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May 14, 2024
Strong all-round composition with accent on three spinners in view of slowing wickets in USA

Sri Lanka Cricket

CHIEF SELECTOR UPUL THARANGA REASONS

By Srian Obeyesekere

Chairman of Selectors, Upul Tharanga reasoned that his selection team had got the best available mix from a tight competitive ring of an equally durable batting and bowling composition with accentuation on fielding as well in a difficult job for the upcoming T20 World cup in the two-cornered Caribbean and USA with particular accent to possibly playing three spinners in view of the very slow dropping pitches in America. He said a major part of Sri Lanka’s matches would be played in Dallas.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters, Tharanga contended that the final 15 had been selected paying attention to physical fitness and by a close comparison of players with Dhananjaya de Silva getting the nod over Bhanuka Rajapaksa for his all-round prowess while Nuwan Thusahara was being looked as a power play plug in prospect to run containing as there were enough death bowlers in the pack.

The 5-member selection committee also comprises Tharanga Paranavithana, Ajantha Mendis and Indika de Saram.

Yesterday’s confab revolved around the pros and cons of the selections with questions hurled at the chief selector mainly regarding the axing of spinners Jeffrey Vandersay and Akila Dananjaya and the overlooking of recent ODI find Janith Liyanage. Mendis was quick to touch on the question of spinner selections in saying that young Viyaskanth Viskanth had been selected as one of the four reserves recognizing the inherent promise shown by the 25-year-old who came to be known representing the Jaffna Kings in the Lanka Premier League tournaments. His call p to the IPL too had been impactful.

Meanwhile, Upul Tharanga observed that it was difficult to name Liyanage in view of the availability of some proven contenders, and that the youngster hadn’t strong credentials in the T20 format to warrnt selection although he had made his mark in the ODIs.

Overall, the batting was ran strong in the tried and tested Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis followed by young Kamindu Mendis who had made a great impact with Sadeera Samarawickrama, skipper Wanindu Hasaranga, Charith Asalanka and veteran Angelo Mathews forming the nucleus.

Sri Lanka T20 World Cup 2024:

Wanindu Hasaranga (C), Charith Asalanka (VC), Kusal Mendis (WK), Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara, Dilshan Madushanka.

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