Sunday, February 21, 2016

Impact of Sri Lankan Middle Order in the WT20 2016, India

The middle order will have its work cut out in the ICC WT20 2016 as the pitches in India will start to take turn and with the variable bounce factor also coming in, these men will have to put their heads down and score runs in an intelligent manner. Sri Lanka have a fairly inexperienced middle order, men who are yet to be established in this format at the highest level. There is no dearth of talent in three men that we will analyse but can they perform on the biggest stage remains to be seen.

Dinesh Chandimal

Dinesh Chandimal is a young man who has impressed one and all with his style and composure in the test matches and ODI formats of the game. When on song he is a difficult man to bowl to, he has all the proper shots in the book but at the same time he can be brutal and unconventional in his approach. One only needs to be remembered of his belligerent innings against the Australians in the 50 over World Cup in 2015 when his cameo nearly won them the match chasing a 350+ total. He cracked a high octane 160 against India last year to win Sri Lanka a match in which they had no business of even coming close to a win. The way he had man-handled Ashwin in that match still gives me chills.

But his aggression and flair always seem to go missing when it comes to T20 cricket as his stats show. In 34 T20I’s he has managed to score just 397 runs at a dismal average of 14.7 and strike rate just touching 100. His T20I stats might be down in the dumps but he sure has all the talent in the world to make a huge impact on the Lankan fortunes in the WT20.

Impact Rating – 6/10

Chamara Kapugedera

Kapugedera made his international debut as a teenager against the Australians and though he has been one of their star performers right from his school days he has not lived up to his talent on the international stage. He is powerful man and an ultra aggressive batsman who is strong all around the wicket but loves hitting the ball straight. He made a couple of decent contributions in the two matches that he played against India recently.

He is also a stunning fielder known for athletic saves in the circle and also for his out-fielding during the slog overs. He has not been in promising form recently but the Lankans will hope that Kapugedera can play to his potential which will be a huge plus for them in a middle order shorn of experience.

Impact Rating – 6/10

Dasun Shanaka

Dasun Shanaka played against India in all the three T20I’s and he is a clean striker of the cricket ball. He hit some big sixes in those three innings and though he could not make a big contribution, I loved his striking capability. He has a strike rate of over 160 in T20 cricket and he could be the joker in the pack for the Sri Lankans as a relatively unknown commodity; he can make a telling contribution. He is also a good medium pace bowler who grabbed 3 wickets when Sri Lanka defeated India on the green top in Pune.

Impact Rating – 6/10

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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