‘Thisara is a key figure in our World Cup plans for next year’, says Sanath Jayasuriya

"It is good to see him perform like that with both the bat and ball"

“It is good to see him perform like that with both the bat and ball”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has announced that all-rounder Thisara Perera will be a “key figure in our World Cup plans for next year”.

Jayasuriya’s comments come after Perera’s outstanding performance against Pakistan in the recently concluded ODI series, which Sri Lanka won 2-1.

Perera scored 78 runs at an average of 39 and took nine wickets at a jaw-dropping average of 10.66.

“Thisara is a key figure in our World Cup plans for next year and it is good to see him perform like that with both the bat and ball,” Jayasuriya said. “We need to have a fast-bowling all-rounder in our team and, if Thisara performs the way he is doing right now, he can give us a lot of options whether to play six or seven batsmen in our line-up.”

Jayasuriya also revealed that Perera had been advised to take some time off after succumbing to mental stress.

“I am glad that he has taken upon himself to train under some qualified, Sri Lanka Cricket coaches to regain his confidence,” Jayasuriya said. “I am a firm believer that if any player wants to improve his game individually he should go to a coach and get personal attention. Maybe the team coaches may not like it but still, all these coaches are from the SLC coaching staff.”

Jayasuriya also believes that out-of-form pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara should look to get some extra coaching after failing to impress in the ODI series.

“It would be good if Nuwan can also get some individual attention from our coaches and regain his form,” Jayasuriya said.

With the World Cup fast approaching, Jayasuriya added that fast bowler Dhammika Prasad has the potential to shoulder a lot of the pace attack’s responsibility.

“What I like about him is he always performs whenever he is given the opportunity and his body language is also good,” he said. “He can also bat and he could be a useful fast-bowling allrounder. We need players to perform so that we can have an idea of the combination we require for the World Cup.”

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