The last time Farveez Maharoof played an International match for Sri Lanka was in March of 2012. So, after four years of being out of Sri Lanka’s contention for selection, the right-arm medium pacer is back in national side. Maharoof has been selected in Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for England series.
Presently, Sri Lankan cricket team lacks the punch in the present bowling setup in absence of Lasith Malinga. The young new-ball bowlers have not yet been expressive in terms of performance. With the recall of Maharoof, it seems Sri Lankan cricket board is looking to inject some experience in the bowling department. The recall suggests that they want Maharoof to play the same role that Ashish Nehra played for India in the last three series.
Ashish Nehra has been influential in India’s emergence as an excellent bowling unit since his comeback in the team at the age of 37. Except the amount of wickets he has got for India, his presence in the dressing room has affected the young bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran and Hardik Pandya.
Had he not been in the bowling setup, leading them, Indians would not have been able to negate a few losses. Bangladesh WT20 win is a testament for the same.
Maharoof is 6 years younger than Nehra and has been performing extraordinarily for his domestic side Nondescripts cricket club. In the 2015-16 season, he took 16 wickets in 5 matches at a spectacular average of 6.31. Sri Lankan cricket board could not have asked for a better time to call Maharoof in Sri Lanka’s outfit when there is no senior fast bowler to mentor them.
With him at the helm, Sri Lanka would hope Maharoof does for them what Ashish Nehra does for India.
Selection of off-spinner Suraj Randiv and Batsman Upul Tharanga also indicates that Sri Lankan selectors have realized the importance of senior player’s presence in the team. They have come to know that a mix of youth and experience is the combination Sri Lanka should go with in the upcoming tournaments.