Sri Lanka’s World Cup Missteps: The Costly Toll of Selection Errors

Sri Lanka's World Cup Missteps: The Costly Toll of Selection Errors

In a series of unfortunate events, poor selections have been identified as the root cause of Sri Lanka’s recent dismal performances in the ICC World Cup. The team ended up at the bottom of the 10-team tournament, and their subpar showing in the Asia Cup final added to the disappointment. The lack of a consistent and well-thought-out plan to maintain a balanced and strong squad has been evident.

The decision to hand over the captaincy to Kusal Mendis, who initially showed promise with the bat in the opening matches, backfired as he struggled under the pressure and failed to regain his form throughout the series. The batting order, lacking a smooth flow, contributed to the team’s struggles.

Despite the consistent failure of one opener, the team failed to adjust the batting order and bring back Dhananjaya de Silva to open, a player known for his proficiency in Power Plays. Opener Avishka Fernando, who performed well in the Emerging Team and Sri Lanka ‘A’ team, was overlooked due to concerns about his physique. Instead, Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne was chosen for the World Cup Qualifiers and the World Cup, despite Avishka’s impressive track record in the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Dilshan Madushanka emerged as the sole consistent performer, showcasing world-class standards. However, he was overlooked for the Zimbabwe tour for World Cup Qualifiers, only to shine against South Africa ‘A’ team in Sri Lanka.

Matheesha Pathirana’s inclusion proved to be a disappointment, as he struggled to adapt to the 50-over format, being more suited to Twenty20 cricket. The selection blunders have left Sri Lanka with an imbalanced 15-man squad, causing significant setbacks.

The selectors’ emphasis on a youth policy led to the premature retirement of Thisara Perera at the age of 31, depriving the team of an experienced player for the World Cup. Additionally, the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, a definite candidate with the ability to open the innings, further highlighted the flawed selection process. Sri Lanka’s cricketing woes continue, raising questions about the effectiveness of the current selection strategy.

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