Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Arthur backs Chandimal to come good. Dinesh Chandimal has once again hit a rut with scores of 5, 0, 18, 13 and 5.
Dinesh Chandimal has once again hit a rut with scores of 5, 0, 18, 13 and 5.
Since his half-century against South Africa last month, Dinesh Chandimal has once again hit a rut with scores of 5, 0, 18, 13 and 5. Despite their win against Namibia, worries remain for Sri Lanka as they were reduced 26 for 3 in a small chase before their seven-wicket win.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa acknowledged the top order form is a concern and now head coach Mickey Arthur too has conceded that the No. 3 position has been their Achilles heel. “I'm pretty confident with Kusal Janith back at the top of the order now,” Arthur said on Tuesday (October 19). “That just gives us that attacking option. Kusal Janith is a world-class player. To have him back there gives us a lot more solidity. I'm comfortable that he's going to fire for us pretty soon.
“Pathum Nissanka, he's a work in progress. He's the one Sri Lankan batsman in my time in Sri Lanka that I think is going to go on and genuinely become a world-class player. So we'll keep going with Pathum because we're investing in him going forward.
“Then that No. 3 position has been an Achilles heel for us ever since we lost Danushka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella. We've battled to find the right balance in our top five. I'm comfortable we've got that balance. If we can just get that No.3 position shelved down, we'll be good. Dinesh Chandimal has it at the moment. Hopefully, he gives us a performance at some stage. We've got young Charith Asalanka, who I think is another young player that's going to play a lot for Sri Lanka, just waiting in the wings. I'm just waiting for someone to grab that position and make it their own.”
Arthur, however, said the form shown by Chandimal during the warm-up games has satisfied the think tank that he's the right man for the job despite impressive showings from Charith Asalanka. “To be brutally honest, Dinesh, Charith Asalanka, Kamindu Mendis, those type of guys, have real opportunities to a point because of our three players that back our brand,” he pointed out. “Chandi is a very, very good player, and contrary to a lot of the stuff I'm reading about him, he is a fine, fine batsman. He's just short of a little confidence at the moment, but I'm comfortable that he will regain that.
“He played an innings in the practice game before we came over here. He faced a really good attack. Dushmantha Chameera wasn't there, he had Binura, he had Chamika, he had Akila and Maheesh bowling against him, and he got 84 out of 48 balls and really played very, very well. That's why we selected Chandi in the squad as a reserve keeper. We needed to have two keepers in our 15. We thought he fit the bill with that. He has a bit of experience. He was the desirable player for that position. But when we watched him bat there, he batted superbly. He hit proper cricket shots, and he hit them well, he hit them hard. He cleared the boundary straight a lot of times.
“So if we can recreate that confidence for him coming into World Cup games, we feel we've got a win. We'll give Chandi another run without a doubt. We know that Charith Asalanka is there waiting for his opportunity as well. One thing we've done is we've developed bench strength in all positions. I'm comfortable that Chandi is one innings away from showing us potentially what he can do. I'm just hoping that tomorrow he gives us what we know he can give us or what I saw from him in that practice game.”
Sri Lanka take on Ireland on October 20and will then play their final Group A match against the Netherlands on October 22.