Why was Sadeera and Danushka ignored? | Daily News
Wrong composition contributes to record defeat

Why was Sadeera and Danushka ignored?

Sadeera Samarawickrama and Danushka Gunathilaka batting together in partnership for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in a T20I at Abu Dhabi.
Sadeera Samarawickrama and Danushka Gunathilaka batting together in partnership for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in a T20I at Abu Dhabi.

Is there a paucity of batsmen in this country or is it that the present national team has not grasped the fact what T20 cricket is all about?

That was the impression given by the composition of the Sri Lanka side for the first T20 International against India at Cuttack on Wednesday and the pathetic batting display they put up.

The cold stats was that India invited to bat first scored 180-3 in their 20 overs and Sri Lanka in reply were shot out for a dismal 87 in 16 overs to hand to the hosts their biggest T20 win by 93 runs.

What was dreadful than the loss was the balance of the side - whereas India went with six batsmen, an all-rounder and four specialist bowlers, Sri Lanka with their suspect batting line up went with only four frontline batters, three all-rounders and four specialist bowlers.

When the run chase began it soon became evident that Sri Lanka was clearly a batsman or two short. They had overloaded the side with too many bowlers and lengthened the tail to such an extent that anyone watching the match was left wondering whether Sri Lanka were aware that T20 cricket is strictly a batsman’s game and not one for the bowlers.

What role was all-rounder Dasun Shanaka playing batting at number six? He in fact did not even get a bowl. That position could have easily gone to a specialist batsman. The same could be said of Asela Gunaratne who batted at number five and was not utilised for his bowling being an all-rounder.

There were two hard hitting young batsmen Sadeera Samarawickrama and Danushka Gunathilaka in that Sri Lanka T20 squad who were not selected for the match.

Of the four specialist bowlers picked only two completed their quota of four overs, Vishwa Fernando who was given his maiden T20I cap bowled only two and Dushmantha Chameera three. If you are not going to maximise and use your specialist bowlers why pick them?

With Angelo Mathews available to bowl and also Asela Gunaratne, Sri Lanka could have easily played six batsmen at the expense of a fast bowler and yet they would still had Nuwan Pradeep, Akila Dananjaya and either Chameera or Fernando which would make up 12 overs and, Mathews, Thisara Perera and Gunaratne to bowl the remaining eight.

It is a well known fact in ODIs and T20Is it has been our batting that has contributed largely to our defeats and here we see that area being further weakened instead of being strengthened.

Sri Lanka cricket may be going through a lean phase of team rebuilding but there is no excuse for such sloppy compositions for which the team management is clearly answerable.


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