Wanindu Hasaranga to Lead Sri Lanka in T20Is, Kusal Mendis Named ODI Captain

Written by Mohan Sharma

Sri Lanka Cricket have officially announced that Wanindu Hasaranga will lead the Sri Lankan side for their upcoming series against Zimbabwe.

For the ODI format, Kusal Mendis will continue as captain after taking up the role due to Dasun Shanaka being ruled out of the World Cup. Mendis looked to be in good touch at the start of the World Cup where he scored a fifty and a century in the first two games but since taking over as the captain of the side, his form has taken a hit. He will be aiming to get back among the runs as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Hasaranga will make his much-awaited return to cricket following a hamstring injury he picked up before the finals of the Lanka Premier League.

The bowling all-rounder was in dominant form having finished as the leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps in 10 games and the highest-run scorer with 279 runs in 10 games to help his side B-Love Kandy to the title despite missing out on the finals.

He was a big miss for Sri Lanka as the bowling department took a big blow following his loss. Hasaranga has made a decent partnership with his fellow spinner Maheesh Theekshana. The latter seemed to be struggling to get wickets in the World Cup as well which added to Sri Lanka’s woes in the bowling department.

Sri Lanka will take on Zimbabwe at Colombo for a three-match ODI series followed by a three-match T20I series at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Sri Lanka will be hoping to see the best of Hasaranga once again as he has been a key cog in all of Sri Lanka’s success in limited-overs cricket in recent times. The leg-spinner was also picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for a bargain price of just 1.50 crores, giving Sri Lanka the replacement for Rashid Khan they have been longing for so long.

Preliminary T20I squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Pathum Nissanaka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Kusal Janith Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kamindu Mendis, Dunith Wellalage, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Binura Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana.

Preliminary ODI squad: Kusal Mendis (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Sahan Arachchige, Nuwanidu Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Asitha Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chamika Gunasekera.

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Mohan Sharma