Sri Lanka ODI squad for Bangladesh tour: Kusal Perera new ODI captain; Kusal Mendis named vice-captain in major revamp
Sri Lanka ODI squad: The Sri Lankan selection committee has made multiple changes including a new captain and vice-captain.
Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera has been handed the captaincy of the ODI team for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh. Having represented Sri Lanka on 170 occasions across formats, the 30-year old player will be leading his national side for the first time in the upcoming three-match ODI series.
Batsman Kusal Mendis, who hasn’t played white-ball cricket since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, has not only received a comeback but also been named as the vice-captain of the ODI team.
The development means that previous captain Dimuth Karunaratne has joined the long list of Sri Lankan players who were handed the reigns for a brief period in the last half-a-decade or so.
Since his ODI comeback just before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Karunaratne had scored 577 runs in 17 innings at an average and strike rate of 36.06 and 76.52 respectively. Under him, Sri Lanka had won 10 and lost seven ODIs in the last two years.
Sri Lanka ODI squad for Bangladesh tour
In addition to Karunaratne, former captains in Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal have also been dropped as the selection committee led by Pramodya Wickramasinghe and coach Mickey Arthur have hinted at building a squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Both Mathews and Chandimal had played the last of their 218 and 149 ODIs respectively during the tour of West Indies earlier this year. As far as Sri Lanka’s highest ODI run-scorers in the last two years are concerned, Karunaratne is second on the list followed by the likes of Perera, Mendis and Mathews.
Avishka Fernando, who tops the same list, has been left out on grounds of failing a fitness test for the second time in a row. While all-rounder Thisara Perera has retired from international cricket, senior pacer-duo of Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal has also been dropped.
Sri Lanka 18-member ODI team – Kusal Perera (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Dasun Shanaka, Ashen Bandara, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Niroshan Dickwella, Dushmantha Chameera, Ramesh Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando.