Sri Lanka news March 14, 2014

Dilshan's World T20 participation in doubt


Tillakaratne Dilshan has until March 19 to recover sufficiently from a thumb fracture or risk being recalled from the World Twenty20, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said. Dilshan sustained a blow to his right thumb while batting during the second ODI against Bangladesh on February 20, and had since been recovering in Sri Lanka.

Dilshan will travel with the World Twenty20 squad to Bangladesh on Sunday, but the selectors will be forced to name a replacement if he cannot play the March 19 warm-up against West Indies, Jayasuriya said.

"If Dilshan can't play that practice match, I think he is out, unfortunately," he said. "That's what we have discussed with physio. The cut-off date for him will be the 19th [March] practice match. He is bowling and fielding. But while batting he seems to be struggling a bit.

"Generally, as a cricketer, you're always carrying a niggle. If you take the current squad of 15 players, about ten of them have some niggles. But you should at least be able to play through the pain."

Jayasuriya said the selectors did not have a replacement on standby if Dilshan was to be recalled, but suggested Sri Lanka had sufficient cover. Mahela Jayawardene had opened the batting successfully during 2012's World Twenty20 and Lahiru Thirimanne was the top-scoring batsman during the recently-concluded Asia Cup, when he opened in Dilshan's stead.

"We have the options in the team to replace him at opener, since Thirimanne has been in good form," he said. "We have other seniors also. That won't be a problem.

"We have a few ideas about who can replace him in the squad as well. We had Chaturanga de Silva as the standby for Rangana Herath, who was injured, but now Herath is ready to play. If Dilshan is not coming we'll have to assess whether we need an allrounder or an opener."

Jayasuriya affirmed Dinesh Chandimal's Twenty20 captaincy, despite Chandimal's mediocre record in the format, and poor run in limited-overs cricket over the past few months. Chandimal had been dropped for the last two matches of the Asia Cup.

"Chandimal as a captain in T20s has done well and has won tournaments," Jayasuriya said. "He wasn't among the runs recently, and during the one-day tournament, the selectors took a decision to leave him out and go with Ashan Priyanjan. We sent the message that he needs to correct his mistakes, improve mentally and come out of the bad trot - that's why we left him out. But as a captain I know he has done well in T20s and he has got lot of support from Lasith Malinga. He's a good player and as selectors we have to really back him 100% as the team's captain."

Significant contributions from Sri Lanka's young players during the Asia Cup campaign were particularly encouraging, Jayasuriya said, but he was also pleased with the versatility of several players in the squad. Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekara all bowl reliable seam and are also capable of closing out an innings with the bat, while Dilshan, Sachithra Senanayake and Priyanjan can deliver spin, as wells as score runs.

"We have to use our allrounders wisely, according to the game," he said. "I feel the ball might keep low in Bangladesh - in Chittagong will keep it even lower. We have to take a decision whether we are going into the game with more spinners or seaming allrounders. When we have won competitions, in the past, our style is that we create pressure by squeezing the runs. That has been our strength.

"I'm very happy as a selector to see the players performing. We have a strong team."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    @Amith Muhseen Hadjideen: Mate, if the selectors resign every time the their selected team doesn't perform, we'll soon run out of people to work as selectors. Also as chief selector, Sanath doesn't select Chandimal only. He's responsible for the entire team. So what happens when some players of his team come good and some don't?

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    I believe Chathuranga De Silva is a better choice for T20s than Rangana. Chathuranga showed good ability to bowl tight and accurately. combined with his superior batting and fielding capabilities, he is better suited for this format at the moment. Rangana should play ODI and Test cricket where wicket taking ability is essential.

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    Lets get the best eleven in the park. Dilshan is a great player, but niggles can make life difficult for the team as a whole. Chandimal needs to up his game, and ensure that he proves Jayasuriya's faith in him. If he fails as he usually does, he will not only be a laughing stock but embarrass poor Sanath and the selectors

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    My question is IF Chandimal ( selected with all odds on his performance ), did not perform as expected by the said SELECTOR , will he resign ? This is not his personal team, this is Sri Lanka team.

  • Lakpriya on March 15, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    I don't think it is good to have Dilshan in the team, when he is out of form he looks terrible. And on the other hand he will find it hard to score in slow, low Bangladeshi wickets. I think if Dilshan is unable to play in this tournament it will be very hard for him to come back to the team becuase the selectors seems to have gone for a long term young opening pair of Kusal and Thiri.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    SL may need services of Lakmal, who has improved a lot recently. Even when Malinga is expensive, Lakmal can be a threat for free flowing batsmen. Do not carry away with medium fast allrounders; include Lakmal as a genuine hard working bowler. Also i do not think it is a wise decision to include both of half fit Dilshan and out of form Chandimal. Because we have several hard hitting all rounders who can bat 3-4 overs.( likes of Sachithra, Thisara, Prasanna and Kulasekera). It is up to selectors anyway to compile the final eleven considering opposition, pitch conditions and current talents. If final 11 can contribute to the teamwork we have a great chance to lift the cup.

  • Charindra on March 15, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    We might sacrifice this world cup by having Chandimal in the team. Mathews is in great form as captain, batsman and bowler. Why not make him captain and open up Chandi's slot for a deserving player?? Chandi can play ODI and Test cricket. I just don't understand this. Chandi must be well connected to get such a long rope and continue as captain when he shouldn't even be in the team!

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    kapugedara is best for this foemat

  • nandika on March 15, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    What is Jayasuriya thinking??? SL performed well in the last T20's they played not because Chandimal' batting or captacy but because of great performances of other players...Chandimal is a burden to the team..personaly i think he shoudn't be part of this team...

  • Buddhika on March 15, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    It's not good 2 irregular performing seniors(Mahela and Dilshan) in our playing 11. Mahela is Ok Dilshan not OK. Even though mahi got runs in 1 out of 5 matches when it's come to finals and semis he will come with a match wining knock. He proved that in last Asia cup also. In 2011 WC he got hundred in final but that time also he is not in good form. But Dil not performing at least in Final's and Semis. Since Thiri is inform player these days should give one chance to open with Kusal even though he is not T20 player. If not Mahela and Kusal should open. Dilshan Munaweera is Best replacement for TM Dilshan.

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