Charith Asalanka Stresses Need for Batting-Friendly Pitches in Sri Lanka After World Cup Experience
Charith Aslanka top-scored for Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the three-match series against Afghanistan. He missed out on a well-deserved century as he was stranded on 97 not out with nine fours and two sixes. All the Sri Lankan batsmen from No. 3 to No. 6 scored half-centuries and after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first, the team's total was 308/6. Charith Aslanka spoke about the pitches after the match and asked for such batting-friendly pitches in the subcontinent.
Sri Lanka have won the series after winning the first two ODIs. The first ODI was more memorable as Lanka got their first double century in ODI cricket in Pathum Nissanka who scored an unbeaten 210 off 139 balls with 20 fours and eight sixes in his innings. Sri Lanka won the first ODI by 42 runs and the second ODI by 155 runs as Wanindu Hasaranga took a four-for with the ball.
Charith Aslanka talked about how the pitches in Sri Lanka made it a challenge to post a total of more than 300 but concerns about slower pitches looking at this series against Afghanistan have been earnestly brushed aside. The ODI series is being played in Pallakkale and the pitches have made three 300+ totals in the two matches played in the series.
“After we returned from the World Cup, the first thing we talked about was the pitches. We were generally used to pitches where scoring more than 300 was a challenge. But if we take the pitches played so far in this series, those concerns seem to have been addressed to a large extent," said Charith Aslanka after a brilliant 97* in the second ODI.
“Even today, they [Afghanistan] were in a good place in terms of their batting but they were trying to pick up the pace, I think we bowled well to get them out. But the pitches have to be like this, because when we go to play international tournaments we usually get wickets where you need to score more than 300.
“So to do that we need to practice in our home conditions. If we do more of that, it will be easier for us to participate in ICC tournaments. I think our bowlers are also starting to learn how to bowl on good batting wickets.
Sri Lanka had a terrible ODI World Cup campaign in India
Sri Lanka finished ninth out of ten teams in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 and were terrible throughout the competition. They lost to the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the World Cup and only won against two teams which were England and the Netherlands. Indian pitches are generally batting friendly with little seam movement under the lights and those mammoth 300+ totals that were challenged in Sri Lanka were common in India and considered chaseable.