We will put up a good challenge against Afghanistan, says Dasun | Daily News

We will put up a good challenge against Afghanistan, says Dasun

Romesh Kaluwitharana who is a national selector greeting skipper Dasun Shanaka during the Pallekele training session while selection committee member Hemantha Wickramaratne looks on. (Picture by SLC)
Romesh Kaluwitharana who is a national selector greeting skipper Dasun Shanaka during the Pallekele training session while selection committee member Hemantha Wickramaratne looks on. (Picture by SLC)

We will not underestimate Afghanistan and are ready to take up their challenge said Sri Lankan ODI’ skipper Dasun Shanaka at the pre-match press briefing held at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

The Skipper further said after T20 world cup in Australia we had one and a half week practice under our supporting staff headed by Chris Silverwood and can adjust from T-20 format to ODI’ format with confidence as we had a successful ODI’ home series against Australia.

Sri Lanka ODI squad has still not been approved but we are training hard at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium which is ideal for one day cricket. Normally, the wicket suites the pacemen. We hope to include two key pacemen with a additional third seamer with two spinners and the rest of the members will be specialist batsmen but we will finalise the team after observing the wicket. Key ODI paceman Dushmantha Chameera is still recovering after his surgery and his loss will be felt for the Afghan series. However, bowlers like Kasun Ranjitha, Lahiru Kumara, Pramod Madushan are in good form and newcomer bowling all rounder Dhananjaya Lakshan is likely to get a chance during this series.

Pallekele wicket is very good and we had few training sessions before today’s ODI but winning the toss is an advantage said Dasun.

After the T 20 world cup we have not given up hopes and we want to register a much-needed series win while the three wins out of first six ODIs is enough to get direct World Cup qualification said the skipper Shanaka.

He said he was going through a bad period not being among the runs but hope to regain his form. My players are in good shape to play in this series while bowlers like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rehman and wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbsz the hard hitter have played everywhere in the world and have good experience but we know how to tackle them. Afghan team really perform well at the T 20 format but this is an ODI and we have a good side to challenge them said Dasun.

Meanwhile Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said we have a side which is a blend of youth and experience and hope to put up a good challenge against Sri Lanka. This is the first ever ODI’ series between the two teams and it is going to to be the first time in Sri Lanka. The 17 year old uncapped wrist spinner Noor Ahmad is expected to make his debut while Gurbaz former skipper Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan are the key players with experience. We had good memories at the recent T20 World Cup but T-20 and ODI’ are two different formats.

Sri Lankan team players had to train yesterday but that was not compulsory before the match day while Dhananjaya Lakshan, Dunith Wellalage and opener Kusal Mendis with supporting staff and net bowlers were present. The Afghanistan team was scheduled to start practising yesterday and have a team meeting with the match officials at 4.45 pm said Afghan team Liaison Officer Sena Nandiweera. Former England player Jonathan Trott is the Afghan coach who is busy with the training. The Coach Jonathan said Sri Lanka team has the edge as they are playing at home but we will put up a good fight.

The second and third ODI will also be played at the same venue at Pallekele with all three matches starting from 2.30 pm each day.

Pallekele International cricket Stadium ground staff are very busy and chief curator Asitha Wijesinghe is working hard to prepare a good wicket for this three-match ODI’ series.

Meanwhile Afghanistan - Sri Lanka three- match ODI series will be broadcast live in Sri Lanka on Siyatha TV, Sri Lanka Cricket YouTube Channel and SLBC. Tickets are available at the Pallekele International Stadium entrance for cricket lovers.

 


Add new comment