Worldcup is fast approaching and while allmost all other countries have a fixed playing 11, we are still experimenting. Therefore, we at Cricketry Sri Lanka, decided to write an article series focusing on few key players and their potential roles in the playing 11 of the worldcup 2019.
Thisara Perera is one of our most experienced players with 150 ODIs. He has shown over the recent past that he can be a considered as a genuine all-rounder instead of a bowling all-rounder (Genuine all-rounders and players who can both bat and bowl equally well). Contrary to his recent batting record, past 2 ODIs showed us that he only thinks of himself as a bowling all-rounder who thinks of himself as a pinch hitter when it comes to batting. Even yesterday, he tried three consecutive expensive shots against Tahir and got out, even after getting a six over mid-wicket.
What should be his playing role?
Thisara Perera comes in to bat at number seven. Number seven slot is one of the most critical positions in a batting line up because of the fluid nature of that position. To discuss the importance of this position, let’s take a look at the players occupying number 7 slot in the other countries.
- India: MS Dhoni (need no explanations, Batting average: 50.84)
- Pakistan: Imad Wasim (ODI Batting average: 43.84)
- Australia: Alex Carey (ODI Batting average: 30.40) or Time Paine (ODI captain)
- England: Moin Ali (ODI Batting average: 26.11, 3 ODI centuries, 5 Test Centuries)
- West Indies: Jason Holder (ODI Batting average:26.26, 3 Test centuries including a double century)
- New Zealand: BJ Watling (ODI Batting average: 24.91, 6 test centuries)
If we really analyse these numbers, we can see that the player who occupies the number 7 position is either a batting all-rounder or a wicketkeeper. They are expected to either build an inning if the top order collapses or score some quick runs at the end of an inning. Thisara Perea can do both of these, and he has proven it in the past ( If any of you are interested, here are his stats. He has an ODI average of 21 with one ODI century and 10 ODI half-centuries). He certainly has the skill as well as the experience to be a great number 7. The concern is whether he is aware of this or not.
Another possibility is to get him open the batting. Let me explain. The plan of our current openers seem to be aggressive at the top and score some quick runs. The way our openers got out in both ODIs suggests this. So if that’s the plan, why not get someone who actually has the big hitting power to open the innings. It’s not like we haven’t seen this play out really well in the past!!!. Sanath Jayasooriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shane Watson and Sunil Narine are prime examples for this. Since the world cup is fast approaching and we are still experimenting to find suitable openers, why not give Thisara a chance. This also provides us with the ability to play a proper batsman, someone who can guide the tail and bat around, at number 7 slot. Upul Tharanga or Angelo Mathews could be ideal for this. Most of all, at number 7, Upul Tharanga’s weakness against the swinging ball will not be a huge factor as the ball will be old. This will give us a great deal of experience in the later part of an inning.
Possible playing 11 for the world cup
- Thisara Perera
- Dinesh Chandimal (he is most likely to be selected to the world cup squad and here is why we think this is the most suitable position for him)/ Niroshan Dickwella
- Kusal Janith Perera (Here is why we think he is most suitable for opening)
- Kusal Mendis
- Oshada Fernando
- Angelo Mathews
- Upul Tharanga/Dhananjaya De Silva
- Akila Dananjaya
- Lahiru Kumara (Can reach extreme speeds)
- Vishwa Fernando (Left arm seamer)
- Lasith Malinga
If Thisara fails to get quick runs at the top, there is enough experience at the top to consolidate. If he is successful, well then, we are sure to win 😊. This will also give us a lot of bowling options with a variety.
Let us know what you think about our playing 11 for the world cup 2019. Your feedback (either good or bad) is highly appreciated, and they keep us motivated to continue to write these articles.