Thursday, June 10, 2010


I must say I was impressed with the way Aravinda De Silva handled his first assignment as the Chairman of Selectors of the Sri Lankan cricket team. Makes for a good viewing... especially for those who are sick and tired of the antics of a certain Mr. Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

De Silva gave some very sound explanations for all the major decisions taken during the selection of the team for the Asia Cup to be held at Dambulla, Sri Lanka. The axe for Jaisuriya was coming... the entire world could see it. But I was most impressed with the decision to send the young wicket keeper Dinesh Chandimal on a tour to Australia with the Sri Lankan 'A' team.

"Chandimal and Jeevan have got great potential. It was very heartening to see them perform the way they did. We are playing three games initially in the Asia Cup and when you look at the team for the first two games they might not get the opportunity to play. If that happens we are depriving them of the opportunity to go and get some exposure in Australia. We thought the best idea would be to allow them to go to Australia with the Sri Lanka A team and play there. That's one tour I will follow very closely which I think will be competitive. It will really separate the men from the boys, a tour of Australia."

Now that is one really intelligent bit of selection... something that should also have been done with Yusuf Pathan. But sadly, our Chief of Selectors does not have enough logic to think so deeply.

However, I am disappointed in Aravinda De Silva with the dropping of Ajantha Mendis. Of late, Sri Lanka have been employing this strategy of dropping Mendis in matches against Asian opponents, who have pretty much figured out his 'mystery'. They play him against non - Asian opponents, who apart from being not too good against quality spin, also find this unconventional spinner far too difficult to read.

Mendis rose to fame with a spectacular Asia Cup in Pakistan a couple of years ago. His 6 - 13 against India followed by a phenomenal Test debut series against the same opponents at home made him the new mystery star of cricket. However, since then, India and Pakistan have played him quite comfortably. But does that mean he should be dropped in matches against these teams?

What will happen when the English, Australians and South Africans also figure him out? Will he be dropped forever then? Or selected for matches against the Associate and Affiliate teams only? I really do not get this logic. How will this help his development as a cricketer? Playing more against the Asian teams will keep him on his toes... and that will automatically help his performance against the non - Asian teams.

I may be completely wrong... and the tactical reasons of Aravinda De Silva may be completely different. But this is what meets the eye! And what meets the eye is what I blog on!


greyblazer said...

England played him reasonably well at the champions trophy and weren't troubled by him either. As he only depends on variations, so once the batsmen start picking his variations, play him straight and don't go back he is in trouble not just against Asian teams but against most teams as he doesn't have a stock ball either.

The Australian bowler Gleason was another one who lost his way as soon as the batsmen started picking him.

Soulberry said...

When you think about it, selecting the best possible team shouldn't be difficult for any selector who has played the game reasonably intelligently. Opinions are always there but what pulls and tugs selectors out of an expected way is not always inspiration.

In India, injuries could be a good reason to be forced beyond the available basket but one cannot always bet on it. I'm sure such pressures exist in other countries too and the character of the selection committee determines how they'll respond to it.

India has gone beyond the stage where there is one leader...path ordinary life despite the design of our socio-political scape. Cricket in India suffers because there isn't a single core set of uncompromisable values and goals agreed upon by the majority and contributed to after agreeing with the principles.