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Tharanga axed; Sri Lanka name a new captain for ODI & T20I series against India

Thisara Perera has replaced Upul Tharanga as Sri Lanka”s ODI and T20I captain for the upcoming series against India in December. Sri Lankan selectors have taken this what apparently seems an interesting call in a bid to turn the tables of Sri Lanka in ODI cricket. Sri Lanka has suffered 3 ODI whitewashes this year (against South Africa, India, and Pakistan) and a shocking series defeat against Zimbabwe at home.

Talking about this interesting move, former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold told ESPN, “Well, this is an interesting call. Clearly, Sri Lanka is thinking out of the box. They could have gone back to Mathews. Chandimal would have been another option but he really let himself down in ODI series against Pakistan.”

Thisara Perera appointed as new ODI & T20 captain of Sri Lanka! (Photo Credit: AP)

Speaking about the axing of Tharanga, Russell said, “He (Tharanga) has had a tough run. The results haven”t really gone Sri Lanka”s way. The energy levels in the team were down with Tharanga around. It was clear from the fact that he was suspended for slow over rate so many times. It is fair enough to look for a change”

“Thisara Perera is an interesting character. He has got some great talent. He can make some real difference.The way he handled things in T20I series vs Pakistan was fabulous. ” he added.

Thisara Perera made his debut in 2009 vs India. He has played 125 ODIS and 63 T20Is for Sri Lanka so far picking 133 and 45 wickets respectively. With the bat, he is a handy lower order hitter. His strike rates of 108 in ODIS and 147 in T20Is suggest so. The 28-year-old has already announced his retirement from test cricket after playing just 6 tests in a bid to focus on shorter formats.

So far Sri Lanka has lost 35 international matches in 2017, which is the most for any team in a calendar year. Sri Lankan cricket has hit the rock bottom. They have tried many things but nothing has worked for them. They would hope this throw of dice of change in captaincy works well!

– by Atharva Apte