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Sri Lanka selectors ponder separate Twenty20 team

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

October 15, 2012

Comments: 165 | Text size: A | A

Dilshan Munaweera opened the innings in his debut match, Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Group C, World T20 2012, Hambantota, September 18, 2012
Dilshan Munaweera is a batsman who can clear the boundary, Ashantha de Mel said. © AFP
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Sri Lanka chief selector Ashantha de Mel has said that the national selection committee may streamline the selection of teams, and have a separate Twenty20 squad, following Sri Lanka's 36-run loss to West Indies in the World Twenty20 final in Colombo.

The changes are likely to be introduced in the one-off T20 international against New Zealand to be played at Pallekele on October 30.

Vice captain Angelo Mathews is expected to take the reins for the game against New Zealand, with Mahela Jayawardene having resigned from the captaincy following the World Twenty20 final.

"We will have to go with Mathews for the moment but we will assess the captaincy. The team should be captained by a player who has a permanent place in the side," de Mel said. "We need to separate the Test and ODI players from the T20 players and pick a squad that will fulfill the requirements of T20 cricket.

"We will pick a young side with players who can make a clean strike of the ball," he said. Sri Lanka hit the least sixes of the four semi-finalists in the World Twenty20 and managed only one six to West Indies' seven in the final. "We really have to assess the situation and start building a team of T20 cricketers for the next World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014," said de Mel.

"We need to find some strong hitters who can clear the boundary successfully. Players like Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews don't have the power so they adopt different methods to score runs like the scoop and the reverse sweep. Even playing those strokes you need the strength to clear the fielders," he said.

Mathews exposed his stumps and was bowled attempting to play the scoop shot against Darren Sammy and Jayawardene failed to clear the short third man fielder when he reverse swept Sunil Narine. De Mel said that Dilshan Munaweera, who was unused after the group stages of the World Twenty20, was a player who could hit sixes.

"Chamara Kapugedera is another batsman who could easily clear the boundary but he has been under so much pressure from all quarters for failing to contribute big scores that he was eventually dropped," de Mel said.

Kapugedera hit 13 sixes in six matches for NCC in the Premier club T20 tournament and had a strike rate of 179.64.

De Mel also said Sri Lanka paid the penalty for not being aggressive enough chasing a West Indies total of 137 for victory. Sri Lanka's batsmen were circumspect after the dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over, and struggled to score at the require run rate throughout the innings. They were eventually dismissed for 101.

"I don't know what went wrong with our batting, for in the earlier matches we used to score at least 50 runs in the first six overs of Powerplay. Here they managed only 30 runs which put the fielding side on top.

"I think we also panicked during our innings when there was a slight drizzle and threw away wickets rather unnecessarily trying to up the score, the two run outs of Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis didn't help either. Everything seemed to go against us."

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Posted by miles100 on (October 18, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Dear Mr.De Mel & the rest of the selection committee,I cannot stress this any more how you can make the best cricket team in the world if you do this for many years to come.Please bring the best young school boy batsmen as the debutantes not older(mid twenties) club heroes as debutantes.Why young players because older club players have less confidence because our club contests is weaker than western cricket nations eventhough we are more talented than western cricket nations.However best under23 club bowlers & all rounders should be considered because bowlers should be brought in carefully.Also always appoint a long term captain who can do the job for at least 10 years (Ideally Mathews based on the current setup).He should start taking the job ASAP & he shouldnt say he is not ready as it's unfair to expect him to win matches the next day. But when you give him the captaincy teach him to be aggressive,tactical & calm.Hire one of the most inspirational sports physiologists in the world.

Posted by ashani_sl on (October 18, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

SL are NOT Chokers! Chokers were teams like South Africa which won every single league game and crashed in important games. SL, on the other hand, have been on a 'losing streak' ever since the WC final in Mumbai. In AUS, Lanka were hammered, in Asia cup Sri Lanka did not win one game. Recent Micromax cup SL were bullied at home. So how on earth can they say chokers? It has become very fashionable to say chokers without understanding the meaning behind it.

Posted by miles100 on (October 18, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Asantha's analysis is correct in many cases except for saying that Angelo Mathews doesn't have the power to hit big shots.I have seen Angelo hitting massive but calculated sixes.I believe Angelo & Dinesh Chandimal are the only technically sound & recognized batsmen in this side who can hit straight sixes as well as playing long innings to finish a game. Our problem was 3 senior players(sanga,Mahela,Dilshan)were occupying the No1,2 and 3 batting spots where youngsters should be batting at 1 & 2 positions & seniors must bat in the middle order.Youngsters could be good pinch hitters. Why seniors trying to be pinch hitters and weakening the middle order????.These 3 seniors' ignorance & lack of coolness as well as defensive fielding set & poor bowler utilization by them caused crucial matches such as finals & series deciders to be gifted away to countries like India,SA,AU,ENG,WI & Pakistan. Mr. De Mel please bring the best U19 players as debutantes & not over23 club batsmen as debutantes.

Posted by ashani_sl on (October 18, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

From an SL fan point of view it seems like our current team is loaded with media-hype players. Take Lasith Malinga for example. The only reason he gets the publicity he gets is because of his 'unique' bowling action, his funny hairdo and the fact that he plays for Mumbai. If one looks at his stats over the last two years one can see that he has been bullied by most opposition teams, especially the Indians. But still our fans and commentators like to hype him up. Some commentators even praise him to the point of sounding condescending. Our SL is not the SL of before. Just because you 'praise' our smile and country does not mean we are going to happily agree with what you say. Show us the facts!

Posted by cravin on (October 18, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

@Mahaanama: Mahela, Dilsha & Sag are the 3 batsmen who bat on top in the t20 and used most of the overs including power playing overs . Do you expect some one who bat low down the order to score 150+ ? Players like Perea & Mathew most of the time bat last one or two overs in a t20 match, still make impact on most of the games. So no need the parse specially Mahela & Sag, we have seen enough. Just look at the SA & WI match how these two play when we need quick runs. The main reason we came to the finals because we have world class bowlers. Bowlers win matches and accumulators get credit. That's very common in SL (ODI & T20.) In the final Mahela & Sag bat 10.2 overs and scored 55 runs that create pressure. If we had talented batsmen in our team maintain a run rate of 8+ its not a big deal. Players like Mahela, Sag & J Mendis incapable of maintain a healthy run rate. For sure they can maintain in the first 6 overs against weaker bowling sides.

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 17, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs, I fully agree with you. Mahela has never sent Thisara up the order. Recall how Dilshan sent Thisara up the order in Kimberley early this year and he hammered 69? He takes about 15 to 20 balls to settle in an ODI and may be 10 balls in a T20. So yes by sending him up the order he can be made to be our future Sanath Jayasuriya. Thisara can be even our Stuart Broad because he can take wickets if he gets the zip off the surface. I think he will be extremely useful in Australia when we go there in December.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

With all due respect, I think the first thing we should do is to send you home Mr.Ashantha de Mel. SL cricket would do well without selectors like you. If not for Mahela, SL wouldn't even make it to the finals and all our players did well to reach the finals...So why panic like a small child?

Posted by Danksl on (October 17, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

This is the best news from SL Cricket for sometime, Should bring back Kapu and make a young team with out Seniors. it will boost their confidence playing games taking responsibilities. We might lose initially but future is good.

Posted by   on (October 17, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

you don't need sloggers to win T20 matches. what you really need is proper batsmen who can hit the gaps, play sensibly and adapt to the situation. Any way "eternal bridesmaid of world cup finals" will never learn and SL cricket is on the slope downwards

Posted by randikaayya on (October 17, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

For me Mathews has a long way to go. He sould certainly be at the center of our future plans but its time he matures. He has failed consistently with the bat for a while now. if Kapugedara was dropped for that, mathews too should be. For the future though, Kapu Mathews too are both vital. If Asantha looks as Kapu as a slogger he's doing the same mistake the previous team managers did. Play Kapu as a pure batsman and see the youngster flourish. Don't waste that rare talent in a pinch hitter role. He's also a decent seemer in the Mathews mould

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