Sri Lanka Must Start Identifying Players for 2019 World Cup – Kumar Sangakkara
Former Sri Lanka skipper, Kumar Sangakkara has asked the Sri Lankan team and the management to rethink about the strategies for the 2019 World Cup, especially after the Islanders put up a terrible show in the Asia Cup 2018.
Coming into the tournament, Sri Lanka was the most successful side in the Asia Cup with India. However, this particular tournament tuned out to be a nightmare for Lankans, as they had to bow out of Asia Cup 2018 after suffering humiliating defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Despite an impressive performance by the bowlers, it was their batsmen which let them down in both the matches. Lasith Malinga made a splendid return bagging four wickets in his return match against Bangladesh. However, Sri Lanka allowed Bangladesh to recover from a hopeless situation and post a competitive score on the board.
Meanwhile, Kumar Sangakkara feels Sri Lanka needs to get the right strategy in place. He thinks the larger picture should always be the 2019 World Cup.
“We need to find out whether we have the right strategy in place. Whether we should change it or stick to it. Results on tours are important, but the larger picture should be the 2019 World Cup. We need to have a settled batting lineup. We need to identify the openers, identify who our number three is going to be and who is going to bat at number six and things like that.”
Kumar Sangakkara feels Sri Lanka must identify the talent for 2019 World Cup
“Those players whom we have identified need to be given an extended run. You need to have specific chats with players explaining what is expected of each of them,” Sangakkara said.
However, Sri Lanka opted to change a few combinations for the Asia Cup 2018, but it backfired. They decided to send Kusal Mendis at the top of the order while demoting Kusal Perera to number four. Mendis was pretty ordinary and got dismissed without bothering the scorers in both the matches.
“The confidence levels drop if they are moved up and down. You need to identify the engine room of the batting lineup from number one to four and others should play around them. With two new balls, your openers are vital. Number three and four are very important as well, and they have to shoulder most of the burden in batting.
“Then, of course, number five and six, they need to be able to accelerate and, in case if there’s a top order collapse, they should be able to steady the innings. They need to clarify the roles and have an idea what is required of each player,” Sangakkara said.
Sangakkara stated Sri Lanka needs to build a culture and prepare a team strategy. He also feels the team needs to persevere with the players and not opt for wholesome changes as the 2019 World Cup is just around the corner.
“Why they have inconsistent results is that they are yet to get settled. They need to build a team culture, a team strategy. They need to persevere with a set of players consistently for the biggest tournament in cricket,” Kumar Sangakkara added.