Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Following Angelo Mathews’ decision to resign as captain in all three formats, Dinesh Chandimal will now lead Sri Lanka in Test matches, while Upul Tharanga will take charge in limited overs cricket.
Mathews stepped down as skipper on Tuesday, just a day after his side were stunned 3-2 in their five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Chandimal was groomed to captain Sri Lanka from a young age and while his form in ODIs has been turbulent, he has been fairly consistent in the longer format. Since 2015, he has averaged 41.17 with the bat, while his career average stands at 42.33.
“I want to take this team and Sri Lanka forward, so I will put my heart and soul into the job,” Chandimal said. “I’m very thankful to the job that Angie [Mathews] has done for us. Captaincy is not an easy job and he was an excellent leader for us over four-and-a-half years. He’s also a terrific batsman and a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well.”
Tharanga, meanwhile, was always going to be a serious contender for the limited overs captaincy as he had filled in for Mathews while the latter was injured.
Since November, Tharanga has been averaging 49 with the bat in 50-over cricket, despite being moved up and down the batting line-up.
Sri Lanka won four games and lost eight, with six of them coming against South Africa, in the time Tharanga stood in as captain.
Having been given the opportunity to lead his country in limited overs cricket, Tharanga said: “I don’t want to say that as a team we’ve done poorly in the recent past, but we have had some ups and downs. Some matches we do well, and others we don’t. In future we have to be more consistent. We all want to take Sri Lanka forward.”