Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead inexperienced squads to Pakistan | Daily News


Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead inexperienced squads to Pakistan

Uncapped players Minod Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Uncapped players Minod Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Lahiru Thirimanne with 125 ODI caps and Dasun Shanaka with 30 T20I caps will be the most experienced cricketers in the two different formats for the tour to Pakistan later this month.

Not surprisingly Thirimanne has been handed the ODI captaincy and Shanaka the T20I captaincy after regular captains Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga along with eight others backed out of the tour due to security reasons.

Thirimanne has experience of leading his country before in 3 ODIs in 2015 in New Zealand when Angelo Mathews was injured. Sri Lanka won one match and lost two under his leadership in a seven-match series lost 2-4 (1 no result).

This will be the first time Shanaka will be captaining his country.

With ten experienced players backing out of the tour Sri Lanka will be fielding very young and inexperienced sides for the ODI and T20I series.

The inexperience weighs heavily on the selected team when one compares them to the players who have pulled out.

The total strength in experience of the ODI squad is 314 matches and T20I squad 128 matches as compared to 1088 ODI matches and 387 T20I matches of the ten players who stood down.

Minod Banuka, the 24-year old wicketkeeper-batsman, is the only uncapped member in the 15-man ODI squad. Banuka along with Bhanuka Rajapaksa are the two uncapped names in the T20I squad. Banuka has been part of Sri Lanka’s Emerging squad while Rajapaksa was on Sri Lanka A’s tour of India in June.

Top order batsman Oshada Fernando finds himself once again in favour being named for the two formats after missing out on a place in the recently concluded Test and ODI series against New Zealand despite making a promising start in the Test series in South Africa which Sri Lanka won 2-0.

Sri Lanka play a series of three ODI matches starting in Karachi on September 27 and a series of three T20I matches commencing in Lahore on October 5.


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