Russel Arnold's Sri Lanka XI for the ICC World Twenty20 2012

Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
September 8, 2012

Akila Dananjaya
Akila Dananjaya not in Russel Arnold's Sri Lanka XI. © Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS/SLPL

What is your final Sri Lanka XI for the ICC World Twenty20 2012?Shashika Atapattu

Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga.

Who is the best sledger in the Sri Lankan team you have played with and why?
Naveen Raddoluwa

We did have a few good sledgers in the side. Kumar Sangakkara takes the cake as his communication skills were the best. He was also in the best position to have a word because he was keeping wickets and quite close to the action. Sledging can often be misunderstood. What happens out there on most occasions is banter, which professional cricketers have a laugh about off the field later.

What is your view on the cancelled tour to England in 2009? Do you agree with the players who wanted to honour their IPL contracts before their national commitments?Shanil Kuruppu

I am glad that I did not have to make a decision on this matter. It is easy to comment from where I’m at. It was not in the best interest of Sri Lanka cricket but, from a player’s point of view, players also have to think about their futures; and here was an opportunity for financial security. A cricketer’s career is limited and the IPL has proved to be a life changer for most cricketers. It is tough to look away. As a player, you do have to make the right decision for yourself, as you do not know how long you have left in the game. It could be injuries, or it could be selectors that may curtail your career. Playing cricket alone is not sufficient. Just like any other profession, financial gains are important too. It is a sad situation, but this is reality. I would like to see people handle it in a different manner if they were in that situation.

What is the white cream that our players rub all over their faces, and why do we not see teams like England and Australia wearing the same cream?Suren Dias

It is sun protection cream (sunscreen) and all players do use it, but it probably comes down to how much you want to leave on. Some players prefer to rub it right in and others don't.

Couple of decades back, Sri Lanka was admired for its school cricketing structure. We possessed many school cricketers who had potential to represent Sri Lanka at the highest level. But while watching the recently concluded under-19 cricket world cup, I felt that there are so many things to worry about in terms of the future of Sri Lankan cricket. Where have we gone wrong as far as school cricket is concerned?Praveen Abeyrathne

Lately, there has been a change in the structure and schools now have to play different schools of different qualities and strengths. The stronger teams have most of their games ending by lunch on the second day. The change was done to give more opportunity to players, especially the outstation players, but the down side is that it compromises the quality on the long run. As of now, we have picked quantity over quality where school cricket is concerned.

In your opinion, who is the best batsman Sri Lanka has produced who can score on all tracks against all kinds of bowling attacks?Shanaka Kannangara

It's Aravinda de Silva.

Ask Russel Arnold a question >>

© Island Cricket


Anonymous's picture

I agree with Russel's XI for the World Cup. I don't think Akhila and Munaweera are in the best XI because they lack experience but however they should play in some matches, for example Akhila should play instead of Ajantha Mendis vs Teams like India and Pakistan. Dilshan Munaweera should open the batting in the 1st game vs Zimbabwe instead of Thirimanne and Mahela should bat lower down. I don't see a point in playing Thirimanne so low down the order, because we're going to send Thisara or Jeevan to finish off the innings and Thirimanne won't be used.

GandaP's picture

Drop TM Dilshan down the order and play Munaweera! Dilshan is not a power hitter like Munaweera but Dilshan will do well in power plays later.

Ranawaka's picture
Member since:
4 July 2012
Last activity:
1 year 7 weeks

Akila is inexperience player. but Munaweera? He has played 1st clz games

(Last edited by Ranawaka on September 9, 2012 - 07:43)
Shash24's picture
Member since:
23 August 2012
Last activity:
4 years 51 weeks

Hmm... Surprised me. Im da one who ask the question from him and Thats the point i should want to know exactly. But he went the opposite way of not picking both munaweera and akila. Will see if he is correct! Only time will tell us. I think at least Munaweera should be included in the final XI

Anonymous's picture

Agree with Arnold's XI. But, Munaweera and Akhila should certain play couple game. Akhila should play againsts teams like India, and Pakistan for sure, and if he does good, he should play the rest of the games. Munaweera on the other hand I think should play too, but I DON'T think he should open the batting in the expense of MJ moving the the order. In my opinion, for SLs chances in this World Cup depends highly on how well Mahela does as an opener, because he has done tremendously well for us this far. If Munaweera is used as an opener, I would partner him with Mahela. But, I think it would be getter for the team, if Munaweera played at #5 since he can provide the much need power SL lack in the middle order!

Sulaimaan's picture
Member since:
3 December 2010
Last activity:
1 year 29 weeks

Aravinda always, SL's best batsman ever.

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
6 days 9 hours

I'd open with Munaweera and Dilshan. Mahela at three.

Gayan's picture
Member since:
27 January 2009
Last activity:
3 years 26 weeks

I dont agree with russel on playing XI coz chandimal far away from been inform on the otherhand muanaweera is.
open with Dilshan and Munaweera, then sanga (left hander), mahela, Mathews, Lahiru (but he has to up his strike rate or else Jeewan fits here), thisara,kula, malinga, herath, mendis.

Herath and Mendis both should play since they are genuine spinners with our fast bowlers and fast bowling all-rounders, its will nicely balance-out our side.

Anonymous's picture

Dear Russel,

In 'ball by ball' commentaries, I would like you to 'continue' or exted your comments with a few phrases or when necessary with a few more short sentences, that make your views and the listener's desire sort of satisfied.

I do not have an example but this a skil that you will develop as you go along but you need to think about it, wile you are at it.

However, the Full-Moon-day comment is an excellent example [sort of mix & match]. It need not be the most 'intelectual one' but some sort of a consolation for those who listen!

I wish you the very best!

Anonymous's picture

No matter what playing combination you put on the field it is India which will win the Cup as you know the political realities. In Russel's XI there's no whatsoever surprise. The performance of his combination is so predictable that the Sub-continents teams will handle them with great ease. SRI LANKA MUST PLAY AT LEAST ONE NEW PLAYER IN EACH GAME. WE CAN AFFORD TO DO THAT. WHY NOT REST DILSHAN FOR SOMETIME AS HE IS NOT IN FORM??

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