Sri Lanka's selection bubble

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"Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent." - Nolan Ryan

Another day another controversy at Sri Lanka Cricket. The term professionalism it seems is a word that no one in Sri Lanka Cricket seems to understand. On the eve of the national teams departure to the world t20 the administrators seem fit to fire the current selection panel and bring in a completely new  panel. Whatever the justification provided by the current administration about the failures of the previous selection panel all parties involved should be embarrassed about how the events transpired.

The problem with the current squad is that it is thoroughly predictable the same old players with the same old tricks.While every other international teams has changed considerably from the last world t20 either strategically or on personnel.Sri lanka continue to persist with similar personal. It is hard to understand the reluctance of the team management to give youth a chance. It is this inability to embrace the uncertain that has placed the team in their current predicament. The team management feels safe in their bubble of known players irrespective of current form.

For example the new selectors decide to bring in suranga lakmal mainly a test specialist who has only played five international t20 games has a economy rate of 8.94 and an average of 32.How is suranga lakmal better than kasun rajitha who has been in excellent form in the recent domestic tournaments .Lahiru thirimanne averages 19.78 with a strike rate of 114 in international t20’s his domestic records are similar to his international record.Going into the world t20 our top 3 will consist of Dilshan,Chandimal and thirimanne who’s strike rates are 120,102 & 114 respectively way below  the requirement  for any  top order in t20.None of these players are comfortable hitting the ball over the infield. A player who has shown he can hit the ball over the top is danushka gunathilake who it seems is not good enough.
Sachithra senanayake who is not the same bowler after his remodeled action is struggling for form is preferred over Jeffrey vandersay.Leg spinners are always hard to hit in t20 cricket  all the top countries prefer to have a legspinner in their ranks while sri lanka prefer not to use their leg spinner.Wonder if the selectors saw how well tahir and rashid did in the Eng vs SA series .Sri lanka face both teams in their group games.Nuwan Kulasekara who will be the lead fast bowler is also a worry for the Lankans the pitches are definitely not going to swing. Kulasekara will have a huge target on his back can he counter the powerful top orders of SA,ENG and WI.Of the spinners when was the last time rangana herath played a t20 before the asia cup.Sri lanka are putting a lot of faith in a player who is close to the end of his career.Only player that merits a place based on performance is young dushmantha chameera who impresses with every game he plays.

Sri lanka’s batting is also hugely reliant on the out of form Anjelo Matthews who bats too far down the order to influence the game.Milinda siriwardena will be required to provide the fireworks if the top order holds up  Siriwardena is the only player with a acceptable strike rate of 137.Chamara kapugedara who is been sold to the public as a big hitter has a strike rate of whopping 119. Further proving how poor the selections have been.

Even though the stats paint a very poor picture the good news is the lankans always punch above their weight in big tournaments. With the addition of Kumar sangakkara and aravinda de silva into the current management set up it can be guaranteed the team will have a solid plan. It remains to be seen the trust put on the tried and tested will deliver or will it all end in ruins.



Aldon's picture

I dnt really understand the logic. When u talks abt Lakmal, u r talkng abt current form. When u talk abt Lahiru u r tlkng abt his stats which came way back in 2014. If ypu thnk abt Current form and Domestic records then the openers must be Dickwella & Dhananja while Thirimanne slotting number 3, Chandimal at number 4. Kapu ddnt perfom well recently so is Milinda. So talk vth one logic and one face. Danushka must have been included at the cost of Dilshan. Dilshan can bat low down the order. If Danushka plays play him as an opener Or Dnt play and waste his career like did to Thiri & Chandi

Anonymous's picture

Very valid points made. I am still trying to fathom why on earth Lakmal was selected? And why Dhananja was overlooked?

lolstat's picture
Member since:
27 June 2015
Last activity:
1 year 14 weeks

@Last Man Out,

Is it a selection bubble or a talent bubble. We always shout out saying we have talent in the country. But isn't it the bubble now that has popped.

Why do you try to crucify Kapu is beyond insane. When ever he comes to bat, the match is already lost. Top order waste too many balls because of their oozing talent.

Malinga is right, and people without fan boy vision can understand what he told. We have national heroes but can't get a contract in IPL,BigBash. I think that our players are too talented and franchises are afraid of getting these players.

Thanks to Malinga we saw Milinda, at least he looks confident holding the bat.

Don't worry we have got the "Talent" ,
But nobody said talent for what?

Anonymous's picture

i agree with you 100 percent..... we have more capable all rounders like farveez maharoof and angelo perera and still chose dasun shanaka, shehan jayasuriya and thissara perera who can neither bat nor bowl...... and danushka gunathilekas omission is surprising to say the least... the whole selection process reeks of bias...

Straight Drive's picture
Member since:
25 February 2015
Last activity:
2 years 13 weeks

We have to understand certain things here. The new selection panel cannot name a completely new team or make 5 / 6 changes. This should have been done long time ago and not at this point where we are going to play a world title tournament.
They left out young jefry and Dickwella both are very new to international cricket and with very little international exposure. Especially bowlers must have played at least 10 games before coming and bowling at international level.

I would back Thirimana's inclusion as we don't have a player to play anchor role in the middle order except for Mathews. Look at the scored we made in tour of India and in Asia cup. Our middle order struggled to rotate strike and maintain a healthy run rate. They not only struggled but also lost too many wickets without knowing to handle the pressure. Game against Bangladesh is a fine example. We don't need just the big hitters to wing games we must have a balanced squad.

I am not too sure why lakmal was selected, because he hasn't proven anything in T20's yet. To be honest I have no faith in the current bowling line up except for Malinga. Even Herath isn't that effective in t20's and he can easily go for runs if batsmen try to attack.

Now we have to play the tournament with this squad, so we have to find the best 11 to play and we must have a strategy. Dilshan is out of form and Chandi is little slow to provide a cracking start. But this is the openers and this is not the time to experiment with Milinda. All we can do is hope for the best from the players and expect some luck be on our side.

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
2 days 21 hours

Interesting read and some valid points raised and equally interesting responses. The most important point for me is SL compared to the rest of the world. Even Eng have changed their game plan and we are stuck with the same old plan or are we. Is it possible we havent gone anywhere because we have nothing to go with. Most international teams have come to the WC with aggressive top order players and we have recalled Thiri! Most teams will be comming with spin and we have just dropped a spinner for a seam option. The point is we have tried a few aggressive options who have failed so what are the real option available? If it was me, I would throw caution to the wind and stuck with the Gunathileka and Dichwella ahead of Thiri at #3. A few years back we could defend 145 but not so sure now. Well dont beleive me just look at the Asia cup how Pak and Bang cruised past us!

lolstat's picture
Member since:
27 June 2015
Last activity:
1 year 14 weeks

Well stormy, if you want to put both Gunatilake & Dickwella ahead of Thiri, you got to drop Chandimal & Dilshan.

But who has got the courage to do that ?

Dilshan is the remaining experienced head, Chandimal is the golden boy.
Can't do that.

so to implement your answer we need to play more than 11 players, but even if we do so we won't be able to chase or post a good score in 20 overs.

our problem is we have not understood that we don't need 7 batsmen to win, if you can't win with 5 batters you are not going to win it with 7.
Because upfront we eat lot of balls and loose wickets, so by the time 6-7th batters come to play the game is gone. Kapu and Milinda play this lost causes most of the time.

(Last edited by lolstat on March 13, 2016 - 18:07)
Last Man Out's picture
Member since:
7 November 2010
Last activity:
56 min 26 sec

They could open with siriwardana and chandimal. drop dilshan to no 4 considering he prefers facing the spinners.I would like to see a top 7 of

Shehan Jayasooriya

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