Leicestershire v Ruhuna, CLT20 qualifier, Hyderabad

Chandimal has the composure for Tests

Abhishek Purohit in Hyderabad

September 21, 2011

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Dinesh Chandimal hits down the ground, Leicestershire v Ruhuna, CLT20 qualifier, Hyderabad, September 21, 2011
Dinesh Chandimal looked more comfortable playing straight © AFP
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Dinesh Chandimal carries himself with the smile of a schoolboy. His batting does not have the regal touch of Kumar Sangakkara or the raw power of MS Dhoni. What he has displayed so far in his short career is the pluck of Romesh Kaluwitharana allied with the patience to build an innings, a skill that has brought him consecutive half-centuries in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifier.

In both matches, he came in early at No. 3 following the fall of Sanath Jayasuriya - the past of Sri Lankan cricket - and provided a glimpse into its future. He batted like he keeps wicket, busily and intelligently. It took him seven balls to get off the mark today but not once did he betray any signs of desperation. And the way he scored his first runs was telling. Offspinner Jigar Naik had kept him quiet with a succession of quick deliveries fired in full. Off the last ball of the over, Chandimal coolly made some room and lofted Naik over extra cover for six.

As he had done against Trinidad and Tobago, he played spin with assured hands and quick feet, lofting cleanly whenever the opportunity was there. In the subcontinent, where he will play most of his cricket, that usually proves to be a productive combination.

Chandimal chose the right pace to target when he picked on Abdul Razzaq, pulling and flicking him for three of his six fours. The quicker Wayne White, however, troubled him as had T&T's Ravi Rampaul, who had dismissed him when he top-edged a pull. There will be time for the 21-year old Chandimal to work on that aspect of his game.

He has expressed his desire to take over from Prasanna Jayawardene for Sri Lanka in Test cricket. And that is why it was a touch pleasing to see that he struggled to time the cross-batted swipes at the death. It is clearly not something that comes naturally to him. He is much more comfortable batting the correct and orthodox way, even in the shortest format.

He is safe behind the stumps and bustles with energy on the field. He cringes at dropped chances and has regular words of advice for his captain. A first-class average of 58.52 points at huge potential and it is inevitable that Chandimal will increasingly put more and more pressure on the much older Jayawardene for the Test keeper's slot.

Chandimal has been judged good enough to be played as a specialist batsman in ODIs with Sangakkara still having not given up keeping in the format. With Sri Lanka opting to ignore Thilan Samaraweera for the upcoming Tests against Pakistan, Chandimal's Test cap might not be far away, whether with the larger gloves or without them.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

while giving chances to chandimal,lahiru,mathews,bhanua at top we should give kapugedara more chances at SL A team....time to drop 30+ prasanna & make chandimal the test wk or ask sanga to keep & play chandi as a batsman

Posted by HLANGL on (September 23, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

"What he has displayed so far in his short career is the pluck of Romesh Kaluwitharana allied with the patience to build an innings"... No way, ... the styles are quite contrasting. Romesh Kaluwitharana had been a player with conventional technique in addition to the substantial natural talent. Which he lacked in abundance is the patience & the mindset to play the waiting game which Aravinda De Silva mastered especially towards the end of his career. At his best, Kaluwitharana was very much a touch player. Unfortunately he himself didn't understand his own potential, & the then senior players & the management overused him as a pinch-hitter while he could have been more useful had he been developed as a conventionally attacking proper batsman as he had been one of the premier & the most consistent batsmen in the domestic circuit. Unfortunately no one, including K'witharana himself, never understood this fact. Chandimal, with all due respect to him, is a highly unorthodox batsman.

Posted by HLANGL on (September 23, 2011, 14:05 GMT)

"What he has displayed so far in his short career is the pluck of Romesh Kaluwitharana allied with the patience to build an innings"... No way, ... the styles are quite contrasting. Romesh Kaluwitharana had been a player with conventional technique in addition to the substantial natural talent. Which he lacked in abundance is the patience & the mindset to play the waiting game which Aravinda De Silva mastered especially towards the end of his career. At his best, Kaluwitharana was very much a touch player. Unfortunately he himself didn't understand his own potential, & the then senior players & the management overused him as a pinch-hitter while he could have been more useful had he been developed as a conventionally attacking proper batsman as he had been one of the premier & the most consistent batsmen in the domestic circuit. Unfortunately no one, including K'witharana himself, never understood this fact. Chandimal, with all due respect to him, is a highly unorthodox batsman.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

Chandimal, Thirimanne are the future and they are being bled slowly but steadily. What about Banuka .R. He probably has more centuries and high scores than Chandimal at under 19 and A level. Why not bring him in slowly too. If you get those 3 in with Mathew while Sanga & Mahela are performing future of batting is assured. They are must be given enough exposure because one cannot be sure of the end result as Mubarak, Kapugedra too threatened but faded out. Time to test the new three. Nandi Jasen/LA.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

not only mathews,chandimal & bhanuka.,,we have Lahiru Thirimanne too....i hope nuwan will come good as a pacer...lakmal too can improve..not only SL but other countries too dont have good young pacers,,..india got NOTHING,..we can be happy that we have at least some really good young batsmen..

Posted by Lakpj on (September 22, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

Batting wise SL will not have much problems for the next 10 or so years. Chandimal , Mathews, Thirimanne, Bhanuka, Kaushal Silva and few others are there. It is the bowling that is some worry. SL need to find some bowlers who has some pace. Lakmal is there but he needs improvement. Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep has talent, but they need to improve on their fitness. Prasanna and Sachithra Senanayake are good spinners, but they need exposure. It is upto the local cricket administrators to plan and manage these resources in a good way.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (September 22, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

@Cric_fanatics, I presume the English attack was full of spinners when Chandimal smashed a century against them in Lords?

Posted by Meety on (September 22, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

Chandimal is a massive talent, however he did look very unsettled against the Ozzy pacers in the ODIs recently. I think he has a bit to do, but will definately be a good prospect in sub-continental conditions as is. To develop, he will have to improve his cross bat shots in Ozzy or Saffa environemnts. He's still a WIP though. Don't know if buredening him with the keeping will be good for SL. For balance Sanga should be the keeper, but it costs SL at least 15 runs per innings as that is the difference in Sanga's ave between keeping & not keeping. Jayawerdene's Test average is repectable for a keeper.

Posted by spas on (September 22, 2011, 3:31 GMT)

@zavahir , yes, one can earn something in ipl but has to sacrifice lot of things to do so.... and may be to stay out of the following test series coz of injuries....

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (September 22, 2011, 1:15 GMT)

@cric fanatics... he didn't crumble against pace when he made a run a ball century in lords against dernbach, anderson, bresnan, and broad in seaming conditions? chandimal is a very very bright prospect for Sri Lanka. Another bright prospect (who hasn't played an international match yet) is Bhanuka Rajapaksa. He is an extremely good prospect and I feel that these these two and Matthews will be good replacements for Sanga and Mahela. Only problem for Sri Lanka is the fast bowling options. I have not seen any young talent that is extremely good. Lakmal has a shimmer of talent, but he is a long way away from completely refined and he is not pure talent. Would like to see Nuwan Pradeep, but based on how many times he is injured, he doesn't look like he would be consistently playing for Lanka. If no good pace bowlers are found soon, Sri Lanka will surely be going through the Dark Ages in Test Cricket

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