by, e.g Mahela or Sanga. Leaving him by himself in a tense situation will only make it worse. But he has talent, and the selectors should defo use him for the final instead of Thirrimanne, who hasn't really done anything in any of the matches, though in his defense he has had limited opportunity.

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