Sri Lanka Cricket made a couple of positives changes after a horrendous 2017 ahead of the tri series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe starting 13th of January 2018.
Angelo Mathews was reappointed skipper of the limited over side, Dinesh Chandimal returned to one day international cricket, Lahiru Madushanka is set for debut and Kusal Mendis was finally picked after the press conference earlier today.
Sri Lanka squad to Bangladesh (Tri Series)
Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka, Akila Dhananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga and Thisara Perera.
Moreover, Chandika Hathurusingha will make his debut as head coach of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Surprisingly, Lasith Malinga and Sadeera Samarawickrama were left out of the squad to Bangladesh.
Mathews to lead in ODI and T20 Cricket
Thisara was good against Pakistan but appointing a captain on tour-to-tour basis was not the ideal option for Sri Lanka with the world cup in sight. Besides, Angelo Mathews was tipped to lead the side after the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal would have been an option but it would have been a risk with his inconsistency as a batsman in limited over cricket.
“When I stepped down I never thought of taking over the captaincy again. But as soon as we came back from India, the president had a discussion with me. Also Hathu aiya [Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka’s new coach], and the selectors spoke to me and asked me to consider taking up the captaincy again,” said Mathews to ESPN.
“I took a few a few days to think about it, and because of a few reasons I decided to accept. We need stability running into the World Cup. We’ve had a few captains over the last few months because of injuries. The other captains did a good job, though we didn’t get the results. But going into the World Cup we need that stability,” he added.
Mendis and Chandimal’s return to ODI Cricket
Test captain Dinesh Chandimal was dropped from the ODI squad to India after rather ordinary performances throughout the year in 2017. However, he was absolutely brilliant with the bat in Test Cricket. By the end of 2017, he was promoted to 9th place in the list of top batsman in Test Cricket (ICC rankings).
In the ODIs against India, we saw the middle order collapse many times. Therefore, the inclusion of Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal may help Sri Lanka build a solid line up ahead of the World Cup.
Shehan Madushanka set for debut
Shehan Madushanka is the new boy in town with the rare skill to bowl at over 140 kmph. He caught head coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s eye in the recently concluded T10 Cricket league.
The 22 year old has played for the Sri Lanka Development Emerging Team in the past.
Speaking at the press conference earlier today, Hathurusingha said they picked young Madushanka considering the decks in England. He believes, the youngster will be upto standard in time to compete in the World Cup next year.
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