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Assessing the Sri Lankan changes for the final

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
I think it deserves its own thread, because it's a very interesting point of discussion imo. Very rarely do you see so many changes from a winning side heading into a final. They were drastic changes to the team balance too!

OUT:
Angelo Mathews (injured), Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath and Chamara Silva

IN:
Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera

Now obviously one was a forced change, but the rest was a deliberate tactical decision to face up against the Indians.

They obviously wanted more fire power in the middle and lower order, and decided that Silva and Herath weren't going to be the men for the job. Some thought going in with 5 batsman was going to severely weaken their batting, but in the end did it severely weaken their bowling?

Additionally, the decision to play Randiv, who wasn't even selected for the World Cup, ahead of Mendis, seemed like a move of a team who had no faith in their star spinner against India.

Playing two players who hadn't played the whole tournament was always going to be risky.

At the end of the day did it work in SL's favour, and did they perhaps score more runs than they would have because of Kulasekera, and especially, Perera? Or did it just result in their demise in giving India stead medium pace bowling, which the likes of Yuvraj and Dhoni love feasting on?
 

Teja.

Global Moderator
Too brainlessly happy to make decent arguments for them atm and will do later but without the benefit of hindsight, I'd have had

Randiv and Perera playing for Matthews and Herath. No other changes.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
So three-prong spin in Murali, Mendis and Randiv, and Perera and Malinga to open the bowling?
 

Blaze 18

Banned
Kapugedara for Silva was the change that surprised me. The other two were fair enough. I suppose you could argue that Mendis deserved to play ahead of Randiv, but I doubt he'd have done any better.
 

zorax

likes this
Randiv - good. TBH he's better than Herath and Mendish, shows how highly Sanga/the management rated him over Mendis/Herath
Kapugedra - good but perhaps too late? Silva had played all the games up till then, might as well give him the final instead of bringing in someone from the bench? He did field well though and wasn't that much worst with the bat.
Perera - good since Matthews was out
Kula - effy. Did they need a 3rd seamer? And while he batted well and scored that very vital 30 odd, his bowling, especially that 1 over in the Powerplay, was quite rubbish. Without him they might have had only 230, but with Herath/Mendis bowling instead of him the might have been able to defend that. And if they had to have a 3rd seamer...there was Vaas.
 

Teja.

Global Moderator
So three-prong spin in Murali, Mendis and Randiv, and Perera and Malinga to open the bowling?
Yep, would have shifted to Mendis if Perera had an absolute shocker over in his first 2-3 overs.

Mendis has been economical and very good through the series. Murali's Murali as is Malinga Malinga. Randiv is extremely talented and should've walked in to the initial WC XV as most SL fans here agree. Perera despite being not a particularly good bowler has been a very explosive lower order bat for quite a long time.

Most shocking change was getting Krapu in though.
 

salman85

International Debutant
Mendis wasn't picked because the Indians read him pretty well.That's the only way to look at it.

I think at the end of the day,if Srilanka had won,people would have had orgasms over their brave decisions.But now that they've lost,it's all going to be scanned.Pity really.I thought the changes they made were appropriate.But there is a very thin line between getting accolades and getting criticised.For example,Dhoni would have been slaughtered had Nehra cost India the semifinal since he didn't read the pitch correctly.
 
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Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
I don't understand the not picking Mendis because India reads him argument. That's fine if you're selecting Randiv over him. But you're selecting Randiv over Herath, and Kulasekera over Mendis.

So India may be able to pick Mendis, but it's not like they can't pick Kulasekera's bowling either :dry:
 

Nate

You'll Never Walk Alone
Kapugedara for Silva was the change that surprised me. The other two were fair enough. I suppose you could argue that Mendis deserved to play ahead of Randiv, but I doubt he'd have done any better.
:laugh: Couldn't disagree more here. Mendis had a superb World Cup, Randiv isn't even a first choice bowler for Sri Lanka, and with good reason. Drops it shorter more than O'Keefe. Though admittedly, I didn't see him bowl last night.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
I understand brining in one of the seamers for a spinner but both was way too much, too fast.

Regardless of how the Indians were likely to play Mendis or Herath, they knew that that pitch was going to have nothing for the medium pace offerings and it meant there wasn't enough variety in the attack.
 

vcs

Request Your Custom Title Now!
TBF, pitch was probably a bit bouncier than the typical Ahmedabad/Mohali type Indian pitch, which probably goes some way to explaining why both teams went with the extra seamer. Unfortunately, it was the type of bounce that made batting easier. Also, the dew factor might have been playing on their minds. Kulasekara is not the right guy to bring in to exploit a bouncy wicket anyway.
 
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Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
I think they started their innings too too slowly and it cost them in hindsight.

This may be partly due to misreading the conditions or partly due the combination they chose and pressure of having one less batsman.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
I definitely think Dilshan batted differently due to having one less batsman in the team.

Even though it is ultimately hindsight, it wasn't just changing the personnel, but the structure of the team that was so controversial on SL's part.
 

Furball

Evil Scotsman
I don't understand the not picking Mendis because India reads him argument. That's fine if you're selecting Randiv over him. But you're selecting Randiv over Herath, and Kulasekera over Mendis.

So India may be able to pick Mendis, but it's not like they can't pick Kulasekera's bowling either :dry:
IMO they lost the game as soon as Malinga finished his first spell. Neither Kulasekara nor Perera put the Indian batsmen under any sort of pressure. Gambhir, for the first 20 or so deliveries looked scratchy as hell.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Not just Gambhir. Malinga was all over Kohli outside off. I was absolutely ****ting myself during Kohli's first 10 balls.

My mate immediately told me it was a mistake taking Malinga off. I responded "I guess they're saving him for the death". He rightly responded "they're not going to win by defending the total in 50 overs. They need to bowl India out".
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
Tbf, same was the case with Zaheer and India today.

His overs were not used earlier to attack and in the end ,he was ineffective.
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
Yeah could have kept him on, but it would have been a huge call. SL were only 1 down.

Whereas India were 2 down, and SL knew what they were defending. One more Malinga over was worth it IMO.

Ultimately though, Malinga didn't have the support. India saw off any threat from Murali, and that was that.
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
If not kept on Zaheer could have been brought on when Srilanka lost their 2nd or 3rd wickets,to add to the pressure.

But instead Dhoni was more preoccupied with finishing Sreesanth's quota of overs,but he kept releasing the pressure after every wicket with loose overs.

And Zaheer whose overs were saved for the PP like Malinga proved ineffective in the end.
 

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