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AVISHKA FERNANDO – Hard hitter upfront whose world cup ton should be a plus mark

Overlooked for the recent series against Bangladesh due to his failure to pass the 2km fitness test, Avishka Fernando is back with a bang in the squad against England for his aggressive approach as a hard hitting opening batsman; of course, having met the new fitness standards set out.

Having made his ODI debut in 2016 against Australia at Dambulla and T20 debut in 2019 against South Africa, Avishka has proved to be one of the consistent finds for Sri Lanka in the biff bang game. He was one of two batsmen to score a century in the 2019 Cricket World Cup against the West Indies, and has a highest ODI score of 127 with 3 half centuries.  Having made his ODI debut in 2016 against Australia at Dambulla and T20 debut in 2019 against South Africa, Avishka Fernando has aggregated 653 runs at a modest average of 36.27 with a strike rate of 96.59. From 15 T20 appearances, he has scored 195 runs with highest of 37 averaging 13.92.  in a career counting 18 appearances. 

While his scrappy T20 performances  might push him to a back seat for the 3-match T20 series, certainly Avishka will very much be in the starting line up upfront in the batting for the ODI series and it will be interesting whether the tour management would continue with the Danushka Gunathilaka-Kusal Janith Perera opening combination against Bangladesh and toy with the idea of slotting Fernando in the pivotal No.3 slot where young Pathum Nissanka failed to deliver in the lost series in Dhaka. His world cup ton would certainly be a plus mark to his measuring big in the selection equation.

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