Sri Lanka in UAE 2013-14 December 29, 2013

Chandimal, Thirimanne have points to prove

Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne have been given long rope by Sri Lanka's selectors, and it's high time they justified their continued selection
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Just as he did with the bat 17 years ago, Sanath Jayasuriya has blazed a trail in his 11 months as chief selector. Less than two weeks into his tenure, Jayasuriya's panel had appointed Sri Lanka's youngest Test captain, and placed a 23-year-old at the helm of the Twenty20 side. Sri Lanka have also batted to an unprecedented depth under his watch, and the joke among fans is that pioneer Jayasuriya has brought a minister's son to the national side for the first time. In Jayasuriya's defence, Ramith Rambukwella has largely justified his selection, on the field.

Jayasuriya's boldest policy, however, has not been the selection for which he received the most global attention. Since the team's last Test in March, Jayasuriya has not budged on his support for two young middle-order batsmen, who have rarely played the innings Jayasuriya has been adamant they are capable of.

In 23 innings since Sri Lanka's last Test match Dinesh Chandimal hit one fifty. In 19 knocks in the same time period, Lahiru Thirimanne hit two. Occasionally they have mustered valuable boundaries as they arrive towards the end of an innings, but more often, they have been passengers in the national side. It is just as well that the likes of Nuwan Kulasekara have become more adept with the bat in the past year, as the lower order has been called upon for cover.

Almost every time Jayasuriya has faced the media in the past six months, he has been grilled on the merits of his unflappable stance on the pair. Notions of talent and innate ability have been invoked in his responses but mostly, he has asked for patience. "Young players need time to settle and to start performing", he has said. A late bloomer himself, Jayasuriya knows plenty about persevering until the chasm between domestic dominance and international success has been bridged. When he was first trialled as an opener in 1993, Jayasuriya averaged less than 15 and could not provide the starts his team expected of him. Yet three years later he would redefine his role, and become one of the most feared batsmen of the decade.

Chandimal and Thirimanne do not have to achieve anything so dramatic, but the time draws near when they too must make good their talent. Although neither batsman possesses the aggressive dynamic that is required of a limited-overs finisher, they cannot claim to have made the best of their opportunities.

Before the tour of the UAE, Chandimal's batting had appeared to be in regression. He had once been spirited and carefree, but this year, his trips to the crease have been fraught with over caution - almost paralysis. Balls he might have once attacked were suddenly defended reverently. Sometimes his inaction would worsen the team situation to the extent that either he or his partner would perish hitting out at deliveries that did not deserve such treatment. Thirimanne had been better in comparison, but limited affinity for aggression brought about ungainly dismissals.

Finally, now, the pair arrive on a stage in which they can have few excuses. Their approach suits Tests better than any other format, and for the first time against a top-eight nation, they will have a full series in which to proclaim the gains they have made in their cricket since being marked out as key prospects.

Injury kept Thirimanne out of the ODI series, but already Chandimal has been promising. He had made three starts in the first three one-dayers, but in a game-clinching hand on Friday, Chandimal built a innings on his own terms. He also coaxed the best batting out of a tailender, which he has done before in Tests despite his inexperience.

Although his ODI average has dropped by about 10 in the last 18 months, Chandimal may be heartened by his Test record. He still averages 58.30 in that format, and his 12 innings have featured away half-centuries against South Africa and Australia, as well as a hundred against Bangladesh in a pivotal period of play. His ascension to vice-captain in ODIs this year has made his failures the most conspicuous in the team, and his returns against a good Test attack over the next three weeks have the potential to define his career or to scuttle it.

Less has been expected of Thirimanne, but he has already been touted by team-mates as Kumar Sangakkara's future replacement at No. 3, and only consistent scores will affirm those plans. Thirimanne perhaps has the harder task, having had little time at the crease in the past month, but if he wishes to protect his place against challenges from the likes of Ashan Priyanjan, he cannot allow rust to slow him against Pakistan.

In a year of attempted regeneration, Chandimal and Thirimanne have been Sri Lanka's biggest investments. If dividends do not soon arrive, even Jayasuriya will have his resolve tested.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JawusungBatta on December 31, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Kapu among runs again. Need to keep on performing consistently though.Selectors need to draft him in for T20 and ODIs. Specially considering the way Thiri and Chandi struggling to hit big when needed. Their batting does not suit shorter formats. They may come good in once in a while but better to give players like Kapu, Priyanjan and Angelo Perera proper opportunities at the top (Not at no 6 or 7) and build their confidence and nurture them. We don't have a huge talent pool and when we recognize proper talent we need to carefully manage them. Kapu,Priyangan,Angelo and Bhanuka are world class talent and if they fail it's not because of their fault but because of the short sighted politically motivated administrators. They have successfully managed to ruin careers of some really talented players such as Pradeep Hewage ,Nimesh Perera (and the list goes on) so far.Hope and pray this will change soon.

  • yohandf on December 31, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    @ Sachin O. Khairnar - you are correct . Bhanuka was fantastic in U19 world cup . but he has not been that prolific in scoring in domestic level .moreover he has become chubby and lacking fitness . he first needs to get fitter and score runs to be concerned . i hope unmukt chand doesnt have such issues .

  • on December 30, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    @King_Loyal please don't take schools for cricket mate! Bhanuka is flop after school tounnerment! kusal is real deal and he will get his place in starting 11! there are many batsman better than kithruwan mate! dickwella,priyanjana and angelo perera alla are better than him! and on the other hand chandimal and thirimanne is only promising in fast tracks! if you think they are useless just watch 2011 Cb series,2012 SA tour 2012 Australia tests in ausis..

  • on December 30, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Why Sanath Jaysuriya is not giving chance to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, i saw him in u-10 world cup in 2010, and i thought he will be great future for Sri Lankan cricket or he has gone on the same way like Unmukt Chand U-19World cup winning captain of India. i,e Good at u-10 level and is still to prove at domestic level.

  • Ranidu_Perera on December 30, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    @King_Loyal Hey Dude this conversation is about Sri lankan Cricket team NOT Royal College Cricket team.:-) Agree with Kusal Perera opening the team. But from where is Jehan Mubharak comes?? What happend to other cricketers in Sri lanka. Bhanuka and Kithruwan both are talented players but there are many players who waiting to earn their national colours than Jehan Mubharak and Ramith Rambukwalla.

  • trueSLfan2010 on December 30, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Why don't they include Jehan Mubarak to open with Kusal Perera? That would be an ideal combination who can take apart any bowling attack in the world under any condition! With them, Banuka Rajapakshe, Ramith Rambukwella, Kithuruwan Vithanage SHOULD make the FINAL ELEVEN in 2015 WC to have any chance of winning it.!! Dilshan, Mahela, Sanga are too old for this… Chandimal & Thirimanne are useless… they all should be eliminated as Upul Thranga, before it is too late! As-far-as-I-can-see… Priyanjan, Dimuth, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Perera are nowhere near in talent required to be considered for such a big task or TEST! In my honest opinion, the above mentioned super talent should be included in the TEST side too! If really needed Jeewan Mendis and Kaushal Silva can be considered. No matter what … This is going to be the near future World-Beating Cricket side of SL.

  • on December 30, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @Charith Nanayakkara, yes Chandi takes his time to build the innings.Same was in the last match.And Sanga did the same as well. Consuming far more dot balls than Chandi.Blaming Chandi for taking his time LOL.

  • Lion83 on December 30, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    Both Chandi & Thiri need to deliver good performances in the test matches otherwise there are some good young talent waiting in the wings likes of Ashan, Kithruwan and even Kusal.

  • on December 30, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    yes of course srilankan seniors nt like to play in middle order...if sangakkata play at thirimmane place or chandimal place he will out frm the team...its prove by chandimal in various occassions last odi was the same..he take time to build his innigs..

  • rizwan1981 on December 30, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Why are the selectors ignoring Banuka Rajapakshe - The former Royal skipper is too good to be plying his trade in T20 for overseas clubs.Banuka , potentially could take Sangakkara's place at # 3 - Chandimal and THirimanne are solid batters but they will never dominate at attack in the manner of a Mahela or Sanath.Of the current lot , only Banuka ( with the exception of Kusal Perera) has the skills to destroy an attack.

    PLEASE GIVE BANUKA RAJAPAKSHE A CHANCE

  • JawusungBatta on December 31, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Kapu among runs again. Need to keep on performing consistently though.Selectors need to draft him in for T20 and ODIs. Specially considering the way Thiri and Chandi struggling to hit big when needed. Their batting does not suit shorter formats. They may come good in once in a while but better to give players like Kapu, Priyanjan and Angelo Perera proper opportunities at the top (Not at no 6 or 7) and build their confidence and nurture them. We don't have a huge talent pool and when we recognize proper talent we need to carefully manage them. Kapu,Priyangan,Angelo and Bhanuka are world class talent and if they fail it's not because of their fault but because of the short sighted politically motivated administrators. They have successfully managed to ruin careers of some really talented players such as Pradeep Hewage ,Nimesh Perera (and the list goes on) so far.Hope and pray this will change soon.

  • yohandf on December 31, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    @ Sachin O. Khairnar - you are correct . Bhanuka was fantastic in U19 world cup . but he has not been that prolific in scoring in domestic level .moreover he has become chubby and lacking fitness . he first needs to get fitter and score runs to be concerned . i hope unmukt chand doesnt have such issues .

  • on December 30, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    @King_Loyal please don't take schools for cricket mate! Bhanuka is flop after school tounnerment! kusal is real deal and he will get his place in starting 11! there are many batsman better than kithruwan mate! dickwella,priyanjana and angelo perera alla are better than him! and on the other hand chandimal and thirimanne is only promising in fast tracks! if you think they are useless just watch 2011 Cb series,2012 SA tour 2012 Australia tests in ausis..

  • on December 30, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Why Sanath Jaysuriya is not giving chance to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, i saw him in u-10 world cup in 2010, and i thought he will be great future for Sri Lankan cricket or he has gone on the same way like Unmukt Chand U-19World cup winning captain of India. i,e Good at u-10 level and is still to prove at domestic level.

  • Ranidu_Perera on December 30, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    @King_Loyal Hey Dude this conversation is about Sri lankan Cricket team NOT Royal College Cricket team.:-) Agree with Kusal Perera opening the team. But from where is Jehan Mubharak comes?? What happend to other cricketers in Sri lanka. Bhanuka and Kithruwan both are talented players but there are many players who waiting to earn their national colours than Jehan Mubharak and Ramith Rambukwalla.

  • trueSLfan2010 on December 30, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Why don't they include Jehan Mubarak to open with Kusal Perera? That would be an ideal combination who can take apart any bowling attack in the world under any condition! With them, Banuka Rajapakshe, Ramith Rambukwella, Kithuruwan Vithanage SHOULD make the FINAL ELEVEN in 2015 WC to have any chance of winning it.!! Dilshan, Mahela, Sanga are too old for this… Chandimal & Thirimanne are useless… they all should be eliminated as Upul Thranga, before it is too late! As-far-as-I-can-see… Priyanjan, Dimuth, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Perera are nowhere near in talent required to be considered for such a big task or TEST! In my honest opinion, the above mentioned super talent should be included in the TEST side too! If really needed Jeewan Mendis and Kaushal Silva can be considered. No matter what … This is going to be the near future World-Beating Cricket side of SL.

  • on December 30, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @Charith Nanayakkara, yes Chandi takes his time to build the innings.Same was in the last match.And Sanga did the same as well. Consuming far more dot balls than Chandi.Blaming Chandi for taking his time LOL.

  • Lion83 on December 30, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    Both Chandi & Thiri need to deliver good performances in the test matches otherwise there are some good young talent waiting in the wings likes of Ashan, Kithruwan and even Kusal.

  • on December 30, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    yes of course srilankan seniors nt like to play in middle order...if sangakkata play at thirimmane place or chandimal place he will out frm the team...its prove by chandimal in various occassions last odi was the same..he take time to build his innigs..

  • rizwan1981 on December 30, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Why are the selectors ignoring Banuka Rajapakshe - The former Royal skipper is too good to be plying his trade in T20 for overseas clubs.Banuka , potentially could take Sangakkara's place at # 3 - Chandimal and THirimanne are solid batters but they will never dominate at attack in the manner of a Mahela or Sanath.Of the current lot , only Banuka ( with the exception of Kusal Perera) has the skills to destroy an attack.

    PLEASE GIVE BANUKA RAJAPAKSHE A CHANCE

  • Sandasiri_Asitha on December 30, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    It's stupid thing SLC doing always giving Chandimal n Thirimanne bats 5,6,7 positions in ODI where more pressure comes to play in their minds.. Why experience guys like Jayawdne , Sanga can't bat down in the order by absorbing more pressure? That's exactly what Dhoni did all da time to produce classy batsmen for India n now Pakistanis doing the same in ODIs. Give younger batsmen play their natural games with less pressure and try to find more test matches for SL do produce classy batsmen. SLC is wasting talented players.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on December 30, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    i think they(Chandi,Thri) will play good innings in Test Series. before come to ODI series all talk heavily on Sanga and Dilshan. but end of d tour they coudn't play none of match wining innings instead they(Sanga,Dil) could increase their individual total with very lower strike rate. finally mathews and chandimal became match winners getting more than 90 Strike Rate. if mathews and chandi not there we would be whitewashed. same thing will repeat in Test Series also. note:Chandi last 2 Test End with 2 100's while thiri got 155

  • on December 30, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    It took 91 one day matches & 7 years for Sanath Jajasuriya to find his feet as a batsman, it took 6 years for Tendulkar to score his first hundred in odis. Mahela Jayawardena averaged only 28+ in his first 7 years of ODIs n thats 162 odis. It took steve waugh 10 years and 200 hundred odis for his first odi hundred. Every player goes through bad patches, it takes some time for some players to find their feet in ODI cricket. Especially with sri lanka, Sangakkara is the only player to average 40+ in odis for sri lanka & our 37 year ODI history shows that no batsman had an excellent first 50 or 100 ODIs as no one averaged more than 35+. So why blame Chandimal for not scoring a half century in 9 months. in his 3 years of international cricket Chandimal has played only 7 test matches which is way too low, i think bangladesh plays more test matches than us. Test match cricket polishes your technique. All Chandimal needs is some confidence, some test runs & some backing from the fans.

  • KnightRider12155 on December 30, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    And yeah, Thiri should be given a chance to bat at 3. That is his place. I don't see any harm in Sanga and Mahela batting one position lower. Thiri is the future Asanka Gurusinghe in SL team. Let him get used to it from now on. No point in Sanga scoring 200+ while Thiri falling to score by coming in at 6 or 7. Since Dilly is not there to save us, Get a good opening pair sorted out in this tournament and let Thiri/Sanga/Mahela/Chandi + the rest come.

  • KnightRider12155 on December 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    Rightly so, both these players needs to make their bats do the talking. Both has the technique to do so. Just need to be patient to pick the right delivery to score. All the best boys.

    Team form wise, I believe Pakistan has the edge over Sri Lanka. Even if SL go down 2-0 its ok as long as the youngsters play their part properly. But I have a feeling that this tournament will also be on Sanga/Mahelas shoulders as usual.

  • spas on December 30, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    It is true that Chandimal and Thirimanne were in the team for past year or so, but they were given chances down the batting order most of the times. Chandimal was given no.4 position continuously last few matches and the lad showed some promise. even Thirimanne's role in the ODI team was not justified well if he does not open or bat at no.3. It is always hard to fill a legend's shoes, but I think they should be given chances once in a while in the slot they are supposed to fill in the future. Like England, some of the Sri Lankan batting prospects are wicketkeepers e.g. Chandimal, Kusal, Niroshan Dickwella who do not bowl. It affects significantly to the balance of the team when the captain does not have much bowling options.

  • Poholiyadda on December 30, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Dinesh Chandimal scored two centuries in the last two test matches sri lanka played. His career average 56, is more than acceptable at international level. He also batted very well in the only test he got in Australia, where he scored 62 not out in the second innings. As a debutant ,he played a vital role in Sri Lanka's first test win in South Africa, scoring half centuries in both innings at Durban. He was also Sri Lanka's highest runs scorer in the recently concluded ODI series in UAE against Pakistan. So Chandimal doesn't have anything to prove in this test series as he is the best young batsman of the country. Lahiru Thirimanne also scored 150 in the Galle test of Bangladesh series and scored a ninety odd in the first innings of Sydney test, the only match he got in Australia. So both these players actually have done very well in test cricket . D. Karunaratne who averages 25 and Kaushal Silva who hasn't scored a half century yet, in tests are the players who have points to prove

  • on December 30, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    A very good article by Andrew Fernando. Statistics has to speak for itself. 23 and 19 innings test innings respectively by Chandimal and Thirimanne - 1 and 2 fifties during that period. In which country a test player will be still in the test XI ? I hope Jayasuriya does know about this. Biggest issue with SL cricket is we select the player and try to fit him to a position rather than selecting the player for the required position. Example - in test cricket Ponting has been a number 3 and Kallis and Tendulkar has been number 4. Chandimal has a lot to prove in one dayers because SL is starving without test matches he could still survive.

  • on December 30, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Chandimal has proved himself somewhat with some impressive half centuries in South Africa but he needs to be consistent and Thirimanne, though he did score 91 against Australia in Sydney he still has to improve a lot considering the fact that this series is a good opportunity for him as well as Chandimal

  • MightM on December 30, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Great article! However I am not sure the poor performances of these two individuals and the national team is solely their fault. My personal view is that structure of the team and how it's been selected needs to change. It appears to me as a spectator that there is no accountability in how the team is selected and managed. I feel that the player selections are based on 'likes' and 'dis-likes' rather than on performances which leads to a lack of depth and generates political football. Also selectors should listen to what the public and media are saying about Atapattu's ability to coach, maybe our batting wove has something to do with his inability - just a thought!!

  • TheKeeper on December 30, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    I think Dinesh Chandimal is pure quality...he is just going through a toughening-up period, which will only stand to make him better.

  • Andrew-Silva on December 30, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    First 4yrs of his career, Sanath J was considered a bowler who could bat a little, coming at number 7 and his batting average during that period was appropriate for his role as a bowler. Andrew, you can't categorize him as a "late bloomer"! His first appearance as an opener was v Zimbabwe @ Patna in India 15 Nov 1993 (four years after debut). In his 5th series as an opener in Aug 94 he achieved a batting Av of 36.6. According to your article, Chandimal & Thirimanne have been SL's biggest investments who are under the microscope of Wise-Men governing the scene! Then, in the same "Year of Attempted Regeneration" what happened to SL's most experienced young opener Upul Tharanga (163 ODIs -5228 R - 33.94 Av)..? who has maintained a Batting Av of almost FORTY (39.9) in his last 8 ODIs since JUNE! and how come he is gone with the wind? If this is the case Andrew, I agree with you, if even Jayasuriya will have his resolve tested, then his REINCARNATION would be the saviour in next life!

  • Sinhaya on December 30, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Sri Lanka XI for the first test should be Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal (WK), Thirimanne, Vithanage, Kulasekara, Senanayake, Herath and Eranga. Hopefully Karunaratne and Silva can form an impressive opening pair.

  • kanagsrat on December 30, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    In my opunion the least talented of the sl youngsters is thirimanna, if he fails time to try out angelo perera or someone else

  • on December 29, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    We need a good pair for test hope the can learn

  • birminghamsanj on December 29, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    both the boys need time.in future both them like tendulkar & ricky ponting.many thanks to andrew fidel fernando for your comments.

  • Tweety20 on December 29, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Good analysis. Lets hope that our young cricketers fire in the matches to come or else Sana will have to answer to the critics and disappointed fans. Anyways, wish our lions all the best. JAYA SRI.

  • on December 29, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Thirumane is a test batsman not an ODI batsman but Chandimal is good for both .

  • kasifdotinfo on December 29, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Take away decent performances in Bangladesh and one fifty for each in Australia, and even Chandimal and Thirimanne's Test records look poor (albeit after only a handful of matches played). They were solid in domestic cricket, but considering the quality of bowlers there these days, that doesn't necessarily mean much as far as their ability to succeed in international cricket goes. However, given that they have been near the top of Sri Lankan domestic cricket for some time, perhaps they are the best of a mediocre lot. In any case, this series will be telling indeed.

  • Pathumboteju on December 29, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Chandimal's inning of the last match showed the immense amount of maturity and he proved why he was still rated as Sri lanka's future prospect. while Mattews struggle to get runs Chandimal tried to rotate the strike at least to keep score board moving. finally he waited to correct moment to free his arms yet it was calculated. eventually he ended up the series with most successful SL batsmen. Thiri unfortunate to miss the series but it was good to see that Priyanjan came in to the party. Consistency always need from a young batsmen but still it is obvious that they need to bat in the correct position too. Both these players got the talent but unfortunately they are not managed properly to avoid these criticisms. Well done Sanath for keep faith in these two.

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  • Pathumboteju on December 29, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Chandimal's inning of the last match showed the immense amount of maturity and he proved why he was still rated as Sri lanka's future prospect. while Mattews struggle to get runs Chandimal tried to rotate the strike at least to keep score board moving. finally he waited to correct moment to free his arms yet it was calculated. eventually he ended up the series with most successful SL batsmen. Thiri unfortunate to miss the series but it was good to see that Priyanjan came in to the party. Consistency always need from a young batsmen but still it is obvious that they need to bat in the correct position too. Both these players got the talent but unfortunately they are not managed properly to avoid these criticisms. Well done Sanath for keep faith in these two.

  • kasifdotinfo on December 29, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Take away decent performances in Bangladesh and one fifty for each in Australia, and even Chandimal and Thirimanne's Test records look poor (albeit after only a handful of matches played). They were solid in domestic cricket, but considering the quality of bowlers there these days, that doesn't necessarily mean much as far as their ability to succeed in international cricket goes. However, given that they have been near the top of Sri Lankan domestic cricket for some time, perhaps they are the best of a mediocre lot. In any case, this series will be telling indeed.

  • on December 29, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Thirumane is a test batsman not an ODI batsman but Chandimal is good for both .

  • Tweety20 on December 29, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Good analysis. Lets hope that our young cricketers fire in the matches to come or else Sana will have to answer to the critics and disappointed fans. Anyways, wish our lions all the best. JAYA SRI.

  • birminghamsanj on December 29, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    both the boys need time.in future both them like tendulkar & ricky ponting.many thanks to andrew fidel fernando for your comments.

  • on December 29, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    We need a good pair for test hope the can learn

  • kanagsrat on December 30, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    In my opunion the least talented of the sl youngsters is thirimanna, if he fails time to try out angelo perera or someone else

  • Sinhaya on December 30, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Sri Lanka XI for the first test should be Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal (WK), Thirimanne, Vithanage, Kulasekara, Senanayake, Herath and Eranga. Hopefully Karunaratne and Silva can form an impressive opening pair.

  • Andrew-Silva on December 30, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    First 4yrs of his career, Sanath J was considered a bowler who could bat a little, coming at number 7 and his batting average during that period was appropriate for his role as a bowler. Andrew, you can't categorize him as a "late bloomer"! His first appearance as an opener was v Zimbabwe @ Patna in India 15 Nov 1993 (four years after debut). In his 5th series as an opener in Aug 94 he achieved a batting Av of 36.6. According to your article, Chandimal & Thirimanne have been SL's biggest investments who are under the microscope of Wise-Men governing the scene! Then, in the same "Year of Attempted Regeneration" what happened to SL's most experienced young opener Upul Tharanga (163 ODIs -5228 R - 33.94 Av)..? who has maintained a Batting Av of almost FORTY (39.9) in his last 8 ODIs since JUNE! and how come he is gone with the wind? If this is the case Andrew, I agree with you, if even Jayasuriya will have his resolve tested, then his REINCARNATION would be the saviour in next life!

  • TheKeeper on December 30, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    I think Dinesh Chandimal is pure quality...he is just going through a toughening-up period, which will only stand to make him better.