Sri Lanka v India, only T20, Pallekele August 6, 2012

Slots open for World T20 squad - Jayawardene


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said there are four-five open spots in the squad for the World Twenty20, and that the side will use their final Twenty20 international before the tournament, against India in Pallekele tomorrow, to identify roles for a few players. Jayawardene said Sri Lanka was trying to develop a team for the future and that he was excited by the young talent available.

"It [The T20 international against India] is significant to identify few roles for some of the players," Jayawardene said. "We did that against Pakistan as well. We played different combinations in the two T20Is to accommodate few players in different roles. We will try and do the same here. During the Sri Lanka Premier League (starting August 11), we will get to know which of our players are in form and the combination that we need to go with. We have got a fairly good idea - about 75% to 80% - of our squad. But still there are four or five places up for grabs."

Jayawardene said he was impressed by the performances of some of the young players in the recently-concluded ODI series, which Sri Lanka lost 1-4 to India.

"The youngsters are identifying their roles. I was impressed with the way [Lahiru] Thirimanne batted the other day [in the fifth ODI], held the innings together, batted through the innings. He showed a lot of aggression when he wanted. Jeevan [Mendis] is becoming a much better allrounder. Those components are fitting into our combination really well. There are certain areas we have to fine-tune. Unfortunately [Dinesh] Chandimal didn't have a great series, but we know the talent he possesses."

Jayawardene said that when he took back the captaincy six months ago, his challenge was to develop a team for the future. "We are teaching players how to handle situations. Sometimes they will make mistakes but as long as they learn from that it's important. When the opportunity comes we would like them to take control of the team and take us forward. What we are trying to do is to harness that and make sure they are in a comfortable situation handling international cricket. There are a few young guys we have identified from the Under-19 and various other squads. We need to slowly introduce them in the next six months or so and try and build a team."

Sri Lanka have several promising players such as Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Chandimal and Thirimanne but Jayawardene said the challenge for them was to perform consistently over a long period.

"It's about them being consistent and improving as individual players. It is one thing that you have the talent but it is another thing that you need to perform day in and day out over a period of time. It can be five-six-ten years. We want to identify players who can do that. They need to work hard and we will try to help them as much as they can."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deleepa on August 7, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    One slot will go to Kapugedara right? That's what you do!! Kapugedara is the face of future SL cricket right! come on!!

  • sudheer on August 7, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Srilanka should stop playing cricket and guyz stop mourning over IPL!!

  • Supun on August 7, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    Too much talk...No batting display. Mahela, let us know how many times you bring SL team home ???????

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    i wish mathews to captain and bat @ 3 or 4

  • shane on August 7, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Mahela talks about up for grabs….lol isn't it high time Mahela to leave ODI,s & focus on tests?? more than 380 ODI's still cant lead the team by an example ( 4th ODI is the perfect eg.) number of chances S/L cricket given to him if utilized properly S/L could have developed not just 1 or 2 players another 11 players for S/L. Mate!!! Let your bat speak not u r bio autograph…. When was your last responsible inning came from 2011 world cup finals?? ….

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    My Team 1.T Perera 2.T Dilshan 3.L Thirimanne 4.D Chandimal 5.M Jayawardena 6.J Mendis 7.A Mathews 8.C Kapugedara 9.R Herath 10.S Eranga 11.L Malinga

  • Charm on August 7, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    4 or 5 slots up for the grab??? this baffles me.. So Mahela is saying that the playing 11 or 10 is already decided and that the SLPL is just a league to decide on who's going to play for the bence.. WTH!!! and i thought SLPL's main goal was to groom youngsters of Sri Lanka.. So that means even if the experienced guys of Sri Lanka fails miserably in SLPL they will be given a spot but not the 6th best performer!! LOL.. Sure sure.. i can see the bright future they're talking about.. RIP SL cricket.. Maybe someone with sanity will take over the board someday but till that day.. Sri Lankan cricket team will always be there and therabouts in the middle of the ranking system.. puh.. 4 or 5 slots.. :P

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    T20 game must be for youngsters! But its useless to keep on giving chances to Kapugedara for he had enough yet failed. Why Mahela dies hard for Kapu? Best thing is to give that chance to promising youngster like Bhanuka. An d Nuwan Pradeep can do something but his batting ability is a negative mark for T20.Wish to see the rest of the young team, thisara , mathews , chandimal , thirimanne , jeevan..!

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Sri Lanka have to let go the old chaps including Salli Malinga and let the young guys take over.Atleast loosing matches with young guys is graceful than loosing with a bunch of old money thirsty IPL chAPS.

  • Chathura on August 7, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    I don't mind including Kapugedara for this T20 game since he first introduced as a power hitter. But to get full out of him as a batsmen he should play in No. 4 position. Otherwise there's no point of playing him in the team. Having Sanga out of the team gives younger players a chance to prove them selves for future. With this Indian batting line up, win the toss bowl first and chase down is the best thing to do.

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