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January 5, 2024
New SL ODI Captain Kusal Mendis airs confidence of winning

Sri Lanka Cricket

Zimbabwe veteran captain Craig Ervine says slow wickets should be an incentive for our batsmen

By Srian Obeyesekere

Both captains, Sri Lanka’s newly appointed ODI captain, Kusal Mendis, and Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine portraying significant old and new blends respectively, faced Friday’s media conference on an optimistic note fielding questions to fronting the 3-match ODI series between the two countries, at the R, Premadasa International Stadium auditorium.

Mendis, an attacking batsman aged 28 years, fronted an unfazed outlook to taking over the leadership from his predecessor Dasun Shanaka following Sri Lanka’s world cup debacle. He was optimistic of the fairly new look composition following certain changes airing that he was quite satisfied with the top order batting. “We performed fairly well during the world cup and I believe that we should gel against Zimbabwe going into tomorrow’s day/night.”

He said that there would be no big changes in the batting. “Upfront, there should be a change in the opening combination with me moving down to my favourite No.3 position.”

He revealed that former captain Dasun Shanaka was very likely to make the eleven batting at No. 7.

“Although Dasun was not among the runs in the world cup, back home he has been scoring in the domestic top bracket games and I believe therefore he will be back in the reckoning while among the down the line new faces there would be three options to select from with Nuwanidu Fernando, Sahan Arachchige and Janith Liyanage whose availability would depend on the nature of the pitch when the final eleven would be decided,” he commented.

Of the recall of leg sopinner Jeffrey Vandersay, Mendis was of the view that he had vastly improved in his bowling and was in the running.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s veterarn captain, 38-year old Craig Irvine said that his side hoped to reverse fortunes of the 47-12 loss ratio to Sri Lanka. “We are confident and we look to impressing on Sri Lankan wickets which are slower in comparison to the fast wickets in our region. It will enable us not to rush into shots and be selective which is a positive factor we would be looking to take our batting forward.”

He said that the side’s batting would mainly revolve around the top three while he would be the old soldier lending that much of experience he has acquired over the years.

“It is in the bowling department that we will have to summon our best against Sri Lanka.

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