Tue, 16 Jul 2024

What next for Sri Lanka in T20s?

(Daily Mirror) - Sri Lanka ended their T20 World Cup campaign on a high note when they hammered Netherlands in their final game.

Both batsmen and bowlers contributed brilliantly in what turned out to be a one-way traffic, but this stunning victory couldn't prevent Sri Lanka from an embossing exit. So, what next for Sri Lanka in the T20 format?

Kusal Mendis has been one of the talking points in the recent past, having not lived up to his expectations in key games. He did get runs against Netherlands but there is a huge question mark over his place in the team moving forward. While there is absolutely no argument about his talent, the inconsistency in making a significant impact at the top requires to be addressed. At the age of 29 and after having played over 250 international matches, he is still to live up his full potential. The selectors have publicly discussed the possibility at the top in the form of Shevon Daniel and Lasith Crosspulle who have both gone on to play for Sri Lanka very briefly. However, one name that has not been getting much attention is Thanuka Dabare, who is an aggressive opening batsman who scores with strike rate of 140 in club cricket. 

Are Sri Lanka playing too many Test cricketers in T20s?

A section of Sri Lanka fans believe that Sri Lanka's struggle to accumulate runs at quick rate is to do with the fact that there are too many Test batsmen in the T20 team. 

Dhananjaya de Silva - the captain of Sri Lanka Test team in particular has come under criticism for low strike rate and inability to clear the boundary batting in the middle of the order. His selection in most of the games has been due to the fact that he could bowl some really handy off-spin, but could Sri Lanka afford to have a batsman striking at 115 batting in the middle? Even Thisara Perera who was considered as a late order slogger has a better average and a far superior strike rate than Silva. 

Sadeera Samarawickrama who was fairly impressive in the ODI format is another who might face the axe in the shortest format, but then who is going to take his place remains a mystery - surely not Avishka Fernando. 

Time is running out for Angelo Mathews who should probably focus on playing Test cricket for another few years while Dasun Shanaka somehow still manages to take a spot in the Playing XI for some reason. 

Sri Lanka’s bowling attack is genuinely good. They have all been picked up by IPL franchise because they usually go for world class players which explains why none of the Sri Lankan batsmen is playing IPL at the moment. Certain ex-cricketers and fans can bash IPL as much as they want - but it is a clear indication on where a nation's cricket is at - look at Afghanistan. 

Sri Lanka's T20 problems have everything to do with batting and it's time some new faces get their chance.

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