Kusal Perera To Be Appointed Sri Lanka ODI Skipper Following Radical Overhaul
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Kusal Perera To Be Appointed Sri Lanka ODI Skipper Following Radical Overhaul

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera is tipped to take over ODI captaincy with Kusal Mendis as his deputy, while Dasun Shanaka is set to remain T20 skipper.

Kusal Perera, a key member of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 winning team, made his One-day international debut against Australia in the 2nd ODI on January 13, 2013, replacing the injured Dinesh Chandimal. Kusal Perera has played 101 ODIs and amassed 2825 runs averaging 31.04 besides featuring in 19 Tests and 46 T20Is. Kusal Mendis has played 76 ODIs scoring 2167 runs averaging 30.52 besides featuring in 47 Tests and 26 T20Is.

Kusal Mendis AFP
Kusal Mendis AFP

Kusal Perera To Be Appointed Skipper As Sri Lanka Undertakes A Major Overhaul Of It’s Limited Over Sides

A number of senior cricketers could lose their places in white-ball cricket as Sri Lanka undertakes a major overhaul of its limited-over sides under a new scheme where players will be selected for international cricket, with a particular focus on the young guns.

While this strategy has been implemented successfully in a small way in Test cricket on recent tours, the selectors and team management is thinking of a more radical selection keeping in mind this year’s T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup which is the way forward for the struggling white-ball team.

Kusal Perera | Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Kusal Perera | Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Sri Lanka made a clean sweep of West Indies in ODIs at home in February March 2020 but failed there as West Indies won all three matches at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in March 2021. In T20Is, West Indies won both T20Is in Sri Lanka and lost one out of three at West Indies. Kusal Perera averaged 61 against Bangladesh in 2019 but averaged 28.67 against the Windies in 2020.

The new selection process will likely lead to seniors like Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Lahiru Thirimanne losing their places on the white-ball side.

However, Thisara Perera might be retained in the T20I squad for the T20I World Cup 2021 in October-November this year but Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal will lose their spots in all probability in both limited-overs formats.

Management feels that younger players like Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, and Pathum Nissanka have proved their ability to score runs and are the future of Sri Lanka cricket.

Sri Lanka Needs To Play A Qualifying Round To Earn A Spot In T20I World Cup

The 2014 World Champions embarrassingly need to play a qualifying round to earn a spot at this year’s T20 tournament, a situation head coach Mickey Arthur recently said was ‘unacceptable’.

Sri Lanka Team
Sri Lanka Team. Image Credit: Twitter

Once the No. 1 T20 side in the world, Sri Lanka was forced to play in a qualifying tournament in order to gain entry to the 2021 T20I World Cup due to lower rankings. Sri Lanka slipped to ninth on the T20 rankings after losing 12 of their 16 most recent matches in 2018 thus did not gain automatic entry into the “Super 12” round.

Instead, Sri Lanka will have to finish in the top two in a group of four in the opening round of the competition, in order to progress into the part of the tournament into which the eight top teams gain automatic entry. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 8th in ODIs and 9th in T20 internationals, which are the lowest ranks the team has dropped to.