Malinga is captaincy material — Arnold

Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
October 28, 2012

Photo
Lasith Malinga was appointed vice-captain of Sri Lanka's T20 team. © AFP

Lasith Malinga was made T20 vice-captain for one year, what do you think of this move? Does he have what it takes to lead Sri Lanka if Angelo Mathews gets injured in an important game?Kasun Kumarasinghe

It is a good move. Although he just seems to float around in his unassuming way, he does have a very good head on his shoulders and is always switched on. Lasith is a man of a few words, but he does come up with some great suggestions that have surprised many. At one time, when Dilshan stepped down and Mahela was reluctant to captain, I wondered why we did not go with Malinga as our captain for the shorter formats, as I felt Angelo was not ready.

What do you think about Sri Lanka's squad for the T20 against New Zealand, which takes place at the end of this month, and what is your final XI for that match? - SK Jayasiri

My XI would be Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews. And then you have Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis and Kumar Sangakkara making up the rest of the batting. Ideally, I would like to see Jeevan and Chandimal coming in next, but then there is no use batting Kumar at No. 7. The remaining spots go to Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga and Akila Dananjaya. I would prefer to give either Kumar or Dilshan a break and maybe give Kapugedera, who can hit the ball hard, another chance and see how he goes once again. After all, he is more mature now. Shifting responsibility over to the next generation might be the tonic he needs. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be many other names one could bring in at this stage.

What positives can we take from the WT20? And do you see Jeevan Mendis making his Test debut any time soon, is he a long-term plan?Aramva Adhikari

There were many positives. Other than in the final, Sri Lanka played very good cricket and there were contributions from all personnel in the team. The admirable manner in which the younger guys performed showed us that they belong at the highest level and are skilful. Of course, it’s now left to be seen if they can take on the responsibility of piloting the team. Jeevan certainly seems a very lively character and contributes in many ways on the field; Sri Lanka do need to give him a go in Tests sooner rather than later. However, his style and technique can be a concern in Test cricket, but you will never know if he has the mental ability to find a way to score runs in that format if you do not play him. At nearly 30, it’s tough to say if he is a part of Sri Lanka’s long-term plans. He does have another 4–5 years of cricket left in him.

Do you think Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan will play the next ODI World Cup in Australia? I would also like to know what you think is the best for plan for Sri Lanka in the coming years. Should we play Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Dilshan much less, especially in shorter formats of the game, in order to develop more younger players?Waruna Perera

I do think the three seniors should target the 2015 World Cup, which will literally be played in alien conditions. Mahela and Dilshan will need to assess their careers as they go along, as a few niggles have crept in. They should determine if they can continue. Kumar, on the other hand, is very fit. I really don’t have any doubt that he can go on. Giving the younger guys more responsible roles in important tours is the way forward. I am not very sure if Dilshan will continue in the five-day format for too much longer, so it’s Mahela and Kumar that will need to manage the work load. On the flip side of the coin, getting youngsters to bat higher up the order, to give them the experience in controlling an innings, rather than playing supporting roles, is also crucial.

Do you think leagues such as the IPL, BBL and CLT20 should be given a window in the international calendar by ICC?Shane Rampaul

Creating windows in the international calendar does sound good and it will help tournaments be more successful. It will also allow players to play in many more tournaments. While there are numerous benefits, what becomes of international cricket? That’s the responsibility of the ICC. If they create a window for one tournament, how do you refuse another? With so many tournaments going around, it may not be feasible. However, the CLT20 does have a window in FTP.

Sri Lanka Cricket has chosen to sideline Test cricket over the last 12–15 months, and have replaced Test matches with limited-over matches for several tours. What do you think of this?Kamal D

The limited-over matches were mostly involving India and that is to raise money. That’s the only way that goal can be achieved. To keep cricket running, or even for developing cricket in Sri Lanka, you do need money. It is unbelievable the difference in earnings when India is involved in a series, when compared to any other team. This is true not only for Sri Lanka, but for other countries as well. Therefore, you can understand what SLC is thinking. They are trying to capitalise on any given opportunity. But, unfortunately, this comes at a cost — sacrificing Test cricket.

Ask Russel Arnold a question >>

© Island Cricket

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Comments

Sakthivel's picture
Member since:
28 March 2012
Last activity:
2 days 18 hours

Absolutely Malinga should be made as Captain.

Theekshana Somaratna's picture
Member since:
14 April 2012
Last activity:
1 year 17 weeks

Re Malinga as vice captain ; not a good idea at the moment. maybe a few years ago. 1) he will prob play only for another 2-3 yrs ; we need a vice captain whom we can groom for the long haul, 2) not a good fielder ; captain needs to lead by example, 3) tends to get severely hit in certain matches ; could affect his morale and our teams morale by extension.

Re Jeewan; good for ltd over, not for tests. many others deserve a chance and will give better results. if we need spinners better to give a chance to Randiv, Akila, Sachitra etc and for batsmen ; chandimal, karunratne, ashen, tirimanne

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
1 week 5 days

Unless Malinga has hidden leadership qualities, I havent seen much to convince me.

Rukshan's picture
Member since:
12 September 2012
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

Totally agree with Slion and Stormy. I shudder to think Malinga captaining Lanka. He may come up with some good ideas off the field but so can a schoolboy cricketer. Russel said it himself, he floats around on the field. Malinga does not look like a in the moment thinking cricketer on the field.

Rukshan's picture
Member since:
12 September 2012
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

What about his terrible fielding? Butter fingers! He cant catch a toffee let alone a cricket ball! No way can an international team have the VC or CAPTAIN giving away easy runs. What kind of a message is that to the entire team? Demoralizing! Sorry, one of the worst decisions ever from the selectors.

Neo's picture
Member since:
3 April 2011
Last activity:
1 year 4 weeks

if u pay him right he ll be a totally different person! may even lead SL 2 a world cup victory!

Sakthivel's picture
Member since:
28 March 2012
Last activity:
2 days 18 hours

Neo complete agree with you, he is a champ

UppercuT's picture
Member since:
19 October 2011
Last activity:
1 day 3 hours

relax peeps, Vice Captaincy is more of an 'honorary' position these days.(especially in SL) They messed up the chance to give experience to Mathews by making Murali the VC under Sanga(before 2011 WC). The selectors at the time said it was to honor Murali for great service he has done for the country! :D) Besides countries like india keep changing it tour to tour, and England(think it's Broad, not even sure :D)
So nothing to worry abt, just 'honorary'

(Last edited by UppercuT on October 29, 2012 - 10:37)
Kusal Wijesinghe [via Facebook]'s picture

Malinga is the best

Asoka Ranasinghe's picture

@ Rukshan: Russel said he looks like he floats around but has a good brain! Malinga is a top fielder. He may have one or two bad days but he is a decent fielder and a match winner with the ball. Stop behaving like immature fans.

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