SL's top ranked Test Batters @ No1 to 5 spots must be assigned to plug Holes & bring Wins!

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It is worthwhile looking at SL's top ranked Test batters, according to their batting averages during past 18 months, since August 01, 2016 to date (batted at vital No 1-5 spots, where it matters most to the outcome of a Test):

1) LD Chandimal - 19 ing/ 933 @ 54.88 Av/ 45 SR- 3 x 100 / 5 x 50+

2) DKarunaratne - 38 ing/ 1400 @ 38.75 Av/ 46 SR- 4 x 100/ 6 x 50+

3) WU Tharanga -  16 ing / 549 @ 36.60 Av / 56 SR- 2 x 100/ 3 x 50+

4) BKG Mendis-     32 ing/ 1102 @ 34.43 Av /60 SR – 3 x 100 / 3 x 50+

5) DM de Silva -       7 ing / 189 @ 31.50 AV/ 48 SR- 1 x 100*

6) AD Mathews -     23 ing / 677 @ 29.43 AV / 50 SR- 1 x 100/ 4 x 50+

To have the strongest possible solid batting unit for Tests, Upul Tharanga should be included to OPEN with Dimuth K.  Since Upul was relieved from captaincy responsibilities in ODIs, now he is free to take part in Tests.

Opening position is vital to the side & the newcomer Sadeera Samarawickrema is certainly nowhere near international level, as so much hyped on substandard domestic scene highs.

- Sadeera managed just 125 runs @ 15.62 Average from his 8 consecutive test innings on perfect batting decks, including 2 ducks in his 3 single digit scores. He had gathered 2 consecutive ducks in his 2 Odis as well, causing SL to doom.

- Opener Kaushal Silva is a total failure as well. He managed just 465 runs @ 23 Av from 20 Test innings played during past 18 months.

In form Opener, Tharanga tops the batting rankings in ODIs having scored 944 runs @ 48 Av- 84 SR  with 2 tons & 6 x 50+ and he is ranked as 3rd best SL Test batter as shown above with 2 Tons & 3 x 50+ during the same period (among all SL batters batted at No 1-5 spots).

Therefore the best available strongest Test batting lineup should be:

1) Dimuth K
2) U Tharanga
3) DM de Silva
4) Chandimal
5) Mathews
6) Asela G
7) Roshen S / K Mendis / Dickwella


MDKJulius Caesar's picture
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Tharanga had played only 2- 5 Tests against BD, SA, Ind, Nz, Ind, Zmb, Pk in overall career and never played against Aus, WI in his career. He had never got a chance to play vs Eng, Nz, in more than 10 years. 2nd phase of his career was limited to 16 scattered tests (mostly solitary matches) since recalled in mid 2014.

These are the hundreds and near hundreds plus fifties and near fifties he scored in those 16 tests. His progress was a steady rise since he got consecutive matches in past 18 months that resulted in scoring 4x 100 international hundreds and nine fifty pluses during past 18 months

115 v Bangladesh Galle 7 Mar 2017 Test # 2252
110* v Zimbabwe Harare 29 Oct 2016 Test # 2228
92 v Pakistan Colombo (SSC) 14 Aug 2014 Test # 2136
83 v South Africa Galle 16 Jul 2014 Test # 2129
79 v Zimbabwe Harare 6 Nov 2016 Test # 2231
71 v Zimbabwe Colombo (RPS) 14 Jul 2017 Test # 2263
64 v India Galle 26 Jul 2017 Test # 2265
48 v Pakistan Pallekele 3 Jul 2015 Test # 2169
46 v Pakistan Pallekele 3 Jul 2015 Test # 2169
45 v Pakistan Colombo (SSC) 14 Aug 2014 Test # 2136
30 v South Africa Colombo (SSC) 24 Jul 2014 Test

(Last edited by MDKJulius Caesar on December 7, 2017 - 17:29)
MDKJulius Caesar's picture
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Let me ask a question Did anyone have a better run making record or consistency than Upul's 4 x 100+ & 9 x 50+ and scoring 1,493 runs @ 43 Av from 41 innings in (Tests+Odis) runs in both formats for SL in international cricket during past 18 months?

Trying to equal or overvalue a failing rookie is just hilarious.

(Last edited by MDKJulius Caesar on December 7, 2017 - 18:08)
Mr.Reds's picture
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Tharaga doesn't want to play tests anymore. That's why he's not in the team. Let him play some franchise cricket and ODIs for SL.
Sadeera shouldnt be dropped, at least till the end of this tour.

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Mr Reds:

That is not true. He had asked not to consider him in Tests for a few months until the end of this year to concentrate on rebuilding the already dead team for ODIs & T20s as skipper. But now he is no longer the captain he is free from Captaincy burden. So now he should be willing and ready to play Tests as well. It is the duty of the selectors to approach him and get his service. It is no secret that SL badly need an experienced Test Opener who could play long innings.

Who is better suited for the job other than a guy in prime form with a decade long career as Opener ? with 18 international tons & near fifty fifty plus knocks??

Shinning initially & keeping the same trend for a long while in internationals are two different things. Now look at what happened to so promising youngster Kusal Mendis? He is finding it extremely hard to keep his flow get going & get back where he was. This is beyond a natural lean patch common to any.

With today's high tech methodology, opponents figure out weaknesses of every batter/ bowler within a very short time. Therefore the chances of improvement for an initial failure is almost nil today (unlike in the past). Only the experienced guys could shift their approach accordingly to negate the ever changing threat. This is proved in our best & most consistent run makers today (Chandimal, Tharanga, Dimuth, Mathews all are well experienced batters).

Naturally talented Kusal Mendis will figure out the art of adjustment with experience. Therefore, those few truly talented youngsters should be given chances despite failures. But don't forget , we need a few good run makers at the same time in the side to shoulder the dead weight of non performers.

In my view, No point wasting more matches on an inept guy like Sadeera.

(Last edited by Andrew Silva on December 8, 2017 - 00:30)
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Are u saying scoring 549 @ 36.60 Av / 56 SR- 2 x 100/ 3 x 50+ and ranked among top 3 is a splattering run?

FYI, Since recalled in 2014 as an experienced guy, Upul was never dropped in Tests due to any failures, but rather cruel axing to shatter his progress & accommodate their favorites . He has maintained his good form throughout the 8 random Matches given to him up to 2016 SA tour, since recalled after 7y. he scored 600+ runs at impressive 41 average with an unbeaten 110* and 3 more 75+ scores (near tons) 79 vs Zm/ 83 vs SA/ 92 v Pk apart from 3 x 45+ scores Vs Pk. despite facing 5 repeated axing episodes within first 8 tests played randomly up to 2016 Nov. .

A few examples of despicable axing:

Axing him from NZ tour squad after making a series winning batting contributions 92 & 45 in previous series decider Test Vs Pk in Aug 2014.

Axing him again from next series vs Ind, after scoring 48 & 46 in both innings Vs Pk in the solitary test match given after one year layoff.

Your so called merry go round was there. It's time to move on in a new direction to salvage the present and secure the next 5 years first with the help of experienced productive run makers and then gradually build the long term future.. Only naive would expect overnight miracles to happen from youngsters... even after seeing all these defeats suffered relying on them too much.

(Last edited by Andrew Silva on December 8, 2017 - 01:46)
delan82's picture
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Didn't Tharanga opt out of tests for awhile from Tests to focus on shorter formats or have I got that wrong?
If you give someone else an opportunity you need to earn the position back again the hard way. Not just automatically.

I think (and hope) they will give young Sadeera another chance and not just discard him so quickly.

One more thing that statement about UT being only one discarded when he is in form and experienced/established player is not quite correct. For example Dean Jones was into his 31st year of life when he was discarded and he had a much better Test and ODI record than Tharanga. He had a comeback into the ODI side but didn't last long. His last Test series was against SL and included 2 50s and a century.
There are a number of reasons players can be dropped not just performance. But UT was certainly not the "unluckiest" or "only" cricketer to have found himself in this manner as if often repeated on here by certain people.

Andrew Silva's picture
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@ delan82 :

Yes Dean Jones was controversially dropped from the test team at the start of the 1992–93 season, despite having topped the averages in the previous Test series, against Sri Lanka. The reason for that controversial act was never revealed despite media agitation.

But my friend, Making two wrongs wouldn't make a right to justify the act , isn't it?

Also there are few other points that entirely differ the two situations. Being a historian let me point out the truth.

1) Unlike SL's Pathetic Test record in past few years before & after UT's axing, up to 1992 incident, mighty Aussies had an immaculate Test record winning many series (including Ashes in 1989, 1991/92) without loosing any full series. Australia was in a peak era in Tests at the end of 1992 (when Dean Jones was dropped under controversial circumstances). Even after axing Dean Jones they continued their unbeaten winning streak until 1995 series Vs Pk. But for SL, after winning that series Vs Pk with UT's contributions in 2014, they kept loosing almost every Test series except for that solitary series Vs depleted 3rd string WI toured SL.

2) Also, when Dean was axed in 1992 the bench strength of Aus was overwhelmingly filled with top class batters like Allan Border (c), Ian Healy, David Boon, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn,Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh etc.

No need to say about the bench strength of SL when Tharanga suffered that cruel AXING (It was primarily to avoid him from playing NZ series in NZ prior to WC & eventually targeting to eliminate him from the WC to retain Dimuth K, that ended up in a total disaster with repeated series whitewashes in both formats & also ensuring premature elimination from WC)) .!

So my friend the sagas behind the two unfair AXING acts were completely different in nature. The most contrasting difference is Aussies never suffered by Jone's axing and SL suffered throughout the past few years since that act, after registering a rare series win Vs a formidable opponent in late 2014 thanks to Tharanga's contribution.

The MOTIVES behind were completely different. One is Pathetically CRUEL act never justified with results and the other one is CONTROVERSIAL Aussie arrogance act, but fully justified with results. !.

Andrew Silva's picture
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Oh yeah Delan you got it absolutely right .

So perfect SL selector's recent choices of Thisara Perera in Odis , Thrimanne in Tests/Odis & Chandimal in ODIs (even useful Mathews with a test Av in 20s in recent past up to current series) were not "automatic" and they all did SOOooo MUCH recently to earn those spots with "excellent performances" for SL in the recent past, so we are a top ranking nation now LoL.

Upul is in excellent form & the top international maker for SL in past 18 months with 4 x 100 & 9x 50 & ranked as third best in Test averages. Upul tops the ODI batting Averages in 2017 with near 50 average and the rest are way behind him & he continued his form in last month's Odi series vs Pk as well scoring almost 200 runs @ 48 Average with an unbeaten 112* and a fifty plus when the rest of all miserably flopped to sink the series.

You are right my friend, the criteria is entirely different for this guy Upul & he shouldn't be "Automatically" selected like the above mentioned "superlative match-winners" and needs to go through the domestic scene again from the scratch to gain his test spot back...! LOOooooL

No wonder why SL is holding a prestigious spot in ICC rankings with this kind of logic.

(Last edited by Andrew Silva on December 8, 2017 - 12:08)
cricexp's picture
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What nonsense is this guy talking? Coming with fake profiles...same like backbone..laidback..Carrier break? Pissuda ban..Dhana scored a hundred after he axed from the test side..Upul bring the bad luck to the team as well..he has never been in the playing 11 for any cricket match that we won in last 2 years(except for Zim and Ban), he was not even in the winning squad during famouse victories like Aus 3-0 Pak 2-0 Eng win in 2014 Ind ODI win in champions trophy .nj

delan82's picture
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@Andrew Jones was dropped for more than cricketing reasons. Had to do with his attitude and things like that. Once the Waugh brother's established himself very little chance point is stop crying that Tharanga is the "Only" one in the world like he is the golden child of cricket. And using numerous fake profiles to make your point over the years hasn't helped.

Australia won the WC in 87 and the Ashes back in 89 but to say the were winning everything up to Deno's axing in 1992 is incorrect. They hadn't beaten the windies and had not won in the subcontinent for ages. They only won in the subcontinent on Test tour to SL in 91/92 and that too after SL threw away a chance to win.

After sacking Jones the lost to the West Indies, they drew at home with South Africa thanks to local umpires and the Pakistani series at home prior to SL also had it's controversies with Malik playing in Brisbane and ball-tampering allegations in warm up game at Perth.
Let's not get carried away...and Hayden was yet to play a Test, Border was the class player, Boon solid but the rest yet to become the players they would be by the end of their careers.

A more modern day version of Dean Jones would be Kevin Pietersen. Nothing to do with his skill or ability. Yes KP was much older and had 100 tests under his belt but at the stage he was dropped for non-cricketing reasons he had a several years still under his belt

As for SL Test record in recent times...Jarred Kimber from Cricinfo posted a series a stats on his twitter page yesterday...SL not great but not as bad as you may think. Recent times especially in 2017 have been more poor than not. But was ODIs that SL was more pathetic than Tests.

Where have I said I support selection of Thisara, or Thiramanne? You said two wrongs don't make a right...yes then use your own theory and consider Thranga in test cricket in same manner.

From the original stat list in this thread you would say everybody is performing pathetically bar Chandimal. Not sure why 18 months was chosen rather than another time frame...But I have my theories. 18 months boasts Tharanga's record. If we used just 2017 for example he has an average of 28 odd from 16 Test innings!!!

Now redo that list of 5 players in same order for 2017 and you get:
Chandimal: 1003 runs at 45.59 from 24 inns
Dimuth 1031 runs at 39.65 from 26 inns
Tharanga: 430 runs at 28.66 from 16 inns
Mendis: 669 runs at 33.45 from 20 inns
Angelo: 524 runs at 29.11 in 18 inns.

Yes Angie and Dinesh would be boosted by centuries in last Test match which UT or KM did not play. But overall he is not doing much better. Before you go on about slightly less innings played...He took a self imposed break from Test cricket!
Once again stats are manipulated to try and deceive for a certain agenda.

Yes Angelo has been well and truly below par from what was previously a solid and reliable perform. Injury probably didn' help and perhaps with giving up captaincy motivation did wane a bit. Hopefully that recent century against India will turn things a round. But he has a proved test record. You can't say the same for Tharanga. You can in ODIs but not Test cricket. And ODI was before he started tinkering with his batting style and approach.

Now Upul had a shot as skipper. So much for being victimised. He was uninspiring, got himself foul of over rates and is a shocking slow fielder. But has been retained as a player. This thread however was to do with Test cricket not ODIs.
Maybe he is on par with the likes of Hick and Ramprakash (or Mubarak in SL)...Scores heavily in domestic cricket but can't cut it at Test level.

I go back to my previous post ....there is a number of reasons a player can be dropped.

As for selection criteria...I apply that to everyone and if you go read any previous posts I have made over there years you will see that.

I would say it's more people with YOUR kind of logic and thinking that has kept SL cricket struggling. Like you guys with UT, there are similar people with LT and others...Time to move forward not backwards.

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