Good opportunity for Sri Lanka – Dilshan
Sri Lanka skipper Tillekeratne Dilshan said yesterday that he was
looking forward winning today’s first T- 20 versus Cameron White’s
Australians which would also be Sri Lanka’s first T 20 victory at home
versus the Kangaroos.
I know we have never won a T-20 game in Sri Lanka. This is a good
opportunity for us to put that record right. As a team we have done all
the preparations right and looking forward for tomorrow’s game, Dilshan
told journalists during a practice session at the Pallekele yesterday,
eve of the first T 20 in the current tour. The team would be selected
this morning and there will be a three spinners and also Jeewan Mendis,
the fourth, in the event of the need arises.
Dilshan and Mahela Jayewadene will be opening the batting and Dinesh
Chandimal would be the one drop batsman.
Pallekelle is great - White
Twenty20 skipper Cameron White said yesterday that his team had
completed their preparations and was ready to take on Sri Lanka
in the first of the two encounters beginning here today.
The ground was good and the pitch and the weather were
excellent, Cameron told a group of journalists during a practice
session at the Pallekelle grounds yesterday, adding that he did
not mind the heat and the humidity in Colombo.
Responding to a question from the Daily News where he too
subscribed to the views of numerous visiting international
cricket captains that the pitches in Sri Lanka were too slow, he
said: “ The pitch was great and the and it had a little grass on
it. It looks like a great wicket and we will see the state of
the pitch when the game gets underway tomorrow. The conditions
are great and we are looking for a great game tomorrow”
When pointed out that he was leading a young Australian side
which was pitting its wits against a very strong Sri Lankan XI
and excellent exponents in the one day version and the T20s, he
said: “Sri Lankans were very strong and especially in the manner
in which they played against England in England” White
specifically mentioned former skippers Kumar Sangakkara and
Mahela Jayawardene as outstanding, “When Sri Lanka has players
of that calibre, we know what to expect”, he said.
He said that there were quite a few youngsters in the Australian
side who had played very good cricket and that they too were
capable of making an impression.
Asked whether it was fair and that whether he minded that he was
being used only as the T20 skipper and for some One Day
Internationals only, he responded in the negative. He said that
he had played quite a few games in the last few months and which
were preparatory as well, but said that he would move out as the
T20 skipper after the series and to play in the one day squad.
Asked whether the Australian side was using the current T20
series against Sri Lanka as a practice session and the launching
pad for the T20 World Cup which was to be played in Sri Lanka,
he said that the World Cup T20 series which would be held in Sri
Lanka had a special aura about it, but conceded that there were
not a large number of T20 games between now and then.
I will have a chat with the coach and the selectors and decide on the
final composition of the side. Giving the young players a chance is
something that I try on every opportunity I get, he said.
Asked about the venue, he said: “Even we have played just one game
here. Both sides will have a good game I believe and both sides are
balanced and the best team will win.
The wicket are having bounce and therefore Aussies having slight
advantage. If you compare with other wickets in Sri Lanka, the fast
bowlers will have some advantage here. But we had a good series in
England and looking forward to improve on those results.
Lasith Malinga’s absence, Dilshan conceded, was a big loss.
“But we have to give opportunities for some of the younger players.
We lost Murali that was a big loss too, but we managed to move forward
without him. That’s the reality and you have to live with that, he said.
Now, Lasith is injured and I am sure another young player will take up
that opportunity. If the players step up and deliver, rather than
depending on one or two players, we can make the maximum from what we
have,” he said.
This is a wicket that helps faster bowlers. Had it been at Kettarama,
we could have played three spinners apart from me. But for tomorrow I
don’t think there will be more than two spinners for simply because the
conditions seem to be helping faster bowlers more.
He said that Angelo Mathews was still not 100 percent fit . He can’t
send down ten overs, but if he can send down three or four overs I think
that will help us to balance the side. Dilshan said Dinesh Chandimal
will certainly play. In T-20 he will play at number three, but in ODIs
he will have to play at number five.
We can’t fill the gap created by Lasith. But the players whom we have
got, should put their hands up and come up with some good efforts. I
think he should be alright fro the first ODI.
Commenting on the prospects of the T 20 World Cup scheduled to be
hosted by Sri Lanka, he said: “We have to prepare from now onwards. We
have to give players opportunities from now itself as there are very few
T-20 games left before that tournament. I don’t think we have to do lot
of changes in ODI cricket and T-20 cricket. We don’t need to chop and
change much. There are some good young players and we need to give them
opportunities and get them in a good frame of mind before the T-20 World