As expectations ran high as the country’s cricketers, fresh from their Asia Cup winning exploits, packed their bags Australia bound during the weekend for world cricket’s fascinating most fast moving showpiece – the abbreviated T20 World Cup, skipper Dasun Shanaka and his men were not to be carried away. Exuberant but cautious the skipper cautioned that the nation must not be bowled over by that last conquest in Asia. It was something to be firmly put to the past. Australian terrain was an entire different kettle of fish. “It will be an altogether different ball game we are treading to of varied ground conditions. It will be all about our bowlers getting into rhythm of delivering those slow bouncers, slow balls and dead straight yorkers. We will not public pressure of having won the Asia Cup to repeating the feat get under us. That is best forgotten as we mount a new hurdle to gearing to meeting new standards to go through,” he voiced on the eve of departure.
Indeed, prevailing in varying Australian conditions will be the gruelling challenge the 31-year old Lankan captain, who has begun to evolve from a gradual build up of the inocuous to being regarded as the gentle giant for his unassuming ydemeanour and approach to the game but daring will to delivering with the bat, will face. Shanaka won the esteem of critics in Dubai for batting out situations when the chips were down.
The mind set onus the Lankan skipper will be fronting is to going past eight teams including three in the qualifying stage to be in the final reckoning.