Dilshan wary of youthful Australia

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan on Tuesday insisted his team would not be taking Australia lightly despite the youthful look to the tourists’ squad.

The skipper will be without injured opening bowler Lasith Malinga for the two Twenty20 matches against Australia but said he wanted his younger players to take the opportunity to perform for the side.

“Australian usually play very hard. They may be a bit inexperienced. But they are tough opponents,” Dilshan said in Colombo ahead of the first T20 on Saturday in the central town of Kandy.

Sri Lanka hope to have slingy paceman Malinga back for the start of the five-match one-day series on August 10, which will be followed by three Test matches.

“Malinga’s loss is felt a lot,” said Dilshan. “But I see it as a good chance for the younger players to step-up and perform.”

The hosts were runners up to India in the World Cup earlier this year and boast a strong blend of youth and experience, but Australian T20 skipper Cameron White said his team would battle hard.

“Sri Lanka are in very good form. They will be very hard to beat in their own backyard. But we will give them a good fight,” said White, who was dropped from Australia’s one-day and Test squads for the Sri Lankan tour.

Sri Lanka go into the series with local coaches heading all departments in the team, a departure from the recent past, when head and assistant coaches were mostly foreigners.

Former Sri Lankan bowler Rumesh Ratnayake has stepped in as interim coach for the Australian tour, after former coach Trevor Bayliss quit in April to return to Australia.

“Rumesh’s influence, although for a short time, has been very good. The younger players feel comfortable to walk up and talk to the head coach, and discuss their shortcomings. I hope we do well,” Dilshan said.

The T20 series will not have the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) due to a lack of the necessary cameras, but Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Upali Dharmadasa said they were hoping to have the technology for the Test series.

He said Sri Lanka were also keen to have ball-tracking technology included in the UDRS.

  • PremasiriS

    Sri Lankan Fans do not like to have somebody’s child in the National sides, but they would extremely happy to see schoolboy cricketers of brilliant skills who’ve carried their consistent form from their schooldays into the Domestic Level. It is a well known fact that a Player’s ability to play consistently needs great skills. Though these promising talented players of extreme talent should have been brought straight from schools into the 1st XI, as it had happened 30 years before, it is just the reverse it has been happening at present. Ever since(early 1980s )the people of half knowledge of this Great Game has started to engulfed the all sectors (Administration, Media, Coaching, Umpiring ) for the sake of greediness of cheap fame & money, the quality of the Game (in the Country) too has been deteriorating.

    Even the best of the best players the likes of Anura Tennekoone, Roy Dias, Ranjan Madugalle, Mahanama, Hasan Thilakeratne , Marvan Athapathu were forced to retire early than they wanted to while reckless hitters ( Inconsistent performers)who have totally depended on their lucky stars to score a big century offering 101 chances with their risky stokes were regarded as quality players by the media men who joined the trade after the Genius the likes of late Loucian de Zoysa, RB (Bertie) Wijesinghe, S Skandakumar, Mevan Peiris, Malcum de Zoysa …..

    At a time where batsmen like: Angelo Perera, Khausal Silva, Dimuth Karunarathna, Thirimanne, Bhanuka, Romesh Bhuddhika, Wimanga Perera, Chathuranga de Silva, Rosen Silva, Sachithra Serasinghe; All Rounders like: Umesh Karunarathne , Janaka Gunarathne, Geeth Alwis, Geeth Kumara,Sachith Pathirana, Chathuranga Kumara and fast bowlers like: Charith Jayampathi, Chathura Pieris, and spinners ( who can spin the ball) like: Sachithra Senanayake, Dulanjana Mendis, Malinda Pushpakumara , SPrasnna there is no need for ordinary players that selectors always pick for no valid reason. For e.g. how could we consider a player whose 1st class Bat. Ave. is 23+ (after a almost 200 1st class innings) as a batsman to represent the Country?
    Most of the batsmen these idiots like selectors of last 3 decades have picked (at consistent basis)do not know the way of playing the ball all along the ground when it matters most and leave a ball there to be left alone. The batting under tough conditions against quality bowers is a nightmare for these favorite batsmen of these ignorant selectors of late. As a result the number of matches we have lost is more than we deserved.
    If not for batsmen like Aravinda, Mahanama, Hashan, Athapathu, Samaraweera,…we would have been a nothing team and there wouldn’t be a big difference among countries like New Zealand(which is a Rugby crazy country) Banglaadesh , Zimbabwe & us. Incidentally some local media institutions & school principals of all leading schools have been trying to promote Rugby in the Country as if we are the World’s No 1 Rugby team for reasons known to them only for the last 25 years. For this very reason Sri Lankan National Cricketers have become small made and most of the big made players have come from the outstation schools. This caused the quality of the game in all leading schools to detoriorate, but not for the reasons that Sangakkara has mentioned in his speech.
    Another funny thing these idiot like selectors did was the picking of Samaraweera as a bowler to replace injured Murali and send him to bat No 11 after all those blind hitters, though he was a batsman of class who has won the best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Award twice in successive years for his batting alone. Once this quality batsman was dropped to make way for an average player who was not good enough even to represent a 2nd XI team. This kind of selections have become a common feature in Sri Lankan Cricket as senior players have started dictate terms since the date all unsuitable, unqualified persons took over the Administration of SLC. These dominant seniors were another reason that deserving players like Sajith Fernan do, Varuna Waragoda, Lanka de Silva, Indika de Saram,Manoj Mendis, Duleepa Samaraweera ,Chinthaka Jayasinghe, PN Ranjith, Nuwan Zoysa, Sajeewa Weerakone, Ian Daniel (one of the top 3 batsmen of the Year 2000 youth WC) Muthumudalige Pushpakumara couldn’t or hardly represent the Country.
    If we try to keep Mahela, Sangkkara & Dilshan (who are yet to learn to play their FORCEFULL stokes all along the ground when it matters most & who will be38+& 39+respectively) till 2015, the same fate of 1999 that would fallen on us cannot be avoided. Therefore it is high time to drop them one by one. It is not a secret that all three took long time to establish themselves as ODI players. Even now their performances as ODI players are very inconsistent. If we take the averages of their 1st 30 ODI innings it lies definitely around 25 mark.

    • niroshan

      I agree with everything you said premasiri. at least they should have rest the senior player’s and give the young player’s a chance to play the two 20/20 against Australia. but premasiri u’ve missed out on one name ,what about Dilshan Munaweera? he’s being performing well since 2008 u 19 world cup.. as leon said he has only played one A team match agaist australia, even in the side matches he has performed well. anyway will c wat will happen to sri lanka cricket in the future?

  • leon

    Dilshan munaweera from Bloomfield.. last year in the inter provincial 4 day tournament he was the highest run getter.. in the u 23 season 2009.& 2010 he won the awards for best batsmen,and the best all rounder continuously , even in the recent 20 /20 tournament he shared a 125 run partnership with T.M Dilshan .and also was the highest run getter for basnahira which was unfortunately out of the tournament in the semi finals. till semi finals he was ranked third in the highest run getters list seconding only to dinesh chandimal and Kumar sangakkara. stil he was unfortunate to even get a place in A team tour to England. considering all his only got a chance to play sri lanka A in the last Australian tour.which he only got one match to play.. so questions to answer selector???? Why is this happening to our young blood.. ???

    • Bhanuka

      100% true machan

  • Priyantha

    Dilshan should improve his batting: he should set an example for other yooung batsmen by getting some runs. He seems to be an average captain, if not towards the negative side. His strength is only batting.