Skyrocketing from the oblivion of losing his place in the ODI teamine to the captaincy of the Sri Lanka test team is the agonies to ecstasy poignant chapter in the cricketing career of Dinesh Chandimal. Literally nobody would have expected the former Ananda College product to come out of the gloom of a cocoon that had tripped his career recently losing his place in both ODIs and tests on the grounds of poor form. That it has been a career transformation of reaching the zenith of player dreams to wearing the captaincy mantle is indeed the high point of the 27-year old right hand batsman’s career in terms of player rank elevation; a manifestation of the cricket establishment’s faith in the man in the lull of failures that had tripped him.
Of course, it will be the most challenging of missions Chandimal will front up as he leads Sri Lanka in the solitary Test versus Zimbabwe tomorrow at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Replacing Angelo Mathews who quit the job following Sri Lanka’s ODI series loss to Zimbabwe, Chandimal’s task looms huge at a crossroads juncture of taking his country out of a bad patch in the last two years. The big hurdle will be the home series against India that follows the test against Zimbabwe.
In tomorrow’s encounter, pointedly Chandimal can take heart that Sri Lanka does hold the aces despite losing the ODI series given some proven performers in the ranks. Coming in are the veteran spinner Rangana Herath who was the scourge of Zimbabwe when Sri Lanka came out tops last time out, the seasoned opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne who would be pairing in all probability with wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella. The inclusion of all-rounder Dilruwan Perera, who was quite unlucky not to have made the ODIs, is muscle adding while the inclusion of all-rounder Vishwa Fernando, a right-hand bat who bowls left -arm medium-fast, is significant.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-