How to Select a Cricket Team: A Perfect Template for Cricket Team Selection

Cricket team selection is one of the most popular hobbies of any ardent cricket fan. We at the Cricketry Sri Lanka is among those passionate fans who take immense pleasure in predicting our cricket team. Our articles on selecting the playing 11 for world cup 2019 is proof for that (if you have missed any of those, you can take a look at them here).

With the world cup looming in the horizon and with our cricket team frequently losing matches, we at the Cricketry Sri Lanka see an increased interest of fans towards selecting a winning cricket team for Sri Lanka. It is surprising to see just how much effort most of you put towards this selection.

Do They Hear Us?

We sometimes wonder whether the actual selection committee, whose job is to select a winning cricket team is committed towards this cause as many of the fans. For example, the cricket fans have been bringing in Isuru Udana to most of their potential squads long before he got a second chance from the selectors (Even that due to injuries to other seamers). With his heroics in the recent South Africa series, we all see just how valuable asset he can be to the team.

However, we also see some fans and even the selectors making some rash decisions towards the team selection. While we are aware that we at the Cricketry Sri Lanka are nowhere near in a position to challenge the selectors, the history has shown that as a fan base, the Sri Lankan fans can influence them to a certain extent.

So, we decided to discuss some of the basics of team selection with you today so that you can make some informed decisions rather than merely selecting for the sake of it.

Sri Lanka Sqaud for WC 2019
Sri Lankan Sqaud for WC 2019

Basics of Cricket Team Selection

The most common template for team selection is;

  • Six batsmen including a wicketkeeper capable of scoring 50 or more
  • Five bowlers capable of taking wickets and bowling a decent number of overs.

This formula gives a balanced side and allows the team to adapt to any situation. However, we have seen teams opt to break this formula. But before deciding to go with just four decent bowlers, we must consider what would happen if one of them get injured during a match.

The most recent example for this is Lasith Ambuldeniya’s injury during the second test against the Proteas. This is when having all-rounders comes in handy. In Lasith Ambuldeniya’s case, Dhananjaya De Silva was able to fill in. But we would have definitely lost that second match if he too failed.

Using Two Spinners

Most teams nowadays consider using good spinners. A wrist spinner and a finger spinner gives a team variety. They can control a match in the middle overs by giving away fewer amounts of runs. They are also vital for getting weaker batsmen out.

The best example for this is the Pakistan team with Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan. Even the India team does this with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. If they are decent with the bat, that gives depth of batting to a team since it allows them to play seven batsmen instead of 6. This is the case for both India and Pakistan teams. Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Ravindra Jadeja are all decent batsmen.

Using Allrounders

There is a position to a good allrounder or two in a team. Usually reserved for number seven and eight positions. However, a common problem with this selection is there are more all-rounders with different qualities. Some may be brilliant bowlers but not so much with the bat.

Allrounders can be real game changers. Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, and Sir Ian Botham in this picture.
Allrounders can be real game changers. Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, and Sir Ian Botham in this picture.

A genuine allrounder is the most valuable asset to a team since it gives a lot of options to the selectors. A genuine allrounder can be depended on to bowl his full quota of bowling as well as to get 50 runs. For us, Angelo Mathews used to be that genuine allrounder for so many years. But with injury concerns, he now only plays as a batsman.

Specific Tactics?

Selection is also about identifying specific tactics for a particular game. Selection committee need to take some time to study the playing ground, the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, as well as the weather since each of these elements, can make a difference on a given day.

For example, on a really good batting pitch, you might consider using six batsmen and very good five bowlers who can restrict a team to a low score. Or in a day where the forecast is to rain (where Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method may play a role), the selection committee may include one or two players who could get some quick runs if needed.

This means that choosing a team is a lot more than selecting the best eleven players. There is a balance to be maintained and the context to be considered. If the selection does not consider these basic rules of team selection, it might be quiet sometime before the Sri Lankan team winning a match let alone another World Cup.

A Potential Template for Sri Lankan ODI Team on a Seam-friendly Wicket


  1. A batsman who can score some quick runs (Even an allrounder could be selected)
  2. A batsman who can play for 50 overs and build an inning
  3. A proper batsman who can score freely but able to play for 50 overs
  4. A proper batsman who can score freely but able to play for 50 overs
  5. A Wicket Keeper batsman
  6. A middle-order batsman who can score quick runs but should have the ability to save his wicket and build an inning if needed
  7. An allrounder who can bat and bowl equally well


  • A good fast bowling all-rounder (should be able to bowl ten overs)
  • A wrist spinner
  • A wicket taking fast bowler
  • A wicket taking fast bowler

We hope you enjoyed this article and were able to learn something on cricket team selection. Please do consider these when you predict the next playing 11 or Select a cricket team. You can see our choices for world cup playing 11 here. Comment below your selections for world cup 2019 and we will make sure it gets published on the Cricketry web magazine.

5 thoughts on “How to Select a Cricket Team: A Perfect Template for Cricket Team Selection

  1. D.Gunathilaka
    U. Tharanga
    K. Mendis
    K. Perera (Wk)
    A. Matthews / Dhananjaya De Silva
    T. Perera
    I. Udana
    A. Dhananjaya
    L.Malinga (C)
    J. Vandersay

    1. Good selection. The only issue is, can we trust Thisara to play at number 6? He definetly can do this. But doubt it if he is commited enough

  2. 1.Dhanushka Gunathilake
    2.Dhanjaya Silva
    3.Dimuth Karunarathna
    4.Anjelo Mathews
    5.Kusal Janith Perera
    6.Asela Gunaratne
    7.Sachithra Senanayka/Akila Dananjaya/Jeffrey Vandacy
    8.Isuru Udana
    9.Tisara Perera
    10.Lasith Malinga
    11.Suranga Lakmal

    1. nice. a balnced team. Suranga, Malinga, Udana and Akila/Sachithra can bowl 10 overs each. The other 10 can be divided between Thisara, Asela, Dhananjaya, Mathews. A good deapth to batting since we bat till number 9. The only concern is the form of Asela. Hope he will regain his form during the provincial tournament.

  3. True we do follow simple theory of oneday team 6 batters 2 all rounders 3 bowlers. Bit worried about the Selectors yeah they know better than us neither we can compare us with them but do they really in it. See by appointing Malinga as oneday Captain by current selectors created unnecessary situation where a player now going to retire as Captaincy is not sad, how pathetic our Cricket. We have never ever was in this crazy situation before.A Head Coach contract is without any performance basis rule, like that was the oneday Captaincy. Selectors should have made the player as a standing Captain and continuity based on performance and results.The point trying to drive here is still they make crucial blunders, which can destroy a player or player’s. We speak the truth with experience in dealing similar situation in our carrier.Comments are purely with good heart , this effort for people concern to take a cue and to do better only.

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