Sri Lanka record whitewash against Bangladesh for the fifth time in history

Series Review- Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh- ODI series: Sri Lanka won the series 3-0

Source: Official SLC Twitter

The history: Bangladesh cricket have offered Sri Lankan cricket very fond memories so far. Sri Lankan cricket have managed to record 13 ODI series white washes and unsurprisingly almost 50% of those came against Bangladesh. They now enjoy 84.78% win-loss ratio against Bangladesh (best of oppositions with 40 games or more played).

The series: This particular series was a perfect opportunity to bring back the celebrations to home after a horrible terror attack and relatively poor performance at World Cup. Sri Lankan cricket were set to celebrate the careers of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara. The team ensured to not let them go without a parting gift, as they racked a whitewash to remember.

After surprising everyone with the selections of Vandersay and Jeevan Mendis for World Cup, Sri Lankan selectors made interesting choices with the inclusion of Akila Dananjaya back into the squad. They are included Wanindu Hasaranga and Shehan Jayasuriya, calling out the focus in the years to come.

On the other side, Bangladesh had to pick and choose the players for their first engagement after a wonderful World Cup. Shakib-Al-Hasan, the best player not only for Bangladesh, but also for the whole tournament was rested (He totally deserved the break). They also were without the skipper Mashrafe Mortaza owing to the side strain. This meant the senior most player in the side, Tamim Iqbal was asked to lead the side and it didn’t go well for anyone.

Sri Lanka: As the board was busy picking up next coach of the side, the team were focused on the things that mattered even more for them, their individual performances. Among the top 6 run getters in the series, Sri Lanka have 5 players. This tells a lot about how the team dominated their opposition.

Major positives for the side:

  1. Angelo Mathews’ return to form. He will be the back bone of the side as they look forward to build the muscle around it.
  2. Too early but they did a good job with all the young generation taking that responsibility. “A team that could be worked with”
  3. Avishka Fernando shows the promise.

Things to ponder upon:

  1. Their bowling looks like an unsettled unit. They need to really focus on five-six player pool who could potentially be valuable in the near future
  2. All-rounders Dananjaya de Silva and Perera needs to step up. A replacement to Perera seems like a necessity now.

Bangladesh: I am going to cut a slack for Tamim Iqbal to start with. The captaincy was shoved on him, it appears like, not because he didn’t like it but because the timing is weird. He had been in horrid form and the captaincy was just going to add to his troubles. If this was a short term idea, then Mushfiqur would have been a better choice to lead the side. The man in form, with captaincy experience, ideal. Isn’t it? Unless, he himself opted not to take it up.

Major positives for the side:

  1. Mushfiqur Rahim continues to deliver again, and again, and again. The best player in the side by a mile.
  2. Shafiul Islam looked to be the player to nurture, if Mortaza’s time comes soon.

Things to ponder upon:

  1. Disappointing no responsibility is being taken by the senior players”
  2. Soumya Sarkar is the second best wicket taker in the side. (with all due respect for him, he is still a part timer).
  3. What is wrong with Mahmadullah?

Upcoming series:

Sri Lanka welcome New Zealand for a month long tour starting 14th August.

Bangladesh have long to ponder before their tour to India in November.

FPL Draft One

New Premier League season is upon us. This also means we once again get the chance to be a fantasy premier league maniac. My credibility at FPL has nothing great to boast about. But, I love the whole process.

So, with almost one week to go, here is my first draft:

Goal Keepers: Sticking to my underlying principle of keeping the Goal Keepers consistent all through the season. I went ahead with the premier choice of Ederson (MCI-6 mil). Hopefully, he stays fit through out the season. This obviously would mean I pick a 4 million as the second choice goal keeper. I went ahead with Button, for no specific reason other than the fact that he comes at 4 mil.

Defenders: For a long time, I was not so comfortable to pay premium for the defenders. But, given the scenarios, most of the defenders get themselves more forward on the pitch . My criteria was to pick players who provides point beyond the regular clean sheets. So, Van Djik (6.5 mil) and Alexander-Arnold (7.0 mil) from Liverpool will be joined by Laporte (6.5 mil) from Manchester City. I am extremely impressed with what Lundstram (4 mil) did at the championship and the pre-season so far. Given that he fits into the profile of being the midfielder marked as defender. It was not a difficult choice. Kelly (4.0 mil) is more an enabler, any contributions from him will be good.

Midfielders: Given the investment I made at the back, I am left with limited options but I was to make sure that I have enough to be confident. So, I picked Mo Salah (12.5 mil) and Sterling (12 mil) to pair up with Tielemans (6 mil) from Leicester being the third midfielder. That would make it 30.5 million spent on three midfielders (30% of the budget available). Dendoncker (4.5 mil) from Wolves will be more than just an enabler as he is expected to get starts for Wolves, he will be a part of my starting xi too. Stephens (4.5 mil) from Brighton will be the other 4.5 midfielder to complete the midfielders quota.

Forwards: The compromises in the midfield helped to enable complete 4-4-2 formation with Kane (11 mil) and King (6.5 mil) from Spurs and Bournemouth respectively will start. Greenwood from Manchester United showed he could get some minutes as the season progresses. But nevertheless, not much is expected of a 4.5 mil striker either way.

The Squad will be a mix of premium players and enablers with no middle ground.

Here is how the team looks right now: