No doubt Sri Lanka is going through a rough patch. This is the first time that they have suffered a white wash in their home ground. But the woes don’t end there as there is much game left against the Indians now.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming five-match ODI series on Tuesday (August 15).
ODI Squad: Upul Tharanga (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando
Asela Gunaratne is yet to recover from the thumb injury which he sustained during the first Test so the selectors chose all rounders Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardana over him. Siriwardana’s last appearance for the national side came in the limited-overs series against Bangladesh in March-April this year.
Asitha Fernando and Lahiru Kumara are not chosen but Malinda Pushpakumara, who recently made his Test debut against India and young seamer Vishwa Fernando makes a place in the squad.
Though Lankans are going through rough times, the skipper has urged the fans to come up and supports their game.
“Every team goes through a rough patch,” skipper Tharanga said. “This is something that happens in cycles to every team and every nation no matter how great a cricketing nation they are.”
There were days when Sri Lanka could boast of scoring 900+ runs in Test innings and in the recent Tests they have failed miserably against the World No.1 Test team. They were not even able to give a good fight.
Commenting on the same, Tharanga said, “Sri Lanka dominated in all three formats for a good 18 years – don’t forget this now when we are going through a rough patch. Obviously, there are some things we can’t openly discuss due to strategic reasons but there are certain areas behind the scenes that need to fall into place for us. These areas are being taken care of, and we are seeing the results behind the scenes – however, it will take a little more time for it to be seen externally, so please have patience, and most importantly have faith.”
“The support of our fans plays a big role in the morale of the team. We play for our country and our goal is to bring pride to our family of 20 million in this nation – so your support is something that matters greatly to us. Yesterday despite the defeat, we saw spectators cheering us and applauding us – this is what we need. It inspires us to fight harder too – so as the captain of the ODI & T20 teams, I want to appeal to each every one of you”, he added.