Sri Lanka news November 3, 2016

Thirimanne needs break from cricket - Gunawardene

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Lahiru Thirimanne has not played for Sri Lanka since the end of the England tour in June © Getty Images

Lahiru Thirimanne, the Sri Lanka batsman, might need a break from cricket to sort out his problems, said the A team coach Avishka Gunawardene.

Thirimanne had played in the four-day matches against West Indies A in October and averaged 9.83 from six innings, continuing his struggles in long-form cricket. Since January 2014, he has made only two fifties in 16 Tests. As a result, he has missed Sri Lanka's home series against Australia in August and was not in the squad for the tour of Zimbabwe either.

"Everyone goes through a bad patch sometimes," Gunawardene said. "It is best to give it a break, a few weeks from cricket. Sometimes when you do wrong things and when you take a break you forget them. You basically tend to forget what you are doing wrong and you come out fresh.

"Thirimanne needs to take his mind off cricket and take a break. There is hardly anything wrong with his technique. The issue is probably more mental than technical. You could see that when you talk to him."

When he debuted, in 2011, Thirimanne was seen as a player who could take over the No. 3 spot for Sri Lanka in Tests. Kumar Sangakkara had been their specialist in that position and though it has been over a year since he retired, the transition has not happened. Thirimanne has slipped down the pecking order and 21-year old Kusal Mendis has been given the No. 3 position.

Gunawardene felt Thirimanne's major problem was confidence. "In the four-day game, he dropped a few chances and it's all to do with confidence. His confidence level is a little down. He tried to defend while batting and he got out and in the second innings. He tried to attack and still got out.

"Thirimanne is a very good player and we all know he is capable of big innings. To me he just needs to get out and take a break for a couple of weeks and come out with a fresh mind."

Thirimanne would still need runs, though, to make it back to the Test side and Gunawardene believed a profitable domestic season could help him achieve that goal. "It's a good opportunity for him in the upcoming domestic season to go and get back into form, score some big runs and get his confidence and rhythm back."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan13362759 on November 5, 2016, 19:19 GMT

    oh what a waste of a player is this guy plz don't even give him a chance

  •   Cricinfouser on November 4, 2016, 10:37 GMT

    Watched few of his long innings and have to say i didn't see any class in his batting , dont know why SLC is so obsessed with him, whats more in most of those innings he was very luck early on thanks to poor judgement and reflexes by the Slip fielders

  • afker007 on November 4, 2016, 10:17 GMT

    He needs to take a Break from munching bubble gum alltogether while playing to regain his lost form.

  • Indian_Pakku on November 4, 2016, 7:47 GMT

    What Thirimanne need is not a break from Cricket. But he needs to quit cricket and try to get a different job. Otherwise his future is in danger.

  • cricfan92549016 on November 4, 2016, 7:43 GMT

    Yes its true that he has given enough chances, Eventually It's sport you need protect the talents with the proper system that is what lacking for SL-Cricket. Officials need clear their plans and systems to Domestic arena.

  • cricfan82933613 on November 4, 2016, 6:53 GMT

    Sri lanka crikets needs a break from players like thirimanne,tharanga etc

  • SL_Boy on November 3, 2016, 15:51 GMT

    give him a break ... ask him to go and prove, He got to earn a place, dont think he is next Sanga, he is not close even. let him score few twin hundreds , I agree with Malinga he is not a T20 material, if you see his fielding looks very lazy it applied to his batting as well, this is not Gavaska era.

  • InsideHedge on November 3, 2016, 15:23 GMT

    When SL visited England last year and in the Champions Trophy (2013), my observation was that he was the most highly strung of all the SL squad members (off the field). Youngsters such as K. Mendis and D. Shanuka were carefree. It comes as no surprise to me that the latter two have done very well. When it comes to elite sportsmen, ability/talent alone isn't enough. There's something missing in Thirimanne's makeup that's holding him back. And for these guys, there's always someone ready to take your place.

  • armchair_critic007 on November 3, 2016, 14:42 GMT

    Its not that he doesnt pull sweep or slog.He does.When looking for sixers in shorter formats he uses the slog sweep quite a bit.Its just that he's not very strong in those said shots

  • SLMaster on November 3, 2016, 14:31 GMT

    Sure he needs a break. However issue is not the confidence, he is too predictable same as Thisara Perera. Bowlers figured them out. He needs to combination of shots similar to Jayasuriya and/or Sanga. He is like batting without rotating. I never seeing him, sweeping, pulling, slogging etc. Bowlers are smart, analyst are intelligent. So, it is not the confidence the range of shots. Players with minimal selection of shots Thirimanne, Thisara, Tharanga,

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