Former Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jawardene has taken to Twitter to express disappointment in Sri Lanka Cricket’s axing of young Kusal Mendis for the 3-match Test series against India scheduled to begin later this month.
In a tweet posted on the 2nd of November, just prior to the official announcement of the squad, Jayawardene said,
“Don’t understand how Kusal Mendis is not in the test squad? Even he is not playing should be in India. That’s how young players learn.”
Mendis had been hailed as Sri Lanka’s next big batting sensation when he made a magnificent 176 against Australia in Pallekelle. The knock was identified by many as the catalyst to the series as Sri Lanka went on to win the game and eventually whitewash the then No.1 ranked Aussies 3-0.
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Since then Mendis has made 1102 runs an average of 34.43 in 16 games. A string of poor performances saw the 22-year-old left out of the ODI and T20I teams sporadically and being seen as more of a Test specialist.
During the most recently concluded 2-Test series against Pakistan, Mendis made scores of 10, 18, 1, 29. His last score of any significance came in the 2nd Test against India at the SSC in August of this year, when he made 110. Yet again the knock came when Sri Lanka had their backs against the wall as he put on 191 runs alongside Dimuth Karunaratne with the team following on.
Jayawardene was quick to point out the fact that this ton too came not too long ago and against the same opposition against who Mendis will not feature this time around.
Mendis’ place will most likely be taken by Lahiru Thirimanne, who has played just 4 Tests in the last two years, making 94 runs at an average of 13.42.