Thursday, January 28, 2016

Plenty of New Faces in Sri Lanka's Squad for India T20I's

With the ICC World T20 looming on the horizon T20 matches are the flavour of the season for most teams. The Sri Lankan team will play 3 T20I's in India next month as both the teams look to fine tune the loose ends and finalise the final 15 that will represent them in the World Cup.

The Sri Lankan squad for the 3 match series was announced today and it sees some omissions due to injuries and some new faces as well as an old pacer making a comeback.

The Lankan arm spinner and Test captain Angelo Mathews is missing due to a thigh strain, their regular T20 captain misses out due to a knee injury while pacers Kulasekara and Pradeep while ace left arm spinner Rangana Herath also miss out due to injury concerns.

There are plenty of new faces (Dasun Shanaka, Asela Gunaratne, Kasun Rajitha) in the squad for the Lankans who will be hoping to make a big impact and seal a berth for the upcoming global tournament.

Dasun Shanaka is a very big hitter and has scored two centuries in the domestic T20 competition in Sri Lanka this month. He first made 131* in just 48 balls hitting 12 sixes and 10 fours and then followed it up with an equally murderous 123 off just 46 balls hitting 16 sixes along the way which is the joint second highest by any batsman. He has a very impressive strike rate of 172 on T20 matches. He is a very high impact batsman and I am very excited to see how he goes.

Asela Gunaratne is an allrounder who has played 18 T20 matches and has a strike rate of 122. He has been picked on the back of some good performances domestically.

Kasun Rajitha is also a player who has excelled for Sri Lanka at its domestic level recently. He is a peppy right arm medium fast bowler and has a stellar T20 record in which he has played 11 matches and picked up 23 wickets with best figures of 4/20 at an economy rate of under 7 runs per over and a lowly strike rate of 10!!

Danushka Gunathilaka played for the Lankans during their disastrous tour of New Zealand last month and he is an explosive opening batsman who has come in place of Kusal Perera. Gunathilaka played a couple of very good innings in New Zealand and will be a threat on the flat Indian decks.

Comebacks are the flavour of the season, what with Nehra and Tait making a comeback for India and Australia recently for the T20I’s, the Lankan selectors pulled a rabbit out of the hat by recalling the old warhorse Dilhara Fernando. It will be interesting to see if he still has that pace and if his no ball problem still exists.

It will be a very exciting series and I am eagerly looking forward to this series!

The schedule for Sri Lanka’s T20 tour of India is given below:
1st T20I - Pune on February 9
2nd T20I - Delhi on February 12
3rd T20I - Visakhapatnam on February 14

Sri Lanka 15 Man squad for the T20I series in India - Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Seekuge Prasanna, Milinda Siriwardana, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Asela Gunaratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilhara Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Binura Fernando, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeffrey Vandersay

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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