Thirimanne, Siriwardana and Vandersay chosen for the World Cup team
Drummer Lahiru Thirimanne, multi-purpose spinning bowlers Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis and legpinner Jeffrey Vandersay have all been selected to Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad, although they have not played in the tournament. ODI since at least 2017.
Niroshan Dickwella, Akila Dananjaya, out-of-competition, defensemen Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga, as well as Dinesh Chandimal, captain of the ODI team last October, were not selected.
The training also includes Avishka Fernando, the 21-year-old opening drummer, despite his modest tour to South Africa last month. Nuwan Pradeep, who had a small presence in the ODI squad partly because of an injury, was also chosen.
Several players joined the group thanks to their outstanding performances at the week-long provincial Super Four tournament held earlier this month. Jeevan Mendis, for example, took six wickets in three matches and scored a half-century without defeat. Thirimanne was the second-leading scorer of the tournament, behind Angelo Mathews, after scoring a century and a 82 throughout the week.
Vandersay, meanwhile, had won five wickets in the tournament, but was largely chosen because of the encouraging performances of the T20’s internationals. He is the only spinner specialist on the team. Check Who Will Win The Toss Today
The inclusion of Siriwardana, who may have been the biggest surprise of his team’s announcement, was due to his versatility, said Mel’s chief selection, Ashantha. “To balance the team, the 6th place drummer must be able to play, so we went with someone who has some experience in this role.”
Among the omissions, Dickwella and Akila are perhaps the most important, the two players having figured in the recent ODI of Sri Lanka in South Africa. Dickwella’s omission was due to a loss of form: he had collected three one-digit goals against South Africa and failed to exceed 20 goals in four rounds of the provincial tournament. Akila, meanwhile, has seen its effectiveness decline since the remodeling of his bowling.
“We can not bring two descendants to the World Cup and we are now considering Dhananjaya de Silva as a winner,” said de Mel. “Since Akila has reshaped his action, Dhananjaya has been getting kicks at a much lower hit rate than Akila, and he’s also turning the ball over than at Akila.”
With regard to fast bowling, Sri Lanka opted for an experience rather than a promise, omitting Dushmantha Chameera and Kasun Rajitha for the benefit of Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. Although he was not among the 15 players, Rajitha was named as one of four reserve players, alongside versatile player Wanindu Hasaranga, as well as drummers Oshada Fernando and Angelo Perera.
Of course, the team will have a new captain for the tournament, Dimuth Karunaratne, who has not played himself since the 2015 World Cup. According to Mel, it is the leadership of Karunaratne in the victory of the Test series in South Africa which prompted the selection committee to dismiss Lasith Malinga and make the captain change.
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