Hunt for veterans’ replacement went too long for Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka grabbed a fantastic win over India in their second group match to stay alive in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but former captain Kumar Sangakkara feels that the team has taken a lot of time to find proper replacements for players like Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene.

By: Express Web Desk | Published:June 10, 2017 10:25 pm
Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara, Indian Express Sri Lanka defeated India in their second group game. (Source: AP)

Sri Lanka grabbed a stunning win over India in their second group match to stay alive in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but former captain Kumar Sangakkara feels that the team has taken a lot of time to find proper replacements for players like Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene.

“The search has probably gone on a little too long,” Sangakkara said while commentating during India and Sri Lanka clash.

The former wicket-keeper batsman though hailed Dinesh Chandimal’s ability with the bat.

“We’ve had two, two-and-a-half years of it now, looking for replacements for (Tillakaratne) Dilshan, Mahela (Jayawardene) and we have some fantastic young players coming through.” One of the accusations directed at the management and the team has been that they haven’t groomed anyone to fill those voids. “But I think the one man that was identified very early was Dinesh Chandimal, who performed excellently in South Africa, then in England, in Australia,” he added.

Sangakkara also said that Chandimal’s appointment as skipper came a bit early and then his exclusion from the team put a halt on his consistency.

“He’s actually had a period where he’s been identified as the best young player (and was) appointed captain probably a bit too soon. “Then he was dropped from the captaincy, dropped from the team, so he’s never had a consistent run in the position that he was identified for. “I don’t think the environment he’s played in has been very good for his confidence. Every time he now takes the field, it’s almost as if (he’s) playing for his place, for survival, and that’s not a good place for a young player to be. “But also we have to re-look at a lot of the things that happen below international level – our first-class structure, our ‘A’ team structure – to make sure we actually drag those structures into the modern day,” said Sangakkara.

Mentioning about instances, the left-hander appreciated the timely decisions taken by other sides when the veterens bid an adieu to the game.

“I think there are a few sides around the world that made tough decisions, tough changes,” Sangakkara said. “Australia went through a period where all the big guns left and the youngsters had a year, year-and-half, two years of really adjusting and going through a tough time, but now they’ve regained their confidence, their abilities and their belief. “England, after the last World Cup, made some tough changes to their one-day set up,” he said.

“Andrew Strauss appointed director of cricket, new coaching staff – that has paid dividends. “Sometimes when things are difficult…maybe it’s wise to not repeat processes that you have been following for quite some time but actually have the courage to change, and not only change, but once a policy decision has been made, a strategy put in place, stick with it and go the distance with it. “It takes time, but when you do put in the time and effort, results do come,” he added.

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