[Discussion Thread] Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe 2016

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Big win?

Runs for the batter and a 200+ win and one would imagine all is good. Well yes but there is a but...I was expecting an easier win, but surely how much better can a 200+ win be? May be I was expecting to win in 3 days. Regardless I was disappointed at the declaration so late and as it was, we only just won in the last hour but job done all the same.

We need to make a call with Kusal Perera at #3. Surely we cannot play the wicket keeper at #3 on a permanent basis but happy to see him make some runs and the openers finally do something, especially Dimuth who needed runs really badly.

I will keep the Tharanga debate which is no doubt round the corner but the man was given a chance and delivered and you cant ask for much more than that.

All the bowlers did a job too and the expected result was achieved.

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Bench strength of fast bowling

I have seen someone asking about Chameera's fitness. I too want to know that whether he is getting fitter. It's about 5 and 1/2 months since he played his last test match. Sri Lanka needs him to combat against proteas in coming December. This guy Lahiru Kumara is awesome. If a bowler who clicks 140 kph mark in such a young age, that is treat to watch. If he can stay fit for long time, he can definitely add few more kilometers as he grows. Let's wish him to be much more fitter. Adding to that we have Pradeep (Still in the injured list),Lakmal (seems to have a good rhythm during last test Vs Zimbabwe),Asitha,Wishwa etc. I feel that we have a decent pace bowling unit which can be handful in challenging conditions.

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Another win as expected but!

Yes another win coming up as expected and huge wins but I was expecting it to be more convincing. We have batted twice in both games, late declarations, and both games in the fifth day. I would have like to see first innings declarations 5 down and innings wins. The tail actually had to a lot of work in both tests as we were 100+ for 4 down twice in 4 innings while Zim have been dropping more than catching.

Now that is off my chest, two more expected wins and convincing all the same. Great to see two young batters coming through. De Siva we know about and great to see him carry on from the Aus series but I didn't see Asela coming and what an impact he has made in these two tests. All the batters have actually done the job except Mendis and lets not please jump on him for failing in two tests.

Herath has been awesome but we know what but disappointed that we need to continue to totally rely on him to take the lead.

Bottom line, expected result on the board and you cant ask for more than that.

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Looking for limited overs heros!

This I am afraid is a battle for the wooden spoon and SL needs to use this series to work out some major issues in both the bowling and batting. The bowling is looking awfully dodgy even in spin friendly conditions as we have found out recently but the key is working out the batting. We need to adopt to the way the game is played these days where 300 is no longer is safe.

The starting point are the openers and we have had huge struggles here and looking for Kusal to make a point with probably De Silva but wait, so we open with Upul? I reckon Upul plays Chandi's role at #4 with Mendis at #3. I reckon should check out Niroshan somewhere in the top order or may be even in the middle order.

This is an opportunity to put in place a new game plan and this is not plodding along to 275 but seeking 300+. This would mean of 3 possible plans (1) aggression at the top of the order (2) big hitting in the last 10 overs (3) batting order stacked with aggressive batters. One of our major issues is the loss of the top order forcing a building of a competitive total as opposed to a winning score. Also we just haven't had the big hitters down the order.

I would go with aggressive openers and we have the ingredients in Kusal and De Silva (or Niroshan). Mendis isn't really a blocker but the lower order needs to have Dasun like guys. The bottom line is we need a new plan and stick with it and this is the series to work it out.

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Making Stability

Well... we lost badly to West Indies which clearly indicates lack of applications (But ton the competency) among the line up. But I would like to suggest that we should not change the top 4 in our batting order for any reason during this series. Yes one or two of them are not delivering up to the expectations at the moment(Specially Kusal Mendis), but, letting them settle down will be more wiser approach rather than chopping and messing up. Then we can decide who is/are more reliable in the top order to play when Chandi and Anji arrive. But what I can't understand is this too many all-rounders approach in the lower order. Selectors may be thinking of extra batting cushion down the order. But, this approach didn't seem to have been paid off during last ODI outings including the ODI series Vs Aus. We need genuine bowling options than the half bowling options and I believe 6 genuine batters 1 or maximum all-rounders with bowlers can make a balanced team. Selectors should give a clear message to the top order to come and take the batting responsibility.

In up coming match/matches during the series, I would like to suggest Dasun Shanaka over Asela Gunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan over Pathirana or Shehan. If Lakmal can be rested for a game while giving a chance to Lahiru Kumara, that will be important, but with the current situation, selectors may not do that.

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Job well done

Nicely done there by the lads, a comprehensive win in the final and clinical show when it really mattered. Credit to Tharanga, thrown in with a young team and he done the job including an important fifty when it mattered most.

I am not sure about the series though after the WI beat us comprehensive and we beat them by 1 after getting 320. WI are missing about 9 of their first choice players I reckon!

I thought the find of the tour was Niroshan who could be pressing KJP who had a poor series and would be a straight swap.

All is all satisfying tour with the job done and now comes the real test in SA.

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Good News.

Well done Sri Lanka, so they have won a tri series after 6 years and what a good time is this to complete such a feat. Youngsters have stepped up in batting perspective and now,the selectors may have a tough job in arranging the batting order with Dickwella is contributing in one down,Kusal Mendis has fund his rhythm in his new position (2 down) in the order and Chandimal and Mathews are arriving. Dhananjaya has secured an opening spot and do they (selectors) like to retain KJP with his lack of form for the opening spot? That is the interesting question because We have an other genuine opener Upul Tharanga and Dhanushka Gunathilake is doing well in the domestic season (Remember that he and Dhananjaya had a decent opening stand against Aussies in the last ODI played in Sri Lanka.). As per all rounders, We have Shanaka,Pathirana and Kulasekara and I would like to suggest two maximum all rounders out of these three are enough to balance a playing xi and rest of them can be genuine bowlers.

Bowling and fielding seem to have few weak areas to be covered. Specially, our bowlers leaked too many runs with few fielding issues during the WI's chase of 330, which made that game even more closer. As we all know, you may hardly get a second chance for such kind of weaknesses against a team like South Africa in upcoming tour. Vandersay is good in his solitary ODI outing and we seem to have some good spinning options.

Mathews said that Chameera is getting fitter so he will join Sri Lanka for the South African tour. Having Lakmal and Pradeep means selectors will find one two options of Lahiru Kumara,Vishwa Fernando and Asitha Fernando. Among those, I feel Lahiru Kumara has a slight edge because of his speed and venom.

In batting perspective, top order will have bat out of their skin against Rabada,Philander,Abbott. Not sure about Steyn due to injury but Need to be careful of Morkel if he plays to release the pressure of the middle order.

(Last edited by Thilly on November 30, 2016 - 10:51)

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