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Dilshan's World T20 participation in doubt

Andrew Fidel Fernando

March 14, 2014

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Tillakaratne Dilshan was run-out for 40, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai, December 20, 2013
Tillakaratne Dilshan is chasing a March 19 deadline to be fit for World T20 © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: Sri Lanka

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   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?

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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

Posted by   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.

Posted by Lakpj 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

kapugedara is best for this foemat

Posted by criclanka 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...

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood 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.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

The worlds best selectors get it wrong most of the time. I am surprised to note Sri Lankan selectors too have got it all wrong with Chandimal. If the player was dropped for poor performance why on earth is he going to be the best person to captain the World Cup T20? Can you see the logic? Who says you have to have different players to captain different forms of cricket. Some good it has done to England team. I can understand if the test & ODI captain is not in the T20 side. This is when selectors try to follow other countries and take inspirations from them. Do what is best for the team and country.

Posted by ms2000 on (March 15, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

Dilshan has been one of the best players in the past but he recent form of Dilshan is below par. best is to leave him out and definitelyChandimal must be left out. Chandimal is only a passenger and will score some runs in teh final match to save his place. Please Sanath, take a look at Chandimal's poor form and leave him out. There are many young all rounders who can replace him and will do much beter than him. Give more time for Chandimal to play dmestic cricket and make a come back.

Posted by ChandraPrince on (March 15, 2014, 1:27 GMT)

Good luck to Dilshan, thumbsup to you! The other day I was watching a old Clark Gable movie. I think Dilshan has some resemblance to Gable...

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

Dilshan is a very good player but no point crying over things you don't have. Remember Sri Lanka WON! Asia cup without him! Also his record in finals no better than a tail enders record fails to deliver bit like Great Sanga. I think its good to have players who can actually keep their head cool. Matthews, Thiri, Kushal and Mahela are the only players who is capable of handling pressure. Sennayake and Kulesekara are 2 fine bowlers with batting skills and Thisarra Perera is the wild card he can be good or bad no one knows which Thisarra going to turn up on a given day. All in all SL have a decent chance maybe young blood is the only way forward. Sri Lanka Big 3 been in 4 Finals won nothing its time to put the trust in young hands and show their hunger to win!

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Selectors must see Chandimal's meager T20 international records, his average 13.36 with a strike rate 92.36; he is not a brilliant fielder or bowler. So, what is the reason selectors included to T20 Squad as a captain, he is not even an average player, how can be a good captain? He must drop from the team.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

What best is I believe that there should not be any drastic changes in the team which played good cricket during past 2-3 months. Youngsters like chathuranga, priyanjan & kithruwan should be given the places where they were during last ODI & T20 series. Dilly may rest for some more time till he regain his performances.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

Chandimal in the team is going to be a pain. Why does Sanath want a player out of form in the team? Hope he would perform or else better not to expect SL to win the title.

Posted by vimal03 on (March 14, 2014, 19:00 GMT)

If Dilsan can't play kusal and Mahela should open the batting simply for thes reasones

1. Kusal is not a good player against spin while mehela can play spin smartly. In Bangladesh conditions many teams will try spin option in the power play so the combination would work well

2. Mahela in top order is better than middle order the experiment of Mahela and poer hitting of kusal will allow srilanka to get a good start.

3. Thrimanie should be used according to the situation. If a quick wicket falls he should come before Sanga.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 18:10 GMT)

Kusal/thirimanne or Kusal/Mahela should open every game! However,it should be decided after properly evaluating the pitch who should give the best possible fighting scenario. Herath should ONLY shadow the team and should only come in if someone is injured. He was a liability in the field during the Pak series and if his bowling fails to click , picking him would be a disaster... besides sachithra should be the depth with Ajantha to follow. Chathuranga is doing what's asked from him and he should retain the 2nd spin allrounder position that dilshan and someone like herath occupied in the past. Though Thisara didin't hit anything out off the park recently... he batted well with sanga and angelo to finish the games strong with no hiccup...so he should also in the team for now instead kulasekara. Chandimal should have a good inning at the start and if he doesn't then he should vacate his place for Kusal/Thirimanne/Mahela combo. Experiementation, flexibility are the key for SL success..GL.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

I also think this is a blessing in disguise. Anyway dilshan will not perform very well with the bat in these bangladesh slow and low tracks. We will only miss dilly's part time bowling and feilding. Kapugedara or mahroof should be the replacement. Kapu should be tested as an operner like india did with rohith sharma who was a failure in the middle order.

Posted by SLWATERBOY on (March 14, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

Bring Dilshan Munaweera in if T.M Dilshan cannot Play. Munaweera is a very explosive opener, who can bowl good off spin and also a good fielder. Good Luck Team SL!!!

Posted by shakeena on (March 14, 2014, 17:24 GMT)

I Pray all mighty for the recover of great Dilshan before 19th and he will recover !!!

My team is : 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kulasekara 9.Senanayake 10.Mendis 11.Malinga.

If chandimal fails in the First match he MUST be replaced by Thirimanne.. and captain have to be Mathews..

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 17:11 GMT)

No doubt , Dilshan is a good batsman in srilanka t20 side . but dilshan,s recent poor form is ? i dont know what is he doing in the middle? poor really , if dilshan out of the team Dilsan munawera or kapugeadara replace . and Dilshan useful spinner and brilliant fielder we are praying he will recover soon

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (March 14, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

It's welcome blessing disguise to our Team. Dilshan is 38 year old old horses who couldn't get more than 10 runs against no 10 team. He also bottom of the list in BBL.lower than Aussie Bowlers. What the point of player who is below no 11 batsmen in Domestic League playing in Rank 1 team as a Opening Batter.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

I do have a different idea about chandimal.he is a hard working cricketer thats for sure.. but he is out of his form in asia cup but do not forget that he was the highest run scorer for SL in pak tour @UAE... and most importantly SL needs a good captain after mathews, chandimal is improving day by day as captain ... and i also think that kapugedara is suitable for this format he also shoud have a chance in t20 squad

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

if Chndimal does not improve close to drastically, he will be dumped in the same group that the likes of Chamara Kapugedara, Jehan Mubarak, Jeevan Mendis, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara etc. were dumped in: the group which delivered far less than what they initially promised or were capable of. Chandimal's start promised a future phenomenal batsman in all three formats. But now, with every match,the disappointment and frustration continues to build up...

Posted by Big_Brother_of_Cricket on (March 14, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

To all fans saying that this is a blessing in disguise, you better think about what Dilshan and Thirimanne brings to the table in T20s. I agree that Thirimanne is good for ODIs, but for T20s, it's not worth to compare Thirimanne and Dilshan. Furthermore, Dilshan's part-timers will be handing in slow low pitches in Bangladesh. My team is : 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kulasekara 9.Senanayake 10.Mendis 11.Malinga. But we do have one weak, it's none other than Chandimal. If we had a hard-hitter there, it would have been ideal, but selection committee deserved credits for having a passenger as the captain of No.1 ranked T20 team. Thiri for Chandimal is a good option or on the other hand Prasanna can be used for some matches as well. But 2 seamers and 2 spinners is a must. Replacements are clear if anyone performs badly. Herath for Mendis/Senanayake, Lakmal for Kule, Thiri for a batter.

Posted by BlackHawk on (March 14, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

I don't really understand SJ's reasoning for having Chandimal as captain. Why not take someone who is fit in the squad rather than taking a chance with Dilshan? The guy hasn't really had much match practice as of late and there are few younger players who can easily perform his role

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

don't underestimate the power of dilshan ,yes we all know that he's out of form ,but as an example look what happens in the Asia cup finals,when Mahela was not on his best form he gave his best show at the right time so far for this the experience will count more :)

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

if dilshan is unavailable.i think we should bring in mahroof or kapu

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

Big blow for Sri Lanka...he's one of the best going around, and he can bowl..fields brilliantly..always gives 110%

Posted by Afta on (March 14, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

Dilshan is injured and surely he's not going to play to his potential. In an important event like the world T20 selectors should pick a team with 100% fitness. Everybody has niggles but, injuries are serious and to come out of it and play good, takes time. A wise selector will pick a team with experience, present form and playing conditions. Dilshan does"t, because of his form and injury and Chandimal, 1). I don't see him as captaincy material 2). his presence in the team fits only as a fielder 3). he is no bowler and 4). a pathetic batsman who cannot be relied upon. So, what's so important about his place in the team.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

Dilshan, you are our great warrior.History of SL cricket in the future will spk volumes about you along with the greats of Srilankan cricket.My prayers are with you to recover as early as possible to be part of our team for world T 20.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

If there isnt dilshan in t20 WC squad it will be a big loss for sri lanka..he may be nt in his best form recent past but in his day dilshan is the best with his fabulous dilscoop..dilshan and kusal has to be open for srilanka but what if mahela open with kusal it is the same with dilshan..frankly i dont think chandi fits for t20 specially t20 wc..chandi is a good batsman also a better fielder but he isnt the type of t20 player..my top 11 is: 1.mahela 2.kusal 3.sanga 4.prasanna 5.mathews 6.chathuranga 7.thisara 8.kulasekara 9.sachitra 10.malinga 11.mendis

if dilshan available then mahela goes to 4 and either prasanna or chaturanga fits for no 6

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

I think Chandimal is lack of fighting spirit we need someone like Angi to lead us, I hardly remember a fighting innings from chandimal, but Dilshan you've prooven that you got a Lions heart so many times!!

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

We should have rested our good players for Bangladesh tour occasionally . Then it gives chance to young players. Also what about U.Tharanga I feel like his career is over .Just imagine after 2015 when Dilshan, Mahela & Kumar retired we will not any experience players having reasonable average among all and 12 hundreds in ODI. to score second highest total of 174 * ODI he should deserve a another chance.

Posted by ziiz1477 on (March 14, 2014, 11:44 GMT)

Please drop Dinesh Chandimal and give the captaincy to Angello. Instead of taking him to the team give the position to someone else, who can bat technically. How often we have seen him that he gets out because of lack of techniques and throwing his wicket away at the crucial stage. He had been given enough time to learn his mistakes and it's time for him to go to basics. Chathuranga is a good choice for T20, who can bat and ball as well. Don't go by faces. Hope Dilshan will recover with his injury soon. Best Of Luck!

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (March 14, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

So according to SJ, Chandimal is playing purely as a captain but for any other role. Hmmmm! Interesting thoughts from a responsible chief selector. Thilina Kandambi has a better captaining knowledge than Chandimal. Why don't we play Kandambi as the captain for that talent? He wouldn't contribute much with the bat or ball but he will lead the team to victories if that is what the selectors expect solely from certain individuals. In T20's you rarely have time to captain things and it is a couple of good performances with the bat and ball what takes you to the victories. If Chandimal cannot do either of batting or bowling to what is required by the international standards, he should sit out to pave way to a potential and performing youngster. Carrying a passeger-esque captain in No.1 T20 is a shame!

Posted by wapuser on (March 14, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

After reading Jayasuriyas comments I get a feeling that there is something more than an injury going on with dilshan. Dilshan is the best opening batsmen we have if we are to win this wc,but if he is not enthusiastic enough about it, that mean he will not contribute 100% . Now all the world know how dangerous if gets going, and also if he is not performing 100% we all know how dangerous it is for our team.This is not good singn

Posted by vallavarayar on (March 14, 2014, 11:10 GMT)

I think They should replace chandimal with chamara kapugedera. Like for like.

Posted by primo123 on (March 14, 2014, 10:33 GMT)

Sri Lankans should drop Dilshan at this time include Thirimanne instead , I suggest Kusal opening with Mahela , Sangakkara, Thirimanne, Chandimal, Mathews , Thisara Perera, Sachitra , Suranga Lakmal, Malinga and Ajantha Mendis . This will be Dilshan's last world cup T20. if he fails like in Bangladesh, it is adisgrace to him for what he deserves from Sri Lanka cricket

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

Blessing in Disguise for Sri Lanka, I know Dilshan is a good player, I think his performances are good but tend to fail in important fixtures against big teams. but he is a important player.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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