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'Sri Lanka will play seven batsmen' - Bayliss

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

February 14, 2011

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Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss and Kumar Sangakkara share a thought during practice, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, February 14, 2011
Trevor Bayliss thinks Sri Lanka's middle-order batsmen get some unfair criticism © AFP
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Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, has given some insight into the XI his side will field during the World Cup, saying they would stick to a combination of seven batsmen and four bowlers, since it has served them well in home games. Sri Lanka experimented with playing six batsmen and five bowlers on their 2010 tour of Australia, with allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera batting at Nos. 6 and 7, but reverted to a seven-four formula for the home series against West Indies.

"We've got eight batters [in the 15-man squad] and in the last two or three years we've played a seven-four combination with (Angelo) Mathews in the top six being a bowler as well," Bayliss, who will quit the Sri Lanka job after the World Cup, said. "I can't see it changing just at the moment. In Australia we played six-five but seven-four seems to be the way we play our best cricket in Sri Lanka."

That means Thisara Perera may not find a place in the XI, since he has been a bit inconsistent with the bat, and may not make the cut as a seamer ahead of Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando. Bayliss, however, said Perera would play some part in the campaign. "Thisara Perera's been very impressive through the Asia Cup and the tri-series we played before Christmas, up in Dambulla, against India and New Zealand. Ever since then he is taking wickets.

"He is a big fellow, very athletic in the field, got strong arms and as you know he can whack the ball out of the stadium. He is an important part of our squad and I am sure that at some stage during this World Cup he will find form."

The other decision Sri Lanka have to make is which four bowlers to play. Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan are the two sure starters, if they are fit, while Fernando and Kulasekara are the two other fast-bowling options with Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis the other two spinners in the fifteen.

Fernando took four wickets in Sri Lanka's 158-run win in the warm-up match against Netherlands, and while Bayliss was satisfied with his performance, he suggested he may only be used in a three-seamer attack. "Dilhara is a guy who cops a little bit of criticism but if he can bowl more like the way he did [in the warm-up match] more often I am sure that criticism will disappear. That's the type of bowling we want to see from him in this World Cup and if he does that and backs up Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara then we'll be putting in very good bowling performances."

In the home series against West Indies, Sri Lanka opted for two spinners, and Bayliss said Mendis and Herath would have to battle it out for the second spot. He explained Muralitharan's absence from the warm-up game by saying, "Murali is getting towards the end of his career and we want to make sure that he is mentally and physically fresh to play the game we want him to play."

Sri Lanka are being touted as one of the favourites to win the World Cup, with their one possible weakness being the inexperience in the middle order, but Bayliss was quick to defend his batsmen. "The middle-order guys get a bit of a raw deal. They are asked to perform when the top order don't. You've got seven batters in the team and it is up to every one of those seven to do their job in the line-up and that includes the openers, the top order and the middle order."

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Posted by Lahiru on (February 17, 2011, 12:04 GMT)

this is a crct team

dilshan tharanga sanga mahela kapu mathews perera kulasekara malinga herath murali

Posted by Chrishan on (February 17, 2011, 7:38 GMT)

This should be the best playing combination 1. Tharanga 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5. samaraweera/Silva 6. Mathews 7. Perera 8. Kulasekara 9. Malinga 10. Mendis/Herath 11. Murali Kapu is good as the 12th Man coz he is a very good feilder.

Posted by Cricinfouser on (February 17, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Giving W indies that much of runs Lanka looks in deep trouble. Lanka will loose to BD in QF

Posted by Nathan on (February 16, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

What's wrong with some of the guys who are still favouring Sanath and Vass to be in the team. Guys the above 2 players are history and they have served the county well and had their time. We have to look for the future and that is what the selectors have done and rightly so. Good luck Srilanka!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 16, 2011, 15:47 GMT)

Thisara Perera deserve place in team ..

Posted by Mithun on (February 16, 2011, 14:02 GMT)

The problem with Srilankan cricket is that the oldies are not ready of giving their places to youngsters like Kapugedara & Co....

Posted by Nilantha on (February 16, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

for me: dilshan,tharanga,sanga,mahela,kapugedara,matthews,thisara,samaraweera,kulasekara,Malinga,Murali.. this means, 2 quicks,2 mediums,2/3 spin options plus good fielding from kapu...& batting down to eight with a mix of pinch hitters and solids in case of trouble...

Posted by Rakitha on (February 16, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

Even Thisara's bowling was not successful against WI in last match Thisara should be a part of SL WC XI. Failure in a single game is not a big issue. Sometimes we have seen Malinga even Muralii fails but it doesn't say they are bad bowlers. Thisara is the most successful wicket taking bowler over the past year. So he should be there. But it doesn't mean he should play all the matches because we know we need different combinations against different teams.For ex:- we should play more spinners against Aus & SA. So then we don't expect same XI for all matches.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 16, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

Maybe we might start a new tactic by getting Perera to open with Dilshan. He definitely has the power to clear the in-field, might be a good tactic to try against Canada and see how it goes.

Posted by indika on (February 16, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

HI cricket lovers''as we every one know sri lanka have very good said,it all about who will be plying for the match.it only can be 11 players,,,i feel this time we should go with 8 -3 combination with thisara perera,this is my team.

,tharanga with dishan.(tharaga to bat for 50 overs taking his time) 1 sangakkara 2 jayawarthana 3 samaraweera(ple let him play all the matches he will be the do his job im very surer}

4,mathews 5 c. silva 6 t.perera 7,kulasekara 8 murali 9 malinga so we have 9 batsman with kulasekara. ple lets perera to play the all the match, im very surer Sri lanka will be the world champion .all Sri lankan people"s power will be with u guys,we are strong you can do it guys we all with u no matter what happen.good luck.WE CAN DO IT HOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

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