The Roar
The Roar

Pinidu Chandrasekera

Roar Rookie

Joined March 2019







Student from Melbourne. Biggest passions are cricket, AFL, football and politics. Schools special panellist on ABC's flagship current affairs program Q&A; guest newspaper reviewer on ABC News Breakfast and former Junior Correspondent for FoxSports Media Academy.



You’re right I definitely should’ve included it. For some reason it was in my memory as being last year so it didn’t occur to me as I was writing this.

Completely agree it was equal to if not better than Stokes’ innings at Leeds.

Are you not entertained? A look back at cricket in 2019

Steve Hocking’s comments were ludicrous, show how out of the touch AFL HQ are with fans, and are rightly dismissed in this clever article. BUT, there is a difference between the booing of Gaz vs the booing of Pendles. I’m a big subscriber to the idea that “what happens on the field, stays on the field” and booing players between sirens has and always will be part of what makes the atmosphere of this great game.

Taking the Pendles booing incident in isolation, to not take a moment to consider that this was the presentation of the ANZAC day medal was downright ignorant on the part of Essendon fans. The ANZAC Day clash has always transcended footy to become a powerful symbol of remembrance (teams running through the joint banner, pre-match observance, ANZAC day medal etc). Yes, the fans were upset about umpiring and emotions were high, but the TV coverage clearly showed that the umpires had already left the field by that point (to a lovely reception which I have no issue with) – but surely a bit of respect isn’t too much to ask for…

Buckley knows that the boos weren’t a personal attack at Pendlebury, and while he said “shame on anyone who boos a champion”, if you listen to his entire speech you’ll understand his rebuke was aimed primarily at the fact Essendon fans didn’t respect the occasion, hence his poignant words of gratitude to our veterans and his old man. Of course I’m not suggesting for a second that the Bombers intentionally disrespected veterans, but they certainly did themselves no favours on Thursday afternoon.

Booing cannot be banned. Booing should never be banned. But just like fans have a right to boo, they have a right to be criticised: because my word Essendon fans, the shenanigans during that post-match presentation was uncouth and pretty damn low.

Shame on anyone who's cheered a champion

Having only played seven games that season, Sidebottom wouldn’t have been too hopeful of selection. The ironic thing is that from Goggin’s perspective, the area which Geelong were lacking in was the role that Sidebottom would’ve filled had he played.

Sidey's corner: A tale of footy folklore

Turns out there wasn’t much that separated the top three sides Carlton, Collingwood and Geelong that season. It was another case of Pies falling short at the final hurdle, perhaps if Sidey had played in the prelim and Geelong progressed to the GF they might’ve had another premiership under their belt.

Sidey's corner: A tale of footy folklore

The likes of Dhoni, Kohli etc receive God-like status within India, and this illusion of divinity clearly gets to their head. It’s not a good look and unhealthy for the spirit of the game – no player is, and no player ever should be bigger than the game. As long as they are placed on such a superficial pedestal by the Indian media and general public, their petulant attitudes will continue.

Dhoni stepped over the mark but the no-ball rule must change

Didn’t include RJ as I hadn’t seen too much of him myself compared to others like the duo at Derby. However you seem to have a good grasp of his strengths Josh, and I certainly agree that the right back flank has become a bit of issue of late.

Is Chelsea's transfer ban a blessing in disguise?

The Pies will be given a genuine run for their money tonight I reckon. One thing that they need to fix heading into tonight is the chemistry in the front two thirds of the ground. They’ve been far too inefficient going forward over the last two weeks, and last Friday against the Dogs they managed to win ugly but were made to work a lot harder for it than they should’ve.

Have a feeling we might see Jaidyn Stephenson step up tonight, he’s been very quiet so far in 2019 and another poor showing would have Bucks considering a stint in the VFL.

Brisbane Lions vs Collingwood Magpies: AFL Thursday night forecast

Cheers mate, much appreciated!

Is Chelsea's transfer ban a blessing in disguise?

100%. Heroes and role models should be admired for not what they do, but how/why they do it and the qualities they personify. These 18-year-old’s were drafted to play football, modelling behaviour for the next generation of sports fans isn’t part of their job description. It’s the players responsibility to decide how they wish to present themselves and the clubs will keep them in line as they see fit.

Should footy players be role models?

Cheers for the feedback Paul, I guess your probably right in that I’m placing too much faith in football fans becoming more understanding with what they write online. While not a good look on the game, Dusty’s gesture definitely doesn’t deserve any disciplinary action, and as you point out there’s many similar incidents which can be dismissed as on-field sledging between opposition players.

My main goal here was to dismiss the idea that all players have a responsibility to be role models because to become a role model is a status which must be earned through building one’s reputation. So while I have no problem with DM being criticised for not representing his club in an ideal manner, to criticise him for setting a bad example is pointless, because whether he is an example for others to follow or not is in the eyes of the beholder.

Should footy players be role models?

Completely agree with you there Jack, the modern day news cycle is dominated by click-bait, often at the expense of those whom the reporting is about whose reputations are destroyed. In the past a player may have been able to ignore the papers or the television networks; but in the social media age, the viciousness has gone to a whole new level.

Should footy players be role models?

Of course it’s much easier to declare a tournament a run-fest or otherwise in retrospect and everything we say at this point is merely a prediction. I’m just speaking broadly based on ODI results in England over the last few years and the batting line-ups which most sides will be taking to the WC. Completely agree though that close results and a fair contest between bat and ball is what all cricket lovers will be hoping for.

Fair point re. Maxi, personally I feel that even after a big Khawaja innings where he scores 50+ Australia are still at or under the run a ball mark and that middle order consolidation is needed; whereas there are situations where Maxwell has taken the game by the scruff of the neck and turned the momentum of the game around single-handedly. Ideally of course you’d want a combination of both types of players in a balanced XI.

Shane Warne has picked his preferred World Cup squad, and it's peak Shane Warne

While I certainly agree Warnie has a history of baffling statements I don’t think this is necessarily one of them Scott. Like you, I can’t see the selectors opting for D’Arcy Short for the reasons you’ve stated, but those advocating for him have do have a valid point.

The 2019 World Cup will be a high-scoring run fest on small English grounds, and while Short might not be the best option, what pundits like Warne and Healy are looking for is a genuine match-winner. Someone with the x-factor to take the game away from the opposition and sometimes all it could take is one devastating 10-over burst. England have a whole squad of them lined up and ready to go. And while Khawaja and Handscomb are fine batsmen, they are not outright match-winners in comparison to Maxwell or even Stoinis.

So while I agree with you that Short hasn’t earned his spot on the flight to England, the reasoning behind Warnie’s selection raises a broader question which is definitely worth considering.

Shane Warne has picked his preferred World Cup squad, and it's peak Shane Warne

Wouldn’t surprise me either mate. It’s been a common theme since 2013, they’ve been up there in all the major tournaments but couldn’t go all the way – 2019 will be no different. Another runners-up or semi-final knockout before a rebuild of sorts before they host the next WC in 2023.

World Cup favourites: The hosts, the defending champions and the global juggernaut

Agreed. Pujara, Kohli and Dhoni have been so crucial to India’s success over the last few years. One suspects if they didn’t have such a good bowling attack their era would’ve ended already. Looking forward to seeing how the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill handle the international level.

World Cup favourites: The hosts, the defending champions and the global juggernaut

Thanks Paul, and those are two very fair points that you make.

Upon reflection perhaps ineffective would have been a better word compared to inexperienced. Despite being around the setup for a while, the likes David Willey, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood haven’t had much exposure to major world tournaments which is the point I was trying to make. Especially in comparison to Steyn, Philander, Boult Southee, Starc, Hazlewood etc.

The only English bowler I could see becoming bowler of the tournament is Rashid, however, he would have to play out of his skin – but I wouldn’t put it beyond him given his ability to take clusters of wickets at a time when on song and being in familiar conditions.

In terms of your second point I would regard India as the ‘early 2000’s Australia’ of the current international arena. Their record over the past decade (2011 WC win, 2013 Champions Trophy winners, 2014 World T20 Finalist, 2015 WC Semi-finalists, 2016 World T20 semi-finalists and 2017 Champions Trophy finalists) is arguably the most consistent this decade across all major short-form tournaments.

However I wouldn’t rate this decade of relative success for India as one of the great eras of domination of course. As you rightly questioned, Australia’s golden era and the West Indies domination were far superior in terms of results and the calibre of players across the board. South Africa of course have enjoyed great success in the ICC rankings and bilateral series’ but just haven’t been able to translate potential into results at major world tournaments – boasting arguably the unluckiest WC record in the game.

World Cup favourites: The hosts, the defending champions and the global juggernaut

Agree wholeheartedly with Paul here. A well written and balanced piece Arnab to reflect the context around the Tigers team. Your brief yet poignant reflection on recent events keeps the game we love in perspective.

My Cricket World Cup squad: Bangladesh

Interesting take. There are a couple of selections I’d change though. Firstly, Asela Gunaratne suffered an injury in the Bangladesh Premier League and due to his unavailability in the upcoming domestic provincial tournament, he has been ruled out of contention along with Dasun Shanaka.

Dimuth Karunaratne hasn’t played a ODI since 2015; add on his recent drunk driving charges and his selection is unlikely at best, let alone to be named captain. Matthews and Chandimal are back in the selection fray, with the former an almost certain inclusion since his recovery from a hamstring complaint. Can’t see Sadeera getting a spot, he just hasn’t been able to prove himself in any of the chances he has received so far at international level. Danushka Gunathilaka has recovered from his injury concerns and is almost a certain inclusion given the troubles at the top of the order.

As you rightly point out, Sandakan has struggled recently and with De Silva in the squad as a batting all-rounder who can bowl handy spin – I can see him losing his spot for the pace of Dushmantha Chameera given the English conditions.

Changes I would make to your predicted squad:
OUT: Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dimuth Karunaratne, Asela Gunaratne, Lakshan Sandakan
IN: Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal/Upul Tharanga, Dushmantha Chameera

I can definitely see the selectors opting for experience at the World Cup, particularly when taking the recent batting struggles into consideration. Tharanga and Chandimal are old heads who’ve been involved in multiple world cup campaigns and won’t be overawed by the occasion – one of the duo will get the nod subject to form at the upcoming provincial tournament. Oshada Fernando was very impressive in both Test and ODI format during the recent tour of South Africa, being one SL’s most consistent batsmen in what turned out to be a disastrous tour for the shorter formats.

My Sri Lanka World Cup squad

Warner’s talent and ability was never the issue. Add his current form in the IPL and his case for selection becomes compelling as you rightly point out Oscar. But perhaps we shouldn’t overlook some of the other potential issues from DW returning to the Aussie setup. Last year there were reports (mainly British and Australian tabloids I’ll admit) that Warner had “gone rogue”, left the team WhatsApp group and fueled a ‘rift’ within the side. While these were never 100% confirmed, the opinions of Warner’s teammates towards his return are also huge factors. Professional sport nowadays is as much about the mindset and mentality of players as it is about skill and practice. And with Cam Bancroft pointing the finger directly at Warner for the incident in his FoxSports interview last year I’d be interested to see how many (if any) of the other players still feel any animosity towards DW and as a result have reservations about his return. Any break in team morale could be a silent killer to the Aussies current form.

Warner 2.0 is a new man

Pies won’t stick with this approach over the long term, it was a smash and grab tactic designed for the tigers which paid off. Feel as though Dimma’s media game will get a solid workout over the coming weeks. Expect the porkies to be out in force as he handles Riewoldt’s injury, Grimes’ suspension and the media pressure which will go up another notch

How Buckley dismantled the Tigers' manic press

Fair point, although I don’t think the Tigers will reach the heights of 2017 given their current form and injury concerns. Also I can’t see the Pies adopting this game plan on a regular basis, I feel it might just have been deployed to beat the Tigers – won’t be surprised if Bucks returns to the free-flowing centre corridor run and carry next Saturday

How Buckley dismantled the Tigers' manic press

Cheers Terry, definitely Greenwood’s tag had a massive impact. Only reason I didn’t include it here is because it was widely predicted by the media in the built up to the game while the Pies new game plan took many of us by surprise.

How Buckley dismantled the Tigers' manic press

The Aussies recent patch of ODI form is a testament to what can be achieved when you back players in and give them a consistent run in the side. While Finch’s century had its fortunate moments, it could be a massive turning point in his form leading into the World Cup. At the end of the day, a century on foreign soil would do his confidence a world of good regardless of how he got there, and it will give him confidence to lead the side with more conviction.

The biggest beneficiary of keeping the same top 7 for three consecutive series though is Khawaja. It’s helped him deal with the off-field drama which would’ve had a massive effect on his family, and helped him overcome a poor history in the sub-continent.

My only question mark is Carey who can’t seem to find some form to sure up his spot in the batting lineup – can definitely see him handing the gloves over to Pete Handscomb to make way for Smith/Warner to return.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton