Lahiru Thirimanne’s career has been a huge disappointment. The man destined to take up the number three role from Kumar Sangakkara, the left-handed top order batsman has failed to live up to expectations.
Thirimanne looked comfortable and confident batting around the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. But soon with the big three gone, he failed to soak up the pressure and deliver. In recent times, he has got out trying to play aggressive shots attempting to get the field spread. But that has been hardly his game. He had delivered for Sri Lanka time and again when he played the anchor role.
In the 2015, World Cup, Thirimanne was the third highest run getter for Sri Lanka with 300 runs to his name at an average of 50. Only Sangakkara and Dilshan had scored more than him. But from thereon, it all went downhill for Thirimanne.
Technically, he still remains a sound batsman. He will bat at number three with four hundreds and 20 half-centuries to his credit he has a decent record in ODIs. He is also considered someone who does well when conditions are tough. The fact that all four of his ODI hundreds were scored away from home is an evidence for that.
He has been highly regarded by the country’s cricketing fraternity with all captains from Anura Tennekoon to Aravinda de Silva speaking so highly of him. The selectors have batted him at all the positions from number one to eight and not allowing him to settle down has probably affected him adversely. Finally the management and selectors seem to have settled on the fact that he should be their number three.
Since being recalled to the side in August 2017, he has played ten ODIs and scored four half-centuries. He is still 29.
Thirimanne's presence during the World Cup ensures Sri Lanka will not have to worry about too many batting collapses as he is capable of batting through the innings coming in at number three.