Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dickwella included, Bhanuka, Oshada, Shehan, Wanindu retained for Australia T20Is

Written by N Krishnamurthy

While regular shortest format captain Lasith Malinga is again set to lead the side for three T20s against Australia, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella have also been named in the 16-member squad. More importantly, the selectors have retained the 12 players, who rewrote the history by clean sweeping Pakistan in recently concluded T20 series, including Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya and Danushka Gunathilika.

Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were among 10 Top players, who had refused to play in Pakistan citing security concerns.

Rajapaksa made scores of 32, 77 and 3 in the three-match series. The second of those was a 48-ball effort, featuring four fours and six sixes, and lifted Sri Lanka to 182/6.

Oshada played only at the start and end of the tours. After being dismissed for 1 in the second ODI, which was the first game in the tour to take place, after the first was washed out, Oshada was brought in for the final T20I, where he made over 50% of Sri Lanka’s runs, scoring 78 of their 147 runs. Coming in to bat with his side struggling on 30 for 3, and then 58 for 4 after eight overs, Oshada produced a counter-attacking knock, breezing to a 48-ball 78, on what was a fairly sluggish batting track.

Hasaranga played a defining part through the series, picking up eight wickets in three games at an average of 9.87.  Hasaranga was among the few Sri Lankan bowlers to threaten Pakistan’s batsmen in the ODI series, picking up three wickets in two games, but he really came into his own in the T20Is, taking eight wickets at an average of 9.87.

Sri Lanka will play three t-20i against Australia on Oct 27 (Adelaide), Oct 30 (Brisbane) and Nov. 1 (Melbourne).

About the author

N Krishnamurthy