De Mel believes it is time for a change in the Sri Lanka Twenty20 squad
Sri Lanka chief selector Ashantha de Mel has announced that the national selection committee are considering making a fresh, new-look Twenty20 squad that will fully revolve around younger talents.
De Mel noted that the changes to the Twenty20 could happen as early as Sri Lanka’s one-off Twenty20 International against New Zealand on October 30 at Pallekele.
With Mahela Jayawardene having stepped down as Twenty20 captain after Sri Lanka lost in the finals of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 to the West Indies, de Mel stated that all-rounder and vice-captain Angelo Matthews is likely to take over.
“We will have to go with Mathews for the moment but we will assess the captaincy. The team should be captained by a player who has a permanent place in the side, we need to separate the Test and ODI players from the T20 players and pick a squad that will fulfill the requirements of T20 cricket. We will pick a young side with players who can make a clean strike of the ball, we really have to assess the situation and start building a team of T20 cricketers for the next World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014, We need to find some strong hitters who can clear the boundary successfully. Players like Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews don’t have the power so they adopt different methods to score runs like the scoop and the reverse sweep. Even playing those strokes you need the strength to clear the fielders,” de Mel said.
De Mel also mentioned that the new Sri Lanka Twenty20 squad needed players, like Dilshan Munaweera, who are capable of clearing the boundary at will.
“Chamara Kapugedara is another batsman who could easily clear the boundary but he has been under so much pressure from all quarters for failing to contribute big scores that he was eventually dropped,” de Mel added.
De Mel also criticised Sri Lanka for their loss in the World Twenty20 final against the West Indies, stating that if the team had more big-hitters, the outcome could have been different.
“I don’t know what went wrong with our batting, for in the earlier matches we used to score at least 50 runs in the first six overs of Powerplay. Here they managed only 30 runs which put the fielding side on top. I think we also panicked during our innings when there was a slight drizzle and threw away wickets rather unnecessarily trying to up the score, the two run outs of Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis didn’t help either. Everything seemed to go against us,” de Mel said.