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SL Women’s T20I skipper Chamari Atapattu to evolve pinch hitting strategy with Yasoda Mendis

Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket T20 Captain Chamari Atapattu, in an exclusive interview with Sri Lanka Cricket’s website ahead of the tour of Australia , said that it would be the ideal build up to the 2020 T20 World Cup also to be staged in Australia in February-March. With the exposure derived at that level she expected to have a constructive game plan starting from the 3-match tour versus Australia to the world cup.

“We are more familiar with the T20 shorter format of game and I must say that I derive much experience from quite a long exposure playing in almost every country. Playing in the IPL, Big Bash cricket, English League and league cricket in the top bracket countries has enabled me to evolve my game to a good extent. Accordingly, we will go out with a productive strategy,” she voiced.

Atapattu added that one of the positive steps in that direction would be the idea to boost the batting with a pinch hitting plan to be fronted by herself and Yasoda Mendis. “I intend opening the batting with Yasoda Mendis in Australia. The idea would be to fast pace the runs on the board and I believe the tour of Australia would enable us to get into the right rhythm going into next year’s T20 World Cup also in the same country. In fact Yasoda is quite an experienced player having opened with me in the 2013 world cup when we caused much problems for India and England.

Unfortunately Yasoda was out for two years through injury and is back in the fold and will be quite an asset to the team. Now 31, she packs much meat into her shot making and I’m confident that the two of us will be able to give the ideal starts for big match winning totals,” the 28-year old skipper exuded.

Indeed, Chamari Atapattu has been a tremendous influence in national women’s cricket with her hard hitting approach which earned her a record unbeaten score of 178 against Australia, and now ranks among the top 10 players in world cricket.

She went on to touch on what she believed was a strong batting composition. “Dilani Manodara, is a compact batsman at No.3 who has a good record against Australia while 19-year old Harshitha Madavi, a promising product from Anula Vidyalaya will bat at No.4. All in all, we have a good combination while the bowling department is manned by two durable pace bowlers in Udeshika Prabodhani and Achini Kulasuriya with Shashikala Siriwardena as the key all-rounder. 

The skipper aired that run making would be the key to winning. The team’s fortunes has mainly revolved around Chamari’s battingin the past. “If I get the big runs the team wins. As much as 75 per cent of the run contribution has been by me. Apart from my 178 Australia, one of my best innings was against India at home when I scored a century against India this year,” she said.

As the T20 captain Chamari Atapattu has led Sri Lanka to eight victories with the most emphatic win being against South Africa when she was adjudged the Player of the Match.

By Srian Obeyesekere

-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-

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