SL to Go in With Unchanged XI – Arthur

By Anjana Kaluarachchi reporting from Abu Dhabi | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021

By Anjana Kaluarachchi reporting from Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka will be up against Ireland in the second game of round one of the T20 World Cup here in Abu Dhabi, where Coach Mickey Arthur confirmed they will go in with an unchanged XI.

 The top order has been Sri Lanka’s concern preparing for the World Cup, as well as during the first game, where all top three couldn’t score much, though Sri Lanka won’t change their winning XI for today’s game, which means Dinesh Chandimal will get another go to prove his worth. “Chandi is a very, very good player contrary to what I am reading about him. He is a fine batsman. 

He is a bit low on confidence at the moment, but I am comfortable he will regain that. He played at the pre-practice game before we came here and faced a good attack comprising Chamika Karaunaratne, Akila Dananajaya and Maheesh, and got 84 of 48 balls and really played very, very well. This is why we thought we could have him as the reserve wicket keeper. He played superb cricket shots. 

He hit them well and hit them hard. He cleared the boundaries straight a lot of the time. If we can recreate that confidence for him coming into World Cup games, we feel we got a winner. We haven’t got a particularly experienced top five, and the thing that gets him there is his experience. 

We will give Chandi another run without doubt,” said Coach Mickey Arthur yesterday before the match. During the last win against Namibia, traditionally spin heavy Sri Lanka showed their strong suit with sheer pace. Dushmantha Chameera touched 149 kmph, while Lahiru Kumara bowled over 145 kmph. Even the third seamer, Chamika Karunarathne, hit 139 kmph, which made life difficult for the opposition. 

“For us to have genuine quality bowling at over 140 kmph makes a massive difference. We know that any team doesn’t like facing them. They are genuine wicket takers. Their skills got better and better over the last five months. So, we are really comfortable having them to spearhead the attack.

 Dushmantha Chameera I feel has gone to another level. He is now genuinely world class. So, for us to have these bowlers in the bowling line up gives a real good balance of pace. Chamika brings little bit of swing and then we got our two wrist spinners. It’s almost the ideal for our bowling attack,” said Arthur. Meanwhile, former Sri Lanka Coach Graham Ford will want to make a statement as his new protégés Ireland take on Sri Lanka.

 Ford who undertook his second stint as Sri Lanka head coach in 2016 was in a rebuilding phase and led the team to a 2-1 T20 series win in early 2017 against Australia in Australia, and an impressive Champions Trophy in 2017, but later resigned from his position in the same month Ford’s relationship with SLC was understood to have been strained due to what he felt were unacceptable intrusions into team matters by the Board, where the Board’s decision to include Asanka Gurusinha in a management role as well as selector, made Ford feel less than fully in control of his team, which resulted in him parting ways with SLC with immediate effect, though his contract was initially set to end after the 2019 World Cup. 

Since then, he undertook to coach Ireland and was instrumental in assembling an experienced team who have been making waves in T20 cricket, which was seen when they registered an easy win against the Dutch on Monday, and are now eyeing to seal their place in the main draw. SL Team: 1. Kusal Perera, 2. Pathum Nissanka, 3. Dinesh Chandimal, 4. Avishka Fernando, 5. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6. Dasun Shanaka (C), 7. Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, 8. Chamika Karunarathne, 9. Maheesh Theekshana, 10. Dushmantha Chameera, 11. Lahiru Kumara

By Anjana Kaluarachchi reporting from Abu Dhabi | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021

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