Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 23, 2012

Chandimal is long-term No. 4 - Jayawardene


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said Dinesh Candimal will continue to bat at No. 4 to settle into the role in time for the 2015 World Cup. Since Chandimal became a regular in the side after the 2011 World Cup, Jayawardene has given up his usual No. 4 position and batted either at No. 5 or at the top, pushing regular opener Upul Tharanga down the order.

Jayawardene said he had thought of coming in at No. 4, instead of Chandimal, in the first ODI against India, but did not do so keeping in mind the "bigger picture." He said moving up and down the order was not ideal for either him or Tharanga, but Sri Lanka would try to be flexible.

"I was tempted. But at the same time you need to look at the bigger picture as well," Jayawardene said. "The whole structure going forward for the next World Cup is to make sure that guys like Angelo [Mathews] and Chandimal bat in certain positions.

"We need Chandi to bat at four and identify his role. He did that well for us in Australia. Chandi is a guy who can bat at any position. I felt he is confident where he is right now and [we will] try and keep him where he is. We have two-and-a-half years for the next World Cup. We don't know whether guys like Kumar [Sangakkara], [Tillakaratne] Dilshan and I will be around by that time. It depends on our fitness and ability to perform at that level. We need to plan accordingly."

Sri Lanka's reliance on their three senior batsmen has been a topic of discussion and has been criticised at times. Jayawardene said that was the way it had been earlier as well. "When the three of us started off, we didn't play the way we are playing right now. There was another senior group of players who did well and we chipped in. It's the same structure going forward. Angelo has contributed well for us and Chandi got a hundred for us in England. In Australia he was the second-highest scorer in the tournament [Chandimal was third for Sri Lanka, one run behind Sangakkara].

"As long as we give them the right directions, by the time we leave they will be ready to take over. That's how we strike a balance building a team."

Jayawardene said that more than the runs made by the young players or their techniques, their handling of tough situations was important.

"They will produce that match-winning knock. We have to give them the freedom to go out there and express themselves," he said. "They will make mistakes, but how soon they learn from those mistakes, how they handle certain challenges thrown at them, those are the things we look for from players rather than the technique or the runs they put on the board. Those are the things we look for other than winning performances. How quickly they learn and how they identify their game."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Alspo please don`t waste thirimanne at no 7..let him bat at no 5 or 6..Chandimal should play Tests too..

  • stormy16 on July 24, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    I reckon Chandi should bat at #4 in all tests as well! We cant have the next generation on the bench and this guy offers too much to sit on the bench. Not sure how the rest would fit in but Chandi must play - may be even open for a while but he must play test cricket now - not when the big 4 (over 35's) retire. I am also not sure if Mathews is batting too low - he is constantly left with the lower order to battle things out. May be bat him at 6 and Lahiru at 7 - if Lahiru is not the right guy for 7 (he is an opener) then either open with Lahiru or get a guy who can bat at 7. You cant have the next captain batting at 7 and battling with the tail!

  • swagatsawant on July 24, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Chandimal is long-term No. 4 - Jayawardene


    Raina Is Long Term No. 6 - Dhoni

    Poor Guy.. Should Have Batted At 4 At Least While Yuvi Is Not Around!

  • nilb on July 24, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    @Ashwin Ganesh you are wrong. Just look at the stats of the CB series and South Africa before yapping about things you don't know. Somehow he performs well outside subcontinent and even in home conditions he failed to make big scores.

  • ooper_cut on July 24, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Jayawardene is pinning too much of his hopes on chandimal.I don't think he can ever come up to the class of Aravinda or Jayawadene, At best he can be like a Mahanama/Gurusinha. I would send him to open.

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    pls no kapugedarra again

  • Udendra on July 24, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    can someone explain to me why Chandimal fails in the subcontinent and performs exceptionally abroad??

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    my team 1.T perera 2.T dilshan 3.k sangakkara 4.D.chandimal 5.M jayawardena 6.A mathews 7.C kapugedara 8.J Mendis 9.N Kulasekara 10.S Senanayeka 11.L Malinga

  • Yasassri on July 24, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    No. 5,6 is suited for a player of Arjuna's, Arnold's caliber. Mahele is best suited at top order no. 3 or opening slot to get best use of him. He has played no. of years at no 4 and middle order and got out for a duck on 26 occasions, which is the 4th highest in the list all time.

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    There's no doubt about that Dinesh Chandimal is a good batsmen he has been shown his talent throughout his short carrier.when we consider our opening pair we have been problem after world class batsmen Jayasuriya and Marwan Attapattu so we must have solid and hard hitting opening pair before world cup i suggest Banuka Rajapaksha and Dilshan for that position but Banuka need International experience.

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