Sri Lanka news April 24, 2014

Few can adjust their game like Thirimanne - Jayasuriya

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Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya made a resounding endorsement of Lahiru Thirimanne's temperament and talent, one day after his panel had appointed the 24-year-old batsman vice-captain across all formats. Thirimanne replaced Dinesh Chandimal as vice-captain of the ODI and Test teams, and Jayasuriya confirmed Chandimal's removal from those positions, and from the T20 captaincy, had been driven by their desire to see him focus on snapping a poor run of returns with the bat.

Jayasuriya admitted Chandimal had been overburdened by the captaincy, but was certain Thirimanne would have a firmer handle on his own performance as he took on more responsibility.

"Thirimanne is a different kind of a player," he said. "He has batted all over the place and performed when we have given him the opportunity. When somebody is injured in the top of the order, he opens. When someone is being rested at No. 3 or 4, he bats there. In some situations, he bats at No. 5 or 6. He has the mentality to adjust to any situation. Everyone has seen that. There's no doubt that he can take the vice-captaincy as just another experience, so he's the best choice. His technique, the way he works - everything up to date is very good."

Though Thirimanne has played fewer matches than Chandimal in the past year, he has made the more telling contributions, particularly in limited-overs cricket. He had struck two hundreds in the Asia Cup - including one in the final - and had also made an important 44 in the World T20 semi-final against West Indies.

"Thirimanne has been able to adapt his game to Tests, ODIs and T20s, and bat like an experienced player under pressure," Jayasuriya said. "There are very few players like that."

Jayasuriya said he had been in contact with Chandimal when he left himself out of the side for the World T20 semi-final and final in Mirpur but, ultimately, Chandimal's inability to make meaningful contributions had sealed his demotion.

"We had talked at length as a selection committee before making that decision. We had tried to get the most out of him as a captain with a long-term view, but after some time passed, we realised that bearing the captaincy had put some added pressure on him. We knew his talent, so we gave him the support to keep leading the team. We thought he would come out of that pressure at some stage. But unfortunately he wasn't able to do that, so we decided, with his consent, that we would give Lasith Malinga the captaincy during the World T20.

"I talked with Chandimal in Bangladesh, and the decision to relieve him of leadership was taken in light of those conversations. I think he had some idea of what we were about to do. As a selection committee we'll need to sit with him soon and talk about the future."

Chandimal had been perhaps the most promising young batsman upon his arrival in the national side, and had had encouraging innings in ODIs, as well as Tests, in his first 12 months. Though his Test form has largely been satisfactory, it has been his decline in limited-overs matches that has been most worrisome for the selectors.

"We need to take pressure off him and help him play like he used to," Jayasuriya said.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shah343 on April 28, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Thrimmane supposedly has "talent" i will leave that to opinion but his stats show him as a mediocre batsman. In ODI's he averages at about 30 and strike rate 70 are almost unacceptable for most teams. He has played 60 Odis and should at least a higher SR. Look at test stats Average only 32 an T20Is he has a disappointing average of 18 and a TERRIBLE SR of only 113. doesn't seem flexible to me. Look at the Stats he has been hyped for the last 2 years but hasn't performed.

  • VinothSam on April 27, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Too much pressure to Lahiru. Hope his batting won't be affected by the vice captaincy. Whatever happens I want him on the team forever and like to see him in ten years as Sanga.

  • on April 26, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    If Arjuna Ranatunga is in the selection committee he will also agree with Jayasuriya to appoint Thirimanna as Vice captain. Arjuna has spoken talents of Thirimanna so many times

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Thirimane is very talented Batsmen with any Position in the lineup but Vice Captaincy may effect his batting like a Chandimal??? Ohh no why do not select Kula as a Vice Captain? Mr.Sana your move is ok but my worry is Thirimane Batting anyway just wait and See how going thiri as a vice Captain All The best Therimane

  • on April 25, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    When some of our fans doubted Thirimanne.. even SL Memes i resolutely stood by his ability. And Jayasuriya agrees.

  • SLC-2020 on April 25, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Jaya seems to be on the right track for appointing Thiri as VC & relieving Chandi from the burden for the time being. He did the right thing by promoting Thiri to the front-order batting, despite some visible pressure from the lords & goons to eliminate Chandi & Thiri from the scene, after focusing them under their "partial" microscope in the recent past. Appointing Malinga to lead the T20 is another sensible move, since he has proved that an experienced strike bowler can find more effective ways to curtail opponents' batting, than a Batsman skipper, specially after the demonstration of well planned bowling strangulation executed to bring us the WC, defeating batters like Koli & Dhoni. Jay should add experienced frontorder batsmen to negate the imminent danger looming (when triple blow strikes in near future). THERE IS ONLY ONE 29 yr/Younger BATSMEN in the WHOLE WORLD, with MORE THAN 5000 RUNS /13x100's/ 28x50+ scores! This lad UPUL THARANGA is in SLC's Dump. BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE!

  • stormy16 on April 25, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Dont think SL have much of a choice here as its either a case of a youngster or another 35+ player as VC whcih is obviously not the way forward. I reckon Thiri has shown enoght metal to warrant the position but the only issue is he doesnt really have a permanent spot in any playing eleven. He usualy plays as cover for someone else.

  • on April 25, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    There are many suggestions on team selection. However, if we try to implement all of that we will need to have about 2-3 different playing XIs. Lets accept the fact that selectors are human they also make blunders, sometimes they gamble and if that paid off they are commended and if not they are condemned.

  • nilb on April 25, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    In my view selectors are doing the same mistake they did with Chandimal with another different player. They should rely on experience.

  • on April 25, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    Guys don't forget even our best captain Mr.Mahela Jayawardana was also made Vice Captain one time he was also failed in his performance they did the same thing with him and he became a legend today. hope Mr.Chamdimal will also be a legend of Sri Lankan Cricket one day... All the best to all our cricketers....

  • Shah343 on April 28, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Thrimmane supposedly has "talent" i will leave that to opinion but his stats show him as a mediocre batsman. In ODI's he averages at about 30 and strike rate 70 are almost unacceptable for most teams. He has played 60 Odis and should at least a higher SR. Look at test stats Average only 32 an T20Is he has a disappointing average of 18 and a TERRIBLE SR of only 113. doesn't seem flexible to me. Look at the Stats he has been hyped for the last 2 years but hasn't performed.

  • VinothSam on April 27, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Too much pressure to Lahiru. Hope his batting won't be affected by the vice captaincy. Whatever happens I want him on the team forever and like to see him in ten years as Sanga.

  • on April 26, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    If Arjuna Ranatunga is in the selection committee he will also agree with Jayasuriya to appoint Thirimanna as Vice captain. Arjuna has spoken talents of Thirimanna so many times

  • on April 25, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Thirimane is very talented Batsmen with any Position in the lineup but Vice Captaincy may effect his batting like a Chandimal??? Ohh no why do not select Kula as a Vice Captain? Mr.Sana your move is ok but my worry is Thirimane Batting anyway just wait and See how going thiri as a vice Captain All The best Therimane

  • on April 25, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    When some of our fans doubted Thirimanne.. even SL Memes i resolutely stood by his ability. And Jayasuriya agrees.

  • SLC-2020 on April 25, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Jaya seems to be on the right track for appointing Thiri as VC & relieving Chandi from the burden for the time being. He did the right thing by promoting Thiri to the front-order batting, despite some visible pressure from the lords & goons to eliminate Chandi & Thiri from the scene, after focusing them under their "partial" microscope in the recent past. Appointing Malinga to lead the T20 is another sensible move, since he has proved that an experienced strike bowler can find more effective ways to curtail opponents' batting, than a Batsman skipper, specially after the demonstration of well planned bowling strangulation executed to bring us the WC, defeating batters like Koli & Dhoni. Jay should add experienced frontorder batsmen to negate the imminent danger looming (when triple blow strikes in near future). THERE IS ONLY ONE 29 yr/Younger BATSMEN in the WHOLE WORLD, with MORE THAN 5000 RUNS /13x100's/ 28x50+ scores! This lad UPUL THARANGA is in SLC's Dump. BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE!

  • stormy16 on April 25, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    Dont think SL have much of a choice here as its either a case of a youngster or another 35+ player as VC whcih is obviously not the way forward. I reckon Thiri has shown enoght metal to warrant the position but the only issue is he doesnt really have a permanent spot in any playing eleven. He usualy plays as cover for someone else.

  • on April 25, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    There are many suggestions on team selection. However, if we try to implement all of that we will need to have about 2-3 different playing XIs. Lets accept the fact that selectors are human they also make blunders, sometimes they gamble and if that paid off they are commended and if not they are condemned.

  • nilb on April 25, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    In my view selectors are doing the same mistake they did with Chandimal with another different player. They should rely on experience.

  • on April 25, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    Guys don't forget even our best captain Mr.Mahela Jayawardana was also made Vice Captain one time he was also failed in his performance they did the same thing with him and he became a legend today. hope Mr.Chamdimal will also be a legend of Sri Lankan Cricket one day... All the best to all our cricketers....

  • on April 25, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Marvan Attapattu is very good choice of SL Coach dont botherd Mahela & Sangakkar Presence, even though Sachin Tendulkar, Sourv Ganguly, Rahul Dravid.A.Kumblie, VVS all are Played under his Contemprary Good Garry Cursten

  • ajithabey on April 25, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    I would have thought it is too early to burden young players with captaincy or vice captaincy titles as they need to focus on their skills and ensure to retain a place in the team in the first instance. I would vote for experience in the likes of Herath or Malinga to have taken over the vice captaincy position in tests & 50 over formats until such time they move away so that players like chandimal, tirimanne take over when the time is opportune in the future.

  • Prem2248 on April 25, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    a) a)They don't consider overall performances of batters, b)pick them based on one single good performance, c) size of the physique, d) most of the batters picked have strokes only on one-side& every forceful stroke is predetermined and they completely ignore continuous failures of seniors while very prompt in finding faults of youngsters. Apart from Chandimal,Mathews,Thirimanne & Dickwella all remaining batting places should have been filled with batters of lightening reflex the likes of RoshenSilva,AngeloPerera,GayanManeshan,KhausalSilva,BhanukaRajapaksha(good captaincy prospect)&KusalMendis, even if it was (Tests,ODIs or) T/20s. We need batsmen of good repertoire of strokes (than hard-hitting batters) that treats the ball on its merits and can resurrect an innings in difficult conditions against quality bowlers.We are doing well mostly due to our bowlers.

  • vatsap on April 25, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Nothing against Thirimanna, but too early to comment on his adapt any where perspective, it might put more pressure on him. Also Jayasuriya seems to be a person who loves lime light. Every day he is in news making some statements.

  • on April 25, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Yes this is a correct move removing the Chandimal from the VC and appointed Lahiru since there is not seem any player at present to give this psotion other than Lahiru. He has the composure and temporament to face at tight and pressure situations of the games in the recent histroy of Sl matches.

    When it comes to play in bouncy and seaming pitches, I think we are still on back foot. At any cost, we need to improve it else we are not in contention for more matches on thes countries. Even the bowling a bit concerned area as there doesnt seem any prospective new comer could see in the SL line up at present to hit on the deck and extract the bounce.

  • ksquared on April 25, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    I agree with priya65 Kaushal Silva should be included in the one day side as well. He's probably the best WK out of himself,Kusal P and Chandimal and an opening batsmen too. If he does prove him self there he might be in T20 squad as well. With these 3 plus Thirimanne, Mathews, Priyanjan SL will have a great batting line up post the Mahela and Sanga era.

  • Cric-Aus-SL on April 25, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Chandimal is technically sound, He may not be a flat track bully, but he will perform well in the green pitches for sure and he has done it in the past too,

  • on April 25, 2014, 2:10 GMT

    Chandimal will be more successful against moving ball in Eng. & Aus. wickets than Thirimanne. We will see in the Eng. tour.Tharanga is a really bad selection over Angelo Perera.

  • nickexplore on April 25, 2014, 1:50 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya is an excellent chief-selector as he proved in Bangladesh - his bold and astute team selections pivotal in SLs WT20 and Asia Cup success. He has taken on the role as SL cricket's supremo superbly, brokering a deal with the board and the players, and guiding the team in their recent success. Sanath will be bitterly disappointed that his choice as coach Paul Farbrace has jumped ship on the eve of SLs Ireland/England tour, but resolute enough to overcome this latest challenge. Sri Lanka is lucky to have Jayasuriya at the helm.

  • on April 25, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    Good selection. Thirimanna deserve it. Chandimal got the talent but he fail to play his natural game during year or so. Take off the captaincy alone will not help him to perform I think he need to assistance of sport psychologist when the luck is not running towords him.

  • SLfan on April 25, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    Indeed Sanath is correct here...He has really identified who Thirimanne is and who he can be in the future. May be it's too early to predict, but my guess is Thiri is the next Sanga for Sri Lanka...Sure as someone has mentioned, Chandimal has the talent to become next Mahela, but what he is lacking is not the talent but the temperament. Good luck to both these guys !

  • priya65 on April 25, 2014, 1:09 GMT

    This is a very good decision. As Chandimal broke in to the scene he was not pushing and prodding Jaaya and Chandi played for Ruhuna also. Those days he just nudged and ran much like Jayasuriya but with a better technique than young Jaya. Chandi was hard to get stumped when he left the crease for a shot. Of late he has been less sure and his haalf forward prod is without any power. All indications are that he is burdened mentally. Anyway he is too good to be left behind, especially when sangh and mahela goes. I personally believe that kaushal silva should alo be in the setup as WK. On the other way around Kusal should also be tried at test level. He is not kamikaze batter when playing club level games. SL cricket is entering a new era after 2015 WC for sure.

  • on April 25, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    Very mature thinking... Yes Chandimal needs grooming from here on. Also he should not be used as a floater particularly in limited overs cricket. He should bat in the top five positions. Even open if opportunity come along.mjope Marvan maximises his talent.

  • Htc-Android on April 25, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    Hopefully they dont appoint Kusal or Thisara as a vice captain if thirimanne fails with the bat in the future.

  • on April 25, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Interesting choice once again! But less drastic one this time! Its ok to give a youngster Vice Captaincy but never the captaincy as Anjelo is doing well both as a player and as a captain there is no need to look for a replacement. Promoting Chandimal to captaincy was a mistake in more than one level as it kept other good players out of the team and allowed chandimal to stay in the team without contributing which is always a bad thing. Hope this time around they will keep the captaincy in the experienced hands and use Thiri or Chandimal in the vice captaincy position for few years until they become prominent top order batters then after they can impose as many responsibilities as they wish

  • on April 24, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    At last nice to see selectors did the correct thing by removing CHANDIMAL and appointing Thirimanne as VC. Let Chandimal work his way up the ladder once again.

  • on April 24, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    When chandimal first came into the set up he was brilliant now needs to fix up like thiramane has. Chandimal will be the next wk in all formats for sl when Sangakarra retires

  • ramz30380 on April 24, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    Thirumanne and Mathews are the future of SL cricket! Congrats and all the best!

  • rizwan1981 on April 24, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    We need to bring back Kapugedera and Bhanuka Rajapakshe

  • on April 24, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Chandimal could not find a place in any game in the previous World T20 in Sri Lanka. He was simply carrying drinks. So it was a fundamental error in making a player as captain when he could not find a place on merit in the team, keeping in mind no vacant slot was created by way of a retirement of a batsman as well. Of course Sanath will not admit that he and selection panel made a mistake as appointing him as vice captain in twol formats and T20 captain. Chandimal is a highly talented test match batsman. He made twin fifties on debut against No. 1 test nation. However, his recent test match form has not been good. Now he can without undue pressure work on rectifying that. Afterwards he can try to re-establish in the ODI set-up. He should forget about T20.

  • Aju.Nair on April 24, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Congrats Thirimanne..Good decision from SLC...No doubt, Thirimmanne will be the future of SL cricket..

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Good move. Captain who cant contribute is useless. First build the players, then the captain. else we will lose a great batmen

  • Dhushan on April 24, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    I personally am a bigger fan of Thirimanne than Chandimal, & I hope that this added responsibility isn't going to bog him down & not perform like what happened to Chandimal. Hopefully he keeps performing. Afterall, he's our long term replacement for Sanga. I also hope Chandimal gets back into form & bats well, because I think the selectors are eying him as the long term replacement for Mahela.

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    All about teamwork.....

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    thirimanne and chandimal need to carry SL batting order.

  • Jay.Raj on April 24, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    maybe sanath is a good selector...

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  • Jay.Raj on April 24, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    maybe sanath is a good selector...

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    thirimanne and chandimal need to carry SL batting order.

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    All about teamwork.....

  • Dhushan on April 24, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    I personally am a bigger fan of Thirimanne than Chandimal, & I hope that this added responsibility isn't going to bog him down & not perform like what happened to Chandimal. Hopefully he keeps performing. Afterall, he's our long term replacement for Sanga. I also hope Chandimal gets back into form & bats well, because I think the selectors are eying him as the long term replacement for Mahela.

  • on April 24, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    Good move. Captain who cant contribute is useless. First build the players, then the captain. else we will lose a great batmen

  • Aju.Nair on April 24, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Congrats Thirimanne..Good decision from SLC...No doubt, Thirimmanne will be the future of SL cricket..

  • on April 24, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Chandimal could not find a place in any game in the previous World T20 in Sri Lanka. He was simply carrying drinks. So it was a fundamental error in making a player as captain when he could not find a place on merit in the team, keeping in mind no vacant slot was created by way of a retirement of a batsman as well. Of course Sanath will not admit that he and selection panel made a mistake as appointing him as vice captain in twol formats and T20 captain. Chandimal is a highly talented test match batsman. He made twin fifties on debut against No. 1 test nation. However, his recent test match form has not been good. Now he can without undue pressure work on rectifying that. Afterwards he can try to re-establish in the ODI set-up. He should forget about T20.

  • rizwan1981 on April 24, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    We need to bring back Kapugedera and Bhanuka Rajapakshe

  • ramz30380 on April 24, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    Thirumanne and Mathews are the future of SL cricket! Congrats and all the best!

  • on April 24, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    When chandimal first came into the set up he was brilliant now needs to fix up like thiramane has. Chandimal will be the next wk in all formats for sl when Sangakarra retires