20 May, 2022


Lanka’s Best Test Batsmen 1-To-7 Today: My Selections

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

In presenting my preferences I have been informed both by my limited observations and by the comments of friends 

For my part the first consideration is the need for a wicket-keeper. While Chandimal, the two Kusals and Dickwella can all keep, if memory serves me right Ranjit Fernando indicated that Dickwella was the sharpest, so he is one of my first choices.  

We need another bowler (especially if Angelo Mathews is restricted from bowling). So Dhananjaya de Silva is another must because he is a useful ‘insert’ in the bowling department and has been fielding at slip recently to the mainline spin bowler — apparently first choice in that role. 

Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal are my final choices – pipping Oshada Fernando to the post (reluctantly in my mind because I take Mike Tissera’s appraisal seriously). Mendis seems to be an excellent slip fielder and has served up some long match-winning (Pallekele) or match saving (in New Zealand) innings. 

Both Mendis and Chandimal have got themselves out via awful strokes in recent innings and require sharp raps on the knuckles in appropriate environments. 

In making these assessments I looked over the batting statistics of those in the pipeline – even though I am not one who is wedded to the numerical slide-rule. One problem here is the different duration of the statistics for the players under review. Chandimal’s average of 41.86 in 53 Tests may not be quite the same over the last two years – one needs a breakdown divided into short two-year time-slots.

But for the record let me list the Test averages in order of ‘excellence’

Chandimal  41.86

Kusal Mendis   35.76

Roshen Silva    35.10

Dhananjaya  32.80

Dickwella  29.88

Oshada F’do  28.00

Thirimanne  23.01

Samarasinghe 5.62 (in just 4 tests)

The problem of a statistical slide rule is demonstrated when one lists the Test averages of those three who have been deemed certainties in the present ‘state of the market’: namely, Angelo Mathews (44.73), Dimuth Karunaratne (36.37) and Kusal Perera (35.60).

Further complicating the yardstick is the picture of batting averages derived from the domestic first-class scene together with the Test figures –for I presume that is what is encompassed by the term “first class” in ESPN statistical tables. This measuring rod provides an interesting order of merit and brings Angelo Perera, Roshen Silva and Sadeera Samarasinghe into better focus. 

The ‘order of merit’ here works out as follows

Roshen Silva 48.92

Angelo Perera 47.54

Dimuth Karunaratne   45.87

Dinesh Chandimal 45.80

Angelo Mathews 44.79

Kusal Perera 43.98

Lahiru Thirimanne 40.35

Oshada Fernando 36.73

Dickwella 36.16

Sadeera Samarasinghe 35.83

Kusal Mendis 35.78

Dhananjaya de Silva 35.33

These figures do not modify my selection. I opt for Karunaratna, Mendis, Chandimal, Perera, Mathews, Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva as my SEVEN, with the opening slot filled by Mendis or whoever puts his hand up—as I believe that every one of them other than Angelo Mathews has opened batting at some point. 

It is pleasing to have Oshada Fernando, Roshen Silva and Angelo Perera in the wings. Whatever the grouping, Sri Lanka will always face the problem of batsmen bred on slow turning pitches at home which discourage pacemen adjusting to pitches abroad which generate bounce and/or pace and/or swing. 

The other conundrum is this: how did such batsmen as Sidath Wettimuny, Amal Silva, Duleep, Aravinda, Arjuna and Sanath, and, thereafter, Mahela and Sanga make successful adjustments with greater success than the present cohort of batsmen? 

PS:  A late ‘entry’ in the Comments from Others, a friend identified as an aficianados, has highlighted Roshen Silva’s skills and unfortunate history – underlining the statistical picture. He is clearly comfortable on Sri Lankan turf. The issue will be his adjustment and temperament in foreign climes. So: he must be seriously considered for a middle-order slot and must defontely be part of the wider squads.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Mr. Roberts, dont you think it is better to contain your euphoria until the SA series is over ??????

    • 4

      Dr Roberts,

      Don’t take any notice of this ignoramus. He’s a minority fellow with a 0 contribution to anything Sri Lankan.

  • 3

    Diversions everywhere! The TV in the Western World is full of home renovations, antique, cooking shows and sports (like Beach Volleyball). Is the positin of batsman No.7 in the Sri Lankan team really a matter worth discussing?

    Is Michael Roberts taking the lesson of the West to divert our attenion from burning issues like the proposed new constitution, to discuss who should be the batsman No.7 in our test team?

    You can’t be too careful these days.

  • 1

    The day SL Cricket management started living off the earning-creators, player morale has been on the decline. The management treated the Players as ‘the hewers of wood and drawers of water’.
    The importance of treating players with respect will make a big difference.
    The other day the intervention by Harin raised the morale and resulted in the win in SA.
    This is more important than speculation based on numbers provided by Michael Roberts.
    PS: Thanks Michael for NOT trying to impress us with list of references.

    • 5

      Dr Roberts,

      Please ignore useless commenters like the one above. Their contributions to SL is 0.

      Ask him how many first class wickets he has under his belt. ZERO.

      Ask him how many catches he’s taken in Sara Trophy or premier or at least div 1 games. Nada.

      Ask him how many First class hundreds has he scored. I’ll just LOL on that one.

      Any contributions in business or academics? 0.

      Refugee claims? Of course. Plenty.

      Number of anti-Sri Lankan online posts? over 2 million.

  • 0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 0

      Juliano Jemma,

      That is a magnificent comment. Keep it up.

      Great work.

  • 1

    Ever heard of the 11th Commandment?
    “ Thou shall not show thy stupidity by writing about cricket without knowing the game “

  • 0

    OUCH, Retarded She Male Perera, with PSEUDOS of your ilk, plenty around, not contributing any thing it self is a service. Public is well aware and witnessing the contributions right now. Take a look at the head lines of local news papers for your contributions including corruption even to day FCID, crime, violence, hatred, fake news (especially from you), cricket board, air lines, diplomats (Jaliya), politicians, president(repeated constitutional abuser), government officials, businessman, higher ups, police, military wanted for war crimes, cocaine abusing MP,S—–etc—-etc—–etc are just a few to mention. Is that enough or you want me to list more.????? SHUT THE F— UP. Go and find one of your kind to contribute.

  • 2

    Michael, you can’t be serious.
    1) How come Sandeera Samarawickrema become Samarasinghe?
    2) what is this batting order for? Tests?, one dayers? Or T20’s?
    Quoting Ranjith Fernando or Michael Tissera is not good enough.
    Just showing your total
    Ignorance of the game . Sliding scale of averages is comical to
    Say the least

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