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Assessing the Sri Lankan changes for the final

NUFAN

Y no Afghanistan flag
An absolute joke of a decision by Sri Lanka.

I would hate to be Mendis at the moment. Sorry Ajantha, we know you've taken 4/69 from 19.5 overs across the quarters and semis but this is India, so we have to lose our minds and pick a guy who wasn't even in the squad.

I wonder what would have happened had Matthews played? Surely only one of Perera and Kulasekara would have played.

Really unusual captaincy too, I can't believe that Murali wouldn't have even bowled out his 10 overs, even with a dodgy knee.
 

KiWiNiNjA

International Coach
Sacrificed bowling for some extra batting depth.

With my 20-20 hindsight I can safely say that it was very silly.

How does Randiv all of a sudden jump both Herath and Mendis for the 2nd spinner role? Why bring in Kapu over Silva? Strange.

But ultimately, it was poor captaincy by Sanga that brought India back into the game. Gambhir played a great innings, but Sri Lanka made it a little to easy from overs 10-20 after such a great start.
 

Spark

Global Moderator
That period after Malinga's spell was where they lost it. Such sloppy cricket from SL.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Sacrificed bowling for some extra batting depth.
With my 20-20 hindsight I can safely say that it was very silly.

How does Randiv all of a sudden jump both Herath and Mendis for the 2nd spinner role? Why bring in Kapu over Silva? Strange.

But ultimately, it was poor captaincy by Sanga that brought India back into the game. Gambhir played a great innings, but Sri Lanka made it a little to easy from overs 10-20 after such a great start.
This

Not only was the lineup for the semis undoubtedly stronger but the chosen x1 for the final signalled a complete change in strategy from what they'd used all tournament

Very odd
 

Jono

Virat Kohli (c)
But they didn't add batting depth. They only added batting firepower near the end.

They still only had 5 specialist batsmen, which is what resulted in Dilshan and Tharanga being so hesitant early (obviously Zaheer bowling a great spell helped!).

They were in a weird situation where they lengthened their batting lineup, but also made it shorter at the same time.
 

KiWiNiNjA

International Coach
Well, you could call that batting depth, imo.
Shortened the tail, then?

Anyhoo, surely in a WC final you trust the top order that got you there. Yeah, Matthews injury sorta threw the balance of the side, but replacing Matthews with two players (Perera and Kula) came at the expense of one of their better bowlers of the tournament in Mendis.

Hindsight and all, but it did stink when the sides were announced too.
 

thierry henry

International Captain
Mendis averages 19 in ODIs (19 FFS!!) and gets dropped for the final FOR A BLOKE WHO WASN'T IN THE SQUAD after playing like the gun he is all tournament, because of a perception that India play him well.

This decision is going to look more and more bizarre as time goes by

The way I see it Kapugedera/Silva was pretty meh (both crap), Kulasekera was a swap for Herath (as those two seem to have been fighting for a spot most of the tournament, and arguments can be made for both depending on pitch conditions) and Perera came in for Matthews as he's the next closest thing to an all-rounder.
 

vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
Think it shows the difference between what the selectors gave the team management and what the senior players/coach wanted.
 

jeevan

International 12th Man
This thread is dancing around the fact that Sri Lanka's bowling didnt have the depth to trouble India in the same way that Paksitan or even Australia and SA did.

Malinga had a dream first spell - but nobody else - including Murali or Malinga's subsequent spells - were able to create sustained pressure from that excellent start. Mendis would have to be formidably a better spinner than Murali or Randiv, and Matthews significantly more attacking a bowler than Kulasekara or Perera to make a difference.

In fact, having to replace Mathews with 2 seamers who could bat probably didn't hurt. Had SL really played 3 spinners, and elected to bat - wouldn't the dew factor hamper the 3rd spinner at least as much as the 2 best spinners in their squad?
 

jeevan

International 12th Man
Mathews replacement with Kulasekara & Perera didn't hurt SL with the bat either. Yes their openers played in a circumspect manner, but even with Mathews their middle order was fragile &/or untested.

And in any case, Jayawardene was going at a ball a run from the start, and Mathews' replacements combined for 54 out of 39 balls with the bat.
 

zorax

likes this
Randiv didn't bowl badly at all, he was just played quite well. And toward the end the ball was getting we and spinning it was hard. You could argue that Herath which his subtle variations in flight and pace might have fared better, but Ashwin wasn't bad. MSD, Kohli, Gambhir were just too good.
 

KiWiNiNjA

International Coach
In fact, having to replace Mathews with 2 seamers who could bat probably didn't hurt. Had SL really played 3 spinners, and elected to bat - wouldn't the dew factor hamper the 3rd spinner at least as much as the 2 best spinners in their squad?
If we say Kapu replaced Silva and Randiv replaced Herath then.....

Replacing Mathews with 2 seamsers meant they had to drop Mendis.
I'd say that hurt.
 

jeevan

International 12th Man
If we say Kapu replaced Silva and Randiv replaced Herath then.....

Replacing Mathews with 2 seamsers meant they had to drop Mendis.
I'd say that hurt.
Was Herath considered a better spinner than Mendis? I'd say SL picked their two best spinners and Mendis was not considered one of them by coach & captain (as opposed to selectors), at least not against a side that plays spin well.

In the spin department - Mathews' injury gave the coach & captain a chance to assert their preference in spinners, more than anything else.
 
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jeevan

International 12th Man
Looking at Mathews bowling in this WC

Bowling records | One-Day Internationals | Cricinfo Statsguru | ESPN Cricinfo

No way it took two seamers to replace him. Can almost say Perera came in for him 1:1 and didn't do too badly with the bat...

The other changes were very voluntary, to go with less spinners and to change the mix of spinners involved. Unless of course someone says they'd have played with Mathews, two seamers and three spinners (in which case he case he did not do much with the bat either to go down that path)

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/en...an;template=results;type=batting;view=innings
 

KiWiNiNjA

International Coach
Of course it didn't take two seamers to replace him Mathews the bowler. It was like they had they two seamers in to replace Mathews the batsman.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
There was a lot of talk in the commentary that the subcontinent teams only wanted to play two spinners against subcontinental opposition because they supposedly play the slower bowlers better than the seamers.

Indian did it too, the leaving out of Ashwin for Sreesanth nearly as daft as the Mendis omission, but just about got away with it because Patel's a much better #2 seamer than anything SL had.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
Mendis averages 19 in ODIs (19 FFS!!) and gets dropped for the final FOR A BLOKE WHO WASN'T IN THE SQUAD after playing like the gun he is all tournament, because of a perception that India play him well.

This decision is going to look more and more bizarre as time goes by

The way I see it Kapugedera/Silva was pretty meh (both crap), Kulasekera was a swap for Herath (as those two seem to have been fighting for a spot most of the tournament, and arguments can be made for both depending on pitch conditions) and Perera came in for Matthews as he's the next closest thing to an all-rounder.
Yeah, fully agreed. Randiv for Mendis was a dire call; Kapu for Silva was confusing and inconsistent but not necessarily damaging.. but the other changes were fine IMO.
 

ankitj

International Coach
Yeah leaving out Mendis was baffling. It meant that there were 30 overs that scared no batsman. With Mendis, the outcome could just have been different.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
Something I posted in the match thread... Some of it is very much relevant here I guess...



Sri Lanka played excellent cricket but were outclassed a bit. Sanga was being nice saying even 350 wasn't enough but with their attack, even 300 might have been enough. Their inability to stay positive with their best bowlers really bites them in the back side. I can understand saving Malinga and Murali for powerplays when bowling first but honestly, taking Mallinga off after he got Sachin was just terrible terrible captaincy.. A 6 over spell for Malinga there and if he had broken through two more guys in our middle order, it would have been an easy game for SL.. I have said it before, they have champion players but they can't play like champions and it always hurts them.. They have to start thinking more positive and in terms of bowling their best bowlers for longer spells up front. At the moment, their entire tactics in cricket seem to revolve around choking and stangulating the opposition into mistakes but to be champs, you gotta go out there and win matches on your own and cannot always sit and wait opposition to make mistakes or even goad them into making mistakes.. It is high time Sanga or their next captain realizes that. Still a great final and a great tournament.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
: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.
Don't let Migara know that.. He thinks that guy is the best ODI spinner in the world.. :ph34r:
 

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