Kusal Mendis might be rested for the remaining series, says Avishka Gunawardene

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Kusal Mendis might be rested for the remaining series, says Avishka Gunawardene

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SportsCafe Desk

09/03/2017

Sri Laka's batting coach Avishka Gunawardene has stated that Kusal Mendis might be rested for the remaining games against India as he desperately needs a break. He has also stressed on the increasing dot balls and short partnerships that have been the main culprit for Sri Lanka’s nightmarish series.

22-year-old Kusal Mendis has been a regular in the Sri Lankan side in their series against India and has survived the injury plague that has succumbed many of their top players. However, the contagious form has affected him too, as the number 3 batsman could churn out only one century against India in the current series and in the last 10 innings.

Avishka Gunawardene believes a break would do good for the player now. Speaking to Cricbuzz, he said, “We had a chat after the last game. We feel that he is mentally drained. Nothing to do with any technical things. Seems like he will be better off with a break ahead of the next tour rather than keep playing him throughout.”

With the ODI series already out of hand and the only T20 game making no impact whatsoever to their qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the batting coach believes that a developing player like Mendis should be kept away from it.

“Personally, someone who is young like that should be playing the longer version of the game and ODI cricket. I would rather keep him out of T20 cricket. He is still a player who is developing. Obviously, we are looking at the next so many years from him,” said the batting coach.

Sri Lanka have managed to win only four of their last 20 ODIs in 2017, and their failure to post 250 on the scoreboard in any of the four ODIs against India exhibits the problem clearly. The 40-year-old sounded distraught by the poor batting display of the team and highlighted the high number of dot balls to be the main reason for the batting collapse.

Gunawardene doesn’t want to mess with their technical aspect now but has called for an improvement in the dot-ball ratio. He said, “Our dot-ball ratio in the last 12 months is something like 145 in a game. That is almost 50 percent. That is one area we have to rectify. We have told the team to improve that area. Picking up singles and rotating the strike is one option.”

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