I want to play more matches for my country, says Charith Asalanka
Sri Lankan cricket hero Charith Asalanka came to the limelight at the T20 world cup. He is always a hard working cricketer and his aim is to become a regular player of the National team. He said “ I was waiting for five years and did a lot of hard work to come into the national side,”. “It has paid off and I just want to work hard till my career ends and want to win more matches for my country.”.His dedication and commitment was always very high to enter the National side .”
This is my first world cup with the National team . Actually before this world cup I hadn’t played a lot of T20 cricket . I asked senior players questions and wanted to improve by the day”.
He paid tribute to his all coaches who gave fine guidance to build up his career. The prolific stroke maker reminds his teammates.” This is a team game and without them I can’t get success”. Pathum Nissanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa the two players had match winning partnerships with Asalanka during this world cup and it was highly successful to build up the innings. He is a very intelligent batsman always playing his part according to the match situation.
The promising left hander Charith Asalanka had played just three T20Is before this World Cup but has now made a name for himself with his contributions at the top of the order. He was adjudged man of the match in two matches against Bangladesh and West Indies out of five super 12 matches and this was a huge achievement for this young player .
Asalanka the former National under 19 skipper gave a brilliant batting display during this T20 world cup which ended with him being Sri Lankas highest scorer 231 runs with two half centuries. He is only second to England’s Jos Buttler . Actually he couldn’t find the place at the first two world cup qualifying matches and had to sit on the bench but this 24 year old stylish stroke maker earned a slot against Ireland in place of
experiences Dinesh Chandimal who was not in good form .
Asalanka had a chance to play number three batter which is his most successful position from school level . However most of the time he had to come very early in the innings as opener got out very early .When the
open batsman departs very early some times very first over or second over its always make big pressure for number three batsman but this young player never had any pressure . He goes for the shots during the power play to increase the total and that was his main part .He always wanted to play his natural game which the secret of his success .Before this world cup he was the man of the series in the South Africa ODI series which gave big boost to Asalanka .
At the first super 12 game against Bangladesh Asalanka scored a career best T 20 inniings of unbeaten 80 runs in 49 balls with five fours and equal number of sixers also maintain 163.3 strike rate .He also pun on a 86 runs fifth wicket stand with Bhanuka Rajapaksa at this game which was the best fifth wicket partnership at this world cup .
Asalanka ended with his second half century against West Indies scoring 68 runs in 41 balls which consisted eight fours and a six with a strike rate of 165.85 and both these occasions he won the man of the
match awards .He was able to maintain 147 .13 strike rate at this world cup and was able to hit 23 boundaries and nine sixes.
Asalanka’ s Innings against West Indies was very attractive at the Abu Dhabi Stadium. He and Pathum Nissanka added 91 runs for the second wicket in 61 balls and that paved the way to get challenging total of 189 runs and West Indies bowlers were treated with disdain
The way Asalanka built up his Innings very well and he is getting more mature .He has shots all over the field .His shot selection and timing was always exciting to see said International commentators..
Asalanka’ , Wanindu Hasaranga and Kamindu Mendis were in the same team at Richmond and in 2016 Asalanka was National under 19 Captain and both Hasaranga and Mendis were his teammates at this youth world cup played in Bangladesh.However both Hasaranga and Mendis received National cap before Asalanka.
It has been a fairly long wait for Asalanka, to break into the big stage, having top-scored for Sri Lanka,with 275 runs in six innings in the 2016 under 19 world cup in Bangladesh .But he got achance to play for Sri Lanka emerging team as well as Sri Lanka A team before being selected for the National side and his performance from each level paved the way for National team entrance at the right time.
Kumar Sangakkara was the best choice after master batsman Aravinda de Silva for the most important number three position . Asalanka has already proved he is the best choice after Sanga for the number three position He is going to be anasset for National team in the future.