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Kamindu Mendis cranks up pressure on Kusal Mendis

25 March 2024 06:25 pm - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Harsha Amarasinghe 

Colombo, March 25 (Daily Mirror) - Kamindu Mendis made a grand comeback to the longest format smashing twin centuries against Bangladesh in the First Test concluded in Sylhet on Monday (25) becoming the first batman to do so batting at number 7 or lower position. 

Despite scoring a fifty on his Test debut against Australia in 2022,  Kamindu was not given an opportunity until the first Test against Bangladesh. The former Richmond College star had to regain his spot in the XI the harder way by scoring tons of runs in the domestic tournaments which saw him averaging over 63 in first class cricket after 45 games. 

The manner in which the left hander scored runs against Bangladesh on a fairly difficult wicket proves that in Kamindu Sri Lanka has got a very solid  batsman. 

However, his inclusion in the Playing XI does present Sri Lanka with some selection headaches moving forward. Sadeera Samarawickrama has been batting at seven for Sri Lanka in the recent past. Him being a wicket-keeper was an ideal scenario for Sri Lanka, but against Bangladesh the national selectors took a gamble with Kamindu and it paid off sensationally, but now Sri Lanka's wicket-keeper is batting at number 3 which is very rare in the modern era. 

Kusal Mendis is regarded as Sri Lanka's best batsman at present by many ex-cricketers. From time-to-time, he has shown glimpse of his class, but after 62 Test matches he is averaging in mid 30s batting at number three and adding wicket-keeping duties on his shoulders, could only lower that average. 

Some of the greats of the games like Kumar Sangakkara had to give up wicket-keeping as part of being number 3 of the batting line-up and in most of the top teams wicket-keepers bat at either six or seven. So what next for Kusal Mendis? 

The chances of Kusal Mendis batting at number 7 is very unlikely given that he has been a top order batsman all his life, but Sri Lanka cannot have a wicket-keeper batting at 3 for a longer period because if Kusal Mendis were to continue at three as a wicket-keeper, every times he fails, selectors will come under heavy criticism. 

At some point Sri Lanka will have to consider bringing back Sadeera Samarawickrama into the Playing XI which means he will slot in at 7. With Kamindu Mendis is the form of his life the selectors might want to push him up the batting order. 

Over the last few years Sri Lanka had a very settled middle order comprised of Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva, so the chances of Kamindu playing at any position from number 4 to 6 are very slim, with Mathews' position being untouchable and Dhananjaya being the captain and Chandimal averaging nearly 45 in Tests. So, the selectors perhaps opt to replace a Mendis with a Mendis at 3. 

One other potential solution would be to drop opener Nishan Madushanka and push Kusal Mendis up the order to open the innings with Dimuth Karunaratne which looks like most likely scenario despite Madushka's excellent Test and First Class record. 


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  Comments - 21

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  • D P P Prasad Monday, 25 March 2024 07:42 PM

    Kamidu is a quality batsman Thus he has to keep his momentum further and further not only for test cricket even for other formats like one day and t20. Furthermore his ability to play longer innings will help Srilanka to secure very good position in the world test championship. Apart from his batting he can play as a part time bowler specially for one day format

    Nikini J Monday, 25 March 2024 10:05 PM

    " One other potential solution would be to drop opener Nishan Madushanka and push Kusal Mendis up the order to open the innings with Dimuth Karunaratne which looks like most likely scenario despite Madushka's excellent Test and First Class record ! "- Try your luck , Upul Tharanga

    Old boys Monday, 25 March 2024 10:08 PM

    Why carry old baggage, Angelo and Chandimal. Their recent averages should be the criteria to match with Kusal,who had still more playing years ahead.

    Piyasiri Daranagama Tuesday, 26 March 2024 10:32 AM

    Absolutely!. This is an inherited scenario in this country. Selectors shall understand the decending talent with the age and also the players too, must be mindful about their own performance curve and opt to retire voluntarily at the point of decline!!

    Man Tuesday, 26 March 2024 10:57 AM

    It shall be on current form considering the form in the National Super League of SL for the three tests in England. Kusal kept wickets better than Sadeera.

    C lover Tuesday, 26 March 2024 12:01 AM

    JUST A FLUKE FOR WITH BANGLADESH FIRST TEST ONLY. MORE TO COME

    Zak Tuesday, 26 March 2024 01:40 AM

    Does anyone know the reason why Pathum Nissanka is not opening interest matches

    Mendis vs Mendis Tuesday, 26 March 2024 05:29 AM

    Battle of the Mendises.

    Don Tuesday, 26 March 2024 05:46 AM

    Don’t drop any Mendis’s. Drop Chandimal.

    DJ Tuesday, 26 March 2024 07:42 AM

    It's long overdue, drop Matthews and Chandimal ASAP.

    Angelo Matthews the problem, he was taking up Kamindu spot Tuesday, 26 March 2024 08:17 AM

    Timed out by silliness Matthews was taking up spot in team, which should be available to better players. There is some problem because there are too many loyal to the old player idiots who think slow man Matthews is worthwhile still. Big mouth Matthews is unsuitable for playing and should make money by take up commentary or some other low profession, or write about cricket or some activity which even school boy can do.

    Inshi Tuesday, 26 March 2024 08:22 AM

    He deserves to be in the side. Drop one of the veterans and keep only those who perform. This is exactly what is needed. Players fighting for their place in the side. The more headaches for the selectors is better than no headache. Good signs once again.

    D S de Silva Tuesday, 26 March 2024 08:56 AM

    The person to be taken out has to be Chandimal and bring in Samarawickrama. It will have the perfect balance in the team. Bring up Kamindu to no 6 or 5 and reshuffle the middle order.

    Mark Anandappa Tuesday, 26 March 2024 09:47 AM

    Kusal Mendis has been a consistent failure but the selectors have been persisting with him for many years. It is time the selectors take a hard decision and try out new players like Nuwindhu Fernando .

    Ravi Peiris Tuesday, 26 March 2024 10:00 AM

    Please let him play at No 7 or 6 not No 3. Don't give too much pressure to him.

    Seeya Tuesday, 26 March 2024 10:28 AM

    There were so many players who did not get chances during Mahela and Sangakkara period even when they were performing very well in the domestic tournaments simply because they didnt have a place for him to play. Take the case of Kaushal Silva the wicketkeeper batsman, he was forced to get into the side as only an opener from a middle order wicketkeeper batsman. True he didnt perform as well as the other openers but can you fault his determination to enter the side by becoming an opener and giving up the gloves. He is not the only one who was fed with the same spoon. Why cant the so called established players also be pushed to perform or get out?

    Katukanna Tissa Tuesday, 26 March 2024 11:06 AM

    Drop Mathews ! He’s anything but a liability to the team.

    Man Tuesday, 26 March 2024 11:18 AM

    Nishan Madushka, after playing a few tests failed to make a good contribution other than against Ireland and possibly not worth to select for the England tour. It's worth to have a try by selecting Lahiru Udara.

    Rondy Tuesday, 26 March 2024 11:45 AM

    There will be more headaches when Pathum Nissanka is available for England series. Pathum most likely would replace Madushka, while Sadeera may have to wait a little until someone fails. If Kusal shouldn't keep while batting at 3, why not he swap with Chandimal? or alternatively Chandimal being a keeper he could perhaps takeover gloves going forward.

    Man Tuesday, 26 March 2024 01:34 PM

    Failures in the 2nd test can be ignored for the 3 tests in England if there are other players who performed well National Super League as current form and experience matter. By the way, Matthews performed well in England even with the ball. Sadeera and Madushka have not performed well in tests other than against Ireland.

    Man Tuesday, 26 March 2024 02:19 PM

    Failures cannot be ignored.


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