Sri Lanka did not go the distance in the on going seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, but the measure of the potential outlook of the new look side which did cause problems to stronger sides like favourites Engalnd and South Africa in defeat is written in the success of their champion bowler Wanindu Hasaranga in topping the mega tournament as the leading bowler so far as well as topping the ICC T20 top bowler rankings with a haul of 14 wickets. By this stupendous feat from seven matches, the magical 24-year old leg spinner stormed his way to ousting South African Tabraisz Shamsi from the top spot. It has effectively been a euphoric milestone for self and country in a reading that all is not lost in Sri Lanka’s T20 cricket that has displayed the glitter of a new look young side that has played the type of aggressive cricket against the odds versus more experienced teams. He has a tally of 50 T20 international wickets from 32 appearances and 30 innings averaging 13.88 with a 4/9 best in an innings and best match haul at a strike rate of 13.2.
For a youngster who made his T20 international debut in 2017, Hasaranga’s ascension in that 3-year period has been phenomenal. If his leg spin repertoire has improved by the day to stumping batsmen, he does pack a hard-hitting leverage with the bat though he could not provide the desired sparkle in the world cup except for his match winning 47-ball 71 against Ireland when the side was in a spot of trouble at 3 for 8.
The all-round prodigy from Galle has certainly emerged as one of Sri Lanka’s future torchbearers of the game given the all-round zip he derives as a new look Lankan outfit mount the future.