Young batting prodigy Sadeera Samarwikrama has become the 185th ODI player for Sri Lanka, as he made his debut in the fourth match against Pakistan at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, today. He replaced middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedera, who accidentally injured his eye during the third ODI.
Samarwikrama was not part of the original squad, but had been included after the Sri Lanka's losses in the first two matches of the series.
The 22-year old right hander has been regarded as the next big thing in Sri Lanka cricket for a while now. After taking domestic cricket by storm, he made his test debut in the second test against Pakistan recently, which was Sri Lanka's first ever day-night test.
He impressed immediately, as he scored stroke filled 38 runs in his first international innings and formed a Swift 68-runs stand with opener Dimuth Karunaratne. His inside-out drives particularly attracted many cricket fans and was described similar to that of Legendary Mahela Jayawardene Stroke play. Rameez Raja, Pakistani legend and a commentator Now, has said that Sri Lanka have found another Mahela, on TV.
Samarwikrama inclusion will provide a much needed boost to struggling Sri Lanka batting line up. Poor batting has the main cause of Sri Lanka continues flop show in ODI cricket, as team hasn't crossed 250 mark in last eight matches. Wednesday defeat was Sri Lanka's tenth consecutive in the ODI cricket, worst ever in their history.
His strike rate in domestic cricket in all formats is especially impressive. He has a strike rate of 81.42 in first class cricket, 88.19 in list A matches and 91.7 in a single test he has played so far. The higher strike rate indicates he is a free flowing batsman.