Lankans Hope New Skipper Tharanga Will Spark ChangeOf Fortunes

  • Five-match ODI Series begins today in Dambulla

The last time the two sides met in an ODI
Sri Lanka stunned India

Sri Lanka are looking to new captain UpulTharanga for a change in fortunes in the one-day international series starting today against India after enduring a humiliating Test whitewash on home soil.

Tharanga will lead the hosts into the opening match of the ODI series in Dambulla, having been appointed limited-overs captain to revive the ailing team after their shock 3-2 loss to minnows Zimbabwe in July.

Angelo Mathews stepped aside as captain after that defeat, vacating the top job to Tharanga who takes the helm at a low point for Sri Lankan cricket, with a form slump and injuries dogging the beleaguered side.

Tharanga, 32, has urged fans to be patient, insisting the “rough patch” will pass for the 50-over 1996 World Cup winners.

“We have always been stronger in our white-ball format, and I am confident that we will come out strong and beat India,” said Tharanga just before the team left the capital Colombo for Dambulla.

“We have the talent, we have the skill. We have been putting in the hard work, we just need the spirit, and for that we need your support too,” added the left-handed batsman in an appeal to the fans to get behind the team and encourage them.

Sri Lanka have recalled all-rounders ThisaraPerera and MilindaSiriwardana. Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and pacemanVishwa Fernando, who were both part of the bowling attack in the Test series against India are expected to make their respective ODI debuts.

The hosts – now the eighth-ranked ODI side – were swept aside by India 5-0 in their last ODI series in 2014, and more recently bowed out of the Champions Trophy short-format contest in the first round.

However the one bright spot in their dismal Champions trophy campaign was a stunning win over India when they successfully chased over 300 to register an incredible win. That game was the last time the two sides met in an ODI and the result must still rankle with Kohli and his men who will no doubt be out for revenge today.

India, whose last tour of Sri Lanka in 2015 ushered in a new era of supremacy for the top-ranked Test side, are looking to ride their sweep of Test victories into the shorter-format series.

The loss of their Champions Trophy title to arch-rival Pakistan was a bitter pill for India, and the two-time World Champions will be seeking a comeback in Sri Lanka.

Newly-appointed ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma urged his men against becoming complacent, reminding them of their surprise loss to Sri Lanka in the opening round of the Champions Trophy.

“I have no idea about the squad for this ODI series, but what they had in the Champions Trophy was a very good side. They beat us quite comfortably,” said Sharma.

“So you know in one-day cricket they are a very good team. We just got to do what we have been doing in the past few years.”

The series offers India’s second line of talent a moment in the spotlight with spinners RavindraJadeja and RavichandranAshwin, and pacemen Mohammed Shami and UmeshYadav, being rested by selectors.

Young spinners Axar Patel and YuzvendraChahal are expected to make the starting lineup in one or more of the five matches. Uncapped quick Shardul Thakur may also get a look in.

India are scheduled to play a lone Twenty20 in Colombo on September 6 after the completion of the ODI series.

3 Comments for “Lankans Hope New Skipper Tharanga Will Spark ChangeOf Fortunes”

  1. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    This is a curse because of the way our Selectors have Treated Ajantha Mendis for
    What is the Mystery that Ajantha Mendis the mystery spinner who bowls off breaks and leg brakes no captain or selectors want in their squad
    Quoting From Cric Info ” Ajanta Mendis: Even as the Sri Lankan mystery spinner found himself out of favour many a times through the year, he ended up as the leading wicket taker of 2014 in ODIs. In 17 matches, he took 38 wickets at an average of 21.63, with a wicket every 22.5 balls economic rate 5.76. Apart from some steller batting performances, Ajantha Mendis’ fin form with the ball played a key role in Sri Lanka’s success in 2014, the 5-0 thrashing against India notwithstanding”

  2. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    Ajantha Mendis also in the 2011 world cup with the limited opportunity he got performed better than Murali in getting wickets in the semi finals against New Zealand taking wickets and having in the whole tournament the least economy rate of 3.1 to Murali 4.1 but the selectors left him out in the finals and we lost the finals no reasons given by the selectors .Sanga the then captain resigned .

  3. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    20/20 cricket from crickinfo cricket record by Ajantha Mendis

    You get only 4 overs to spell your magic.. quick and conditional cause fast bowlers can’t bowl bouncers or too wide outside stumps. no overstepping the popping crease and field restricted!
    No surprises, few bowler have taken more than a wicket an over in Twenty20 cricket.
    Umar Gul of Pakistan held the record of best figures in T20 international matches but on 8 August 2011, Ajantha Mendis mesmerised Aussies at Pallekele, registering the first 6 wicket haul for 16 runs, and then repeated the feat against Zimbabweans but only this time, he gave away only 8 runs at Hanbantota on 18th Sept 2012 which now is the best figures. Other bowlers to take 5 wickets in T20 matches are Umar Gul of Pakistan, Tim Southee of New Zealand, Nehemiah Odhiambo of Kenya, Ryan McLaren of South Africa and Derren Sammy of WestIndies. But the most embarrassing part for our selectors after his recording effort in hambantota he was not permitted to play in any international 20/20 match

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