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Avishka Fernando, making use of the experience

Avishka Fernando, beyond an iota of doubt, is the future of Sri Lankan batting.

 

The big impact

He had played a handful of ODI matches before the 2019 ODI World Cup, having made his debut against Australia at Dambulla in August 2016 but he really came of age in the 2019 ODI world cup.

He made 74 runs in his World Cup debut against Scotland in Edinburgh. Fernando hit it off with a brilliant century against West Indies in the world cup and has played some terrific knocks from then on.

He recently finished as the second highest run scorer in the Lanka Premier League and helped his side Jaffna Kings lift the Lanka Premier League 2021 trophy.

 

Bouncing back

Despite consistent performance, Avishka Fernando, one of Sri Lanka’s brightest limited-overs batting prospects, was left out of the squad for Sri Lanka’s first two series in the Caribbean, and in Bangladesh in 2021 after failed fitness tests, which coach Mickey Arthur reckoned was non-negotiable for players.

Fernando returned with a bang with scores of 33, 50, 76 and 118 in four ODI innings upon his return.

 

Fitness recalibrated

“I missed a couple of tours because of my fitness, and I tried to learn from that,” Fernando said after a sensational comeback. “I managed to improve my fitness. Because of that it’s actually much easier for me to bat and to field. I see a big improvement there. I didn’t do a lot of specialist fielding training, but I think when you improve your fitness, everything becomes easier. I think a lot of the improvements to my game are just down to better fitness now.”

“Since we were 15 or 16 we played a lot of cricket together,” Fernando said. “We know each other’s games really well. When he’s batting, I might have something to say to him, and when I’m batting he’ll talk to me as well. There’s a good connection between us. When he and I got together, we’d lost three wickets, so we talked about batting together until the 41st or 42nd over. We knew that then it would be easier for the hitters lower down. When I started batting, I felt it was a good pitch to bat on, and we targeted a high score.”

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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