Monday, April 3, 2017

We are in good shape in T20 cricket: Upul Tharanga

Sri Lanka's stand-in captain Upul Tharanga believes his team has more confidence going into the two-match T20I series against Bangladesh following series wins in Australia and South Africa in recent months. Tharanga became only the third Sri Lankan captain to win a series in Australia after Angelo Mathews and Kumar Sangakkara. He was also part of the side that won a series in South Africa in January.

"We are more confident leading into the T20 series having won in Australia and South Africa. They are top teams in the T20 format and we felt good after those series wins. We are in good shape in the T20s. We have got lot more experience with players like Lasith Malinga coming in. He is a big match winner for us," Tharanga said on Monday (April 3).

Sri Lanka however are without the services of regular captain Mathews. The all-rounder hasn't played any cricket since returning home from the tour of South Africa with a hamstring injury. His recovery was going well and he was expected to feature in the T20s. But while trying to bowl during training, Mathews hurt his right calf and was ruled out of the series.

"He's been the best player for us over the last few years. We can't replace a player like him. The good thing for us is that we did well without him in Australia. Someone like Asela Gunaratne stepped up and performed well," Tharanga added.

One good news for Sri Lanka is that wicketkeeper batsman Kusal Perera has recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the ODIs against Bangladesh. "Kusal is completely healed now. He had a fitness test earlier today and he came out well. He is fit and available," Tharanga added.

There has been much debate after the 22-year-old Kusal Mendis was left out of the T20 squad. Mendis, who smashed a stunning 194 in the first Test in Galle, scored a maiden ODI hundred in the second ODI and was named Player of the Series.

"He's playing Tests and ODIs really well. In T20s though he hasn't been that successful. The Champions Trophy is coming, and hopefully he'll be in a good mental state for that. If we give him a break here, he can concentrate on the longer formats, and we can get more out of him there," Tharanga argued.

No comments:

Post a Comment