Island Cricket

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The selectors aren't to be blamed

A Fortnight or so ago there was outrage amongst cricket fans that Malinga Bandara was not selected to tour Australia next month. I for one questioned the logic behind taking inexperienced fast bowlers to Australia time and time again. Trying to blast the Aussies out with pace is a strategy that hasn't worked for us since the mid 80's. The recent test series proved that our 3 main quick men Vaas, Malinga, Dilhara all failed to rattle the Aussies. We should be sending our upcoming pacemen on more 'A- team' tours overseas rather than throwing them into the deep end. 'Sri Lanka-A' rarely tour Australia and don't have a busy year round schedule.

I was quick to assume that Asantha De Mel being a former fast bowler himself conjured up this team selection and as a result I assumed Asantha had a role to play in Bandara's omission, it turns out I was way off the mark. Mahela speaking to Sa'adi Thawfeeq on Cricinfo not only fully backed the selection he also provided the logic behind not taking a back up spinner for Murali.

When you've got Murali and if he is playing in the side, with the conditions we get in Australia, there won't be any room for a second spinner. It will not give us the adequate balance in our set-up. Our combination could be three quicks and a spinner plus seven batsman or we might go with six batsmen, four quicks, including an allrounder, and a spinner. Banda will only come into play if Murali gets injured. That's why he is a standby.

The other three[Fast bowlers]are fairly new. Even though Kulasekera has been around he hasn't played consistently, Welagedera is a young guy finding his way in international cricket and Ishara - we picked him for his pace and accuracy. He's bowled pretty well in the last 6-12 months in A team cricket. This probably would be a place for us to see what he can do. - Mahela Jayawardene speaking to Cricinfo.

Click here for video of Ishara Amerasinghe on debut


Damith-TS said...

Actually I dont blame anyone for not taking another spinner. And the reason is not that I think we shouldnt have 2 spinners. 2 Spinners work against Aus, Look at Kumble and Baaji. But I think the quality of spinners we have is a real big issue and Arjuna/Ara need to look at this and try to develop a new guy soon. Banda has done well against Aus in Aus before but he lacks variation and doesnt spin it enough for me. I just hope we find someone young and new and keep playing him soon, because Muralis time is fast approaching.

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