Is Thilan Samaraweera Ruining Sri Lanka Batsmen Careers?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Thilan Samaraweera, the batting coach of Sri Lanka national team, has been insisting on certain players to change their batting style and grip, Cricket Age reliably learns. The most shocking fact is that when one particular batsman refused to change his grip, he was altogether dropped from all the formats!

According to sources, in last few months, Samaraweera has insisted Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya De Silva to change their batting style and grip.

Asela, in particular, was a revelation in 2017 in all formats of the game for Sri Lanka. A middle order batsman with shots all around the ground and ability to change the gears according to the situation, he had emerged as the most valuable player for Sri Lanka.

At SLC awards 2016/17, he was adjudged ODI allrounder of the year, T20I batsman of the year, T20I allrounder of the year and most promising cricketer award winner.

However, now he has completely been discarded and the reason is shocking. According to sources close to Asela, Samaraweera told him to change his batting grip, But Asela refused to do so, as he felt that he has been successful as a batsman all his life with his own preferred batting grip. After that incident, Asela has not played a single game for Sri Lanka!

Kusal Mendis, on the other hand, agreed to change his batting grip and has been brought back into the national squad. However his last four ODI Score reads 0,0,0 and 5.

Dhananjaya De Silva, meanwhile, has been told to play the so called ‘anchor’ role in ODI cricket. However, he has flopped big time, as his natural game, even in test cricket, is always to play his shots.

In one of the ODI against South Africa recently, when Dhananjaya was left with no other option than to play his shots while batting with the tail, he smashed three sixes and had posted his highest score.

Though they have always been potential test Star, both Mendis and Dhananjaya had developed themselves as a good ODI batsmen as well in 2017. Asela was the top performer for Sri Lanka during the same period. Now, Mendis and Dhananjaya are struggling to find their form, while Asela is not even in the team!

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N Krishnamurthy