South Africa in Sri Lanka 2013 July 17, 2013

Chandimal becomes youngest Sri Lanka ODI captain

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Dinesh Chandimal will become Sri Lanka's youngest ODI captain, at 23, after being handed the reins for the first two matches against South Africa in Colombo. Regular captain Angelo Mathews was unavailable after earning a two-match suspension for an over-rate offence in the West Indies tri-nation series. Lahiru Thirimanne was named vice-captain.

Middle-order batsman Jehan Mubarak earned a recall, four years after his last international appearance. Now 32, Mubarak did not show sustained aptitude at the top level in his previous stints with the national team, despite a fine domestic reputation. He hit 42 in the practice match against the South Africans on Wednesday and had been the top-scorer in Sri Lanka's inter-provincial List A competition in January, with an average of 60 and a strike rate of 120.96. Uncapped middle-order batsman Angelo Perera was named in the 15-man squad as well, after top-scoring for his side in the warm-up match, with 46.

Allrounder Thisara Perera reclaimed his place after missing the West Indies tri-series. An injury to Nuwan Kulasekara's left ring finger, which was sustained in the Caribbean, ruled him out of the first two matches and Suranga Lakmal retained his place as Kulasekara's replacement. Tillakaratne Dilshan is also recovering from a tear to his right medial calf muscle, but was named in the squad and is expected to be fit for the first match. Upul Tharanga, who hit a career-best 174 not out in the West Indies after being picked as Dilshan's replacement, was also retained, at the expense of Kusal Perera, who opened for Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy.

Ajantha Mendis kept his place as well, despite having played just one match in the tri-series, but will compete with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and offspinner Sachithra Senanayake for a place in the XI. Sri Lanka also have part-time spin options in Mubarak and Angelo Perera, but legspinning allrounder Jeevan Mendis was omitted, after an unconvincing run.

Both matches will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium, but the squad may be changed ahead of the third ODI in Pallekele on July 26. The teams play five ODIs and three Twenty20s.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • WPDDESILVA on July 22, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Not in good hands. SL Cricket in terrible hands! We are blessed to have players like Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Malinga. These guys came into the scene and in a limited period of time we all knew they had potential. CHandimal, Thirimanne, Kusal, Eranga etc have had their MOMENTS not any promise. Remember these guys have been around for a time now. How many chances do we have to give?

  • LionsofLanka on July 19, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    @CRLShamalka

    Ok...We will play Sanath, Mahela, Sanga, Murali, vaas, Attapattu, and all ....We will drop Chandi, A. Parera, thisara, Thirimanne, Ajanta Mendis permanently and play kusal only. You count Mathews is excellent captain. Had WI played sensibly, we would be out of tri series. Had AUS not played for NRR to qualify semis, we would be out of semis. We had not played authentic cricket under Mathews so as to call him great. It was Vaas, Murali & Sanath combination who was influential in 2003, 2007 which you counting for. Don't relate personal achievement with captaincy. Don't criticize knowledgeable persons like Prema1948. Don't count stats & history. They are more than tricky. We want future. We don't want see past. If we do like you wrote in your post, we will blame our promising youngsters and opponents only.

  • Otuwa on July 19, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    @ Mandu Bharadwaj-Good point.But it's a impossible thing in SLan cricket.Because we all know SL legends can stay in the team with in or out of form.It's a such a bad thing for SL cricket.We need good selectors with straight forward mindset.Just like you.But unfortunately we haven't these kind of selectors.Sanath's batting was aggressive.But Sanath's selections are questionable and not an aggressive.

  • tdslbuwa on July 19, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Sri Lanka has young talents...all they need is more exposure at the highest level and a bit of maturity...D.Chandimal..A.Mathewes...Thisara Perera...Kushal Janith..Angelo Perera...L.Thirimanne...these 7 players will be there when the big 3 gone...Sanga and Mahela need to understand that these players need to bat without any pressure..but seniors get the chance at the top and make hundreds and youngsters come late without much time left and get criticized..thats not fair..take a look at India..all young players come ahead of Dhoni and when the pressure is on experience matters..But in our team youngsters come after 40 overs or 30/3 under pressure..I think thats the problem..

  • MelbourneMiracle on July 19, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Isn't it Mathews who lead the team upto the Semis of the Champions Trophy? Isn't it Mathews who led the team to the finals of the Tri-Series? So is he a bad captain just because the team lost in the that Semis & in the Finals under his captaincy? Then Sanath, Sanga & Mahela are also bad captains because they lost 2003 WC Semi, 2007 WC Finals, 2010 T20 WC Finals, 2011 WC Finals & 2012 T20 WC Finals under their captaincy. Accept it!

  • dummy4fb on July 19, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    If I am Dinesh Chandimal (capt), I will tell SL selectors & Mahela, Sanga, Dillu to let me handle the way I am looking for. Mahela, Sanga, Dillu had played enough for SL and it is time for New SL who will play for next 10 years. Coz these legends will be not more than 1-2 years and SL need to look for the future generation. I will play these legends as a backup and font load will share maximum by new ones no matter we loose by big margin. I will play only one of these legends per match and I will decide their playing position. I will use 6 batsmen, 1 all rounder, 2 each genuine spinners & medium fast bowlers. I will open Mahela/Dil with Thirimanne, myself at 3 , Angelo Parera at 4, Upul at 5, followed by Mubarak & Thisara, Sena and mendis, Eranga & Slinga. I will ask SL fans to watch with patience. I make this selection by considering best of present SL & opponent South Africa. Mathews will replace Mubarak, will interchange position with Upul & keep 2 legends on bench as Judges.

  • Otuwa on July 19, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    @ _MiddleStump_-The problem is Rajapakses can't play cricket.Just a joke mate don't think about it.No doubt Bhanuka is a clever cricketer in school cricket.But he hasn't performed yet impactfully in club level.I think that is the problem with Bhanuka.Players like Angelo Perera,Kushal Silva performed well in domestic level.Bhanuka is just 21 years old.He has time.One day he will represent our country.Because he is a clever cricketer.Don't afraid.

  • dummy4fb on July 19, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    And Mubarak is in... lol... great... :)

  • dummy4fb on July 19, 2013, 2:01 GMT

    Interesting point of view expressed by cricket fans.Take the case of Shikar Davan whose previous outtings were not good.See the progress now.Talwnt is there.They need exposure and experience.Selectors are doing a good job.Of course we can criticize.Chandi,Thissara perera,Kusal Perera should be preserved.Kusal has tremendous potential.I personally don't belive comparing with legends such as Aravintha,Sanath,Mahela,Sanga,Sachin,Murali,Shane warne.

  • dummy4fb on July 18, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    sl shoulnt focus on winning this, they need to focus on the wc 2015 by giving more youngsters a chance, give mahela, sanga and dilshan a break. for last 3 odis make a young squad: 1.tharanga 2.munaweera 3.thirimanne 4.chandimal(wk) 5.kj perera 6.kapugedara 7.angelo perera 8.dananjaya 9.senenayake 10.ajantha mendis 11.t perera 12.mathews 13.maharoof 14.malinga 15.eranga (no point in playing kulasekara immediatly after injury, should rest him after he recovers or he'll just get injured again. just look what's happened to morne morkel!)