There is not much debate on who the batsmen are for this tours. The players who were apart of the victorious series with Pakistan and the series with Australia are bound to make the side. It helps that most of them have been playing some form of white ball cricket leading up to this series, notably the duo of Bhanuka and Avishka who are part of BPL 2019 and are in amongst the runs.
3.Kusal Janith Perera
There is much debate on what the winning T20I bowling combination is for Sri Lanka. Though there is much promise when it comes to executing the Sri Lankans have been found wanting.
The pace attack as well as the team will probably be lead by Lasith Malinga who at 37 has been Sri Lanka’s best bowler in this format in the past 18 months.
Nuwan Pradeep will share the new ball with him, owing to his recent exploits with the white bowl, particularly his wickets at a good economy rate both in the powerplay and the death. It will be interesting to see how he uses his deceptive back of the hand slower ball on the slowish Indian tracks.
I’m of the opinion that the selectors must give Lahiru Kumara a rest during the T20 series with India. He has been bowling continuously since the T20 tour to Pakistan, the T10 league, T20 tour of Australia and now the Test series with Pakistan. He deserves a break, one as he really bowled hard and fast throughout these tours and two the recent test was a forgettable one as he was the only one who seemed to want to take a wicket. It is understandable that he us mentally and physically drained. A break will help his recuperate and come back ready for the test series against England.
As a like for like substitute I think Dushmantha Chameera deserves a chance. He was excellent during his stint in the T10 league, beating the batsmen for pace and rushing them with his sharp short balls. This will be a good opportunity to prove himself and make it to the T20 World Cup squad.
Amila Aponso. Anyone who has been keeping a close eye on SL domestic cricket and SL A cricket will have ample evidence of how good a bowler Amila is. He has been consistent with wickets as he has been miserly with his runs. After Ashton Agar’s performances against SL in
Australia even the selector stressed on the importance of having a left arm spinner in the T20 side. He is by far the most suitable to this position and I hope he is able to make use of this opportunity if given the chance.
Isuru Udana. Hardly a day goes by when his name isn’t brought up on social media. His canny slower balls, his massive sixes, his general good-guy persona (you know, that spirit of cricket move of not running out an injured batsmen) have all made him a hot commodity. His recent purchase by Royal Challengers Bangalore have only added to his growing super star title. Not only Lankans even Indians, especially RCB and India captain Virat Kohli will be keen to see how he fares in this series
Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to retain his place in the 11. He is bound to get more assistance from the Indian pitches than he did in Australia. Having to bowl at the best batting line up of recent times will surely leave him in good stead. I hope he can pick up a thing or two by observing Yuzevendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, two of the best limited overs wrist spinners in the world.
Many people might find this odd but I feel like Seekuge Prasanna deserves a place in this squad. Despite being a national team discard he keeps getting picked in T20 leagues across the world and was the only Sri Lankan chosen at the recent PSL auction. Knows for his hilarious celebrations Seeku has improved his explosive batting as shown by his blistering fifty for Trinbago Knight Riders at the CPL Semi Final. Besides, he will add some experience and maturity to this very inexperienced spin department.
Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka are my ideal number 5 and 6. In Pakistan where they put up a massive partnership of 177 for the 6th wicket in the 2nd ODI they showed that they had the batting sense to knock the ball around and steady the ship and weren’t just about bashing the ball out of the park. Both of them are quite handy with the ball, and if selected I’m hoping they get the chance to roll their arm over and contribute with wickets.
The above players add up to 15. If Sri Lanka choses to do so they can take a squad of 16, which is something they’ve done commonly over recent away tours. If this was the case I believe they need to pick Kamindu Mendis. I believe Kamindu can give that X factor to the side, which has been lacking since Akila Dananjaya was banned for illegal action. His recent bowling and batting form has been admirable so I wont be surprised if he picked as a left field option.