He had made 24 entries without fifty. His four most recent entries included three ducks and a score of 5. But it was the intensity that Kusal Mendis brought to his fielding that made the management of the team as good as possible. Just around the corner. That was the reason why they refused to leave him for the fifth ODI.
This was what Captain Dinesh Chandimal revealed after the Sri Lankan victory of 219 DLS races over England in Colombo. Sri Lanka could have brought the experienced Upul Tharanga back to the side, after Mendis had scored 0 and 5 on his other two starts in the series, without seeing himself as the type of player Kumar Sangakkara had predicted would continue to score. 10,000 races in ODIs and Tests.
But suddenly, in this game, a fire restarted in the Mendis game. His 56 of 33 balls was not the most important hit in Sri Lanka's innings, but it was the most striking. He hit an average of 170 and scored six candies six, the most attractive of which was an imperative takeoff from Tom Curan, in 38th place.
"We looked at the Mendis field, and that was the number 1 reason we trusted him," said Chandimal, giving Mendis another chance despite the shortage of scores. "His attitude on the field was great, we know that when you have a player like that, he can get in shape very quickly, we know how good the batter is, Kusal Mendis is our future, he took that responsibility and played." well for the team. "
Fielding, in general, has been something that Chandimal has emphasized since taking the captaincy of Angelo Mathews, and in this series, Sri Lanka seems to have increased its game on that front. Previously, even in the September Asian Cup, Sri Lanka was perhaps the worst field team in any trophy they played in, possibly overtaking England in the course of this series.As a minimum, Sri Lanka was the most competent team in Tuesday's game.
"The main thing for us is to deploy," Chandimal said. "If you can maintain that energy and good attitude when you're deploying, other things fit into place. That's what we did as a team. "
As much as Sri Lanka would have loved Mendis to hit this kind of form earlier in the series, which he has done with the Tests on the horizon, it will be a special impetus for The hosts, who often look for him to see first-rate careers in turning lanes, and two other key test hitters were also among the races in this game.The same Chandimal hit 80 of 73 balls, the first time since 2016 in the He scored more than fifty better than a ball race.Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who opens the entries in ODIs, and bats in the lower middle order in Tests, scored the highest score in the series, achieving 95 the 97 deliveries.
"We had missed the series when we got here, but we had the intention of recovering the form before the T20 and the tests," Chandimal said. "I'm glad that three of our test hitters have made races today. We hope that we can have that confidence in those next two series. "