The Sri Lankan national cricket squad for the upcoming home tour against Bangladesh is likely to see a few changes, Chief Selector Ashantha de Mel told a post world cup media conference today (Jul 8).
“Personally I believe that there is some stability in the batting. But we might be able to bring in players like Dickwella (Niroshan) or Shehan Jayasuriya if they are in form,” he said.
However, it was unclear as to who would be dropped out of the squad which played this year’s world cup.
De Mel also ruled out a possibility of former national skipper Dinesh Chandimal making his way to the squad unless he is among the runs. “There are players. But where are we going to fit them (into the batting lineup),” he queried.
The national chief selector identified spinners Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan as possibilities for the upcoming tour in addition to some fast bowlers who have recovered from their injuries.
“We need wicket-taking bowlers. It is very difficult to contain a side without taking wickets,” he said.
Speaking on Sri Lanka’s world-cup campaign, De Mel remained upbeat on the overall performance but conceded that it was not completely satisfactory. He urged middle-order batsmen to play “fearless” cricket instead of worrying about their spot in the next match.
“Our batting unit does not have a problem with their skills. It’s about their mental attitude and we have been talking about this with them,” the national selector said.
He pointed out that the bowling and fielding units too performed well in the tournament except on a few occasions.
De Mel also insisted that young players like Kusal Mendis who failed to “convert starts into big scores” must be given confidence since they have the potential to perform well. He also remained positive on Dimuth Karunaratne’s captaincy throughout the tournament.
Meanwhile, national head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe dispelled doubts on his future with the team given Sri Lanka’s early exit from the world cup. “I have another 16 months in my contract. I will wait until my contract is over,” he told reporters.
Sri Lanka is set to take on the touring Bangladesh team in three ODI’s on July 25, 27 and 29 with the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo likey to be the tournament’s only venue.
(Pics by Amila Gamage)
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