Chairman of Selectors Ashantha De Mel has indicated that our cricket has stagnated while the fast bowler Lasith Malinga's T 20 captaincy was under the microscope after yet another humiliating series defeat in India slipping Sri Lanka behind minnows of ICC Afghanistan in the rankings. Incidentally, when Malinga with host of other front line players pulled out of the tour of Pakistan two months ago, Dasun Shanaka skippered a young team to a series whitewash against world’s number one ranked team.The followers of our cricket still believe that we should have persisted with the winning amalgamation.
In the two matches played in India Malinga conceded 81 runs and did not take a wicket. He was out first ball in both games been slow on the field.He should be reviewed. He himself has said he is willing to quit. But the selectors should now axe him not forgetting his services to T 20 cricket as the leading wicket taker in the shortest format. As himself knows he has lost the vital venom and sting, performances well below par.
It was emphasized on the running between the wickets and the number of dot balls which the new coach had also pointed out. The batsmen should develop the knack to steal quick singles taking examples from the Aussies batsmen in all formats.
It was appropriately added that we have no dearth of talent. Exposure of younger players must be considered like India who have an equally strong second string who are given opportunities. We should take a leaf out of them. The leg spin/googly bowler Waninudu Hasaranga need to be commended for his bowling wicket to wicket. He cleaned bowled several Pakistani batsmen , also cleaned bowled the Indian opener Rahul while Dhawan was trapped LBW. However although Sandakan captured three wickets his ‘chinnaman’ bowling was erratic, as usual he does not know where he is bowling. All wickets were captured via sheer luck bowling outside stumps. He should be thought to bowl wicket to wicket like Hasaranga if to be reckoned with.
Another key area is the batting of the tail who succumb easily who cannot wag the tail.They should be given adequate batting practice to add a few runs if needed.
Finally in order to resurrect our T 20 team drastic changes are needed taking a leaf out of the young team selected to whitewash Pakistan, the world’s top T 20 team.