Selectors must be given credit for giving fresh legs a great opportunity to prove themselves in the forthcoming tour of Bangladesh. We will miss the services of our established players nursing injuries, after a tiring Indian series, while some have been given a rest to think about their game and get back into form, sooner rather than later.
Kumar Sangakkara, TM Dilshan and Upul Tharanga are in great nick, while Chanaka Welegedera and Suranga Lakmal have impressed as new ball bowlers. In the spin department Suraj Randiv has even impressed the likes of Sunil Gavaskhar and Ravi sharstri with his high arm orthodox off spin. Suraj is bound to develop variation and wicket taking deliveries, when he starts gaining experience playing at the highest level. But what’s important is, that he trains himself to be a work horse.
Welegedera so far looks the type of bowler who can get a few scalps at the top, while Suranga Lakmal seems ready for the big park, having stated that, if he can get more deliveries in the right areas he will sure have a long stay in the International arena.
Nuwan Kulasekera had a tough time bowling on dead Indian pitches that have more often than not, only helped batsman to break records. Kulasekera will come back strongly, he backs himself, and hence ,the selectors have done a sterling job by keeping faith in him.
Thilan Thushara is back after an injury, he might be slightly rusty, but he knows in the back of his mind, that unless otherwise he gets back to form fast, the chances of him cementing a place in the playing eleven will be a tough call.
Malinga Bandara has all the experience. Richie Benaud the legendary leg spinner of Australia and Ian Chappell, paid tribute to Malinga and rated him as a fine leg spinner and a good find from a Sri Lankan perspective. Incidentally Malinga has the record of being the only leg spinner in the world, to have had Sachin Tendulkhar stumped in a one day international, a feat that even the great Shane Warne did not achieve in his illustrious career. Bandara must come good, he is no mug with the bat; it is pertinent that he proves to the selectors, that he is a utility all rounder; if he does, then he will do himself a favor and also prove his critics wrong.
Thissara Perera is selected as a young all-rounder. Big hitter of the cricket ball, he also has the capability of clearing any park, taking into account his brutal strength. Let’s hope he does not get carried away, keep things simple, impress as a fielder and do his bit with the ball. The young man is there to do the job of injured Angelo Mathews. Angelo has set himself high standards, I recon the selectors will expect the same from the youngster, he has got the opportunity now and it is pertinent that he proves himself, which he is capable of.
Chamara Silva has got another look in, mainly due to his performance in the domestic season. Charmara will have to play a huge role as a senior batsman, for Charmara the opportunity is at the door step now, hence take it or leave, that’s his equation.
Thilina Kandamby will be in charge of the middle order, the selectors will keep an eagle eye on the left hander, he must do what Arjuna Ranathunga did for Sri Lanka in the middle order, stay there and win the game if situation demands. Kandamby has the experience, he must realize that the opposition will ear mark him as a run out candidate, hence he must pay attention in this very important area “Running between Wickets”.
Lahiru Thirimanne, pure bread from Ragama Sports club is a very talented bat. The young man who learnt the rudiments of the game at Prince Of Wales College at Moratuwa will be Sri Lanka’s young hopeful in the middle order. Lahiru has had a wonderful domestic season, a prolific run scorer who has to do work harder than before, to cope with the demands of international cricket.
Thilan Samaraweera had an ordinary tour of India, he will need to bat with more responsibility if given an opportunity. He must prove to world cricket that he is a good batsman in all forms of the game, and fits in as a positive batsman in the shorter version as well.
It is also encouraging to note that selectors are also taking a third spinner in Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, who also can play a big part with the willow if the need arises. www.srilankacricket.lk will keep you posted on the latest both on and off the field from Dhaka.