Shanaka dazzles in a losing effort. Sri Lanka fall in first one-dayer – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE (eLanka Sports editor)

Shanaka dazzles in a losing effort. Sri Lanka fall in first one-dayer – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE (eLanka Sports editor)

dasun shanka

Trevine Rodrigo | elankaSri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka continues his purple patch with the bat but his unbeaten century in a losing effort underlined the inconsistency of his team.

When the bowlers produce great economy the batters let them down. This time it was the opposite as the fully represented Indian batting sent them on a leather hunt after being invited to bat first. 

Chasing 373 was a daunting target from the outset. But the Sri Lanka batters for once took on the challenge but fell short by 67 runs.

Shanaka has been widely and unfairly criticised for his leadership in the shorter formats. But the purists fail to see or acknowledge his success rate which has been the best since the days of their great leaders of the past,  Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara. 

Dasun Shanaka in full flight is one of the best exponents of the game.  He can take the best bowling attacks in the world apart with his wonderful hand-eye coordination and exceptional timing as the Indians, and Australians witnessed in their recent encounters. Given more support from his team mates,  his contribution can swing things in Sri Lanka’s favour. There could also be a case to bring him in earlier to settle the middle order issues. 

After a poor showing in the T20 format,  Sri Lanka showed more fight in the first one-dayer and they can perhaps dwell on the positives to try and upset the high riding Indians.

What will be challenging for them however, will be the return to form of Indian superstar Virat Kohli who smashed a whirlwind century in the first game, making the strong Indian batting line-up more lethal and hard to contain. 

Sri Lanka’s counter has to be a focus on their batting to remain in the contest. Apart from Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis at the top, their middle order definitely need redress for their minimal input.

The sad performance in the middle has forced the Sri Lanka selectors to dig deep and include a talented youngster in Dinuth Wellelage to try to turn things around. Against one of the best bowling attacks in the world,  the Lankans will have to be on top of their game to avoid further humiliation.

Sri Lanka’s bowling is depleted without their superstars, Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara and this could be the reason they will be faced with big run chases. 

Their batsmen hold the key to any success. 

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