All-rounder Thisara Perera has been named Sri Lanka’s limited overs captain and his first assignment will be a stiff one when he will lead the side against India. He will captain Sri Lanka in both the three-match ODI and three-match T20 series following the conclusion of the third and final Test in the series. India lead the Test series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Nagpur by an inning and 239 runs.
Perera takes over from opening batsman Upul Tharanga under whose leadership Sri Lanka suffered three dismal 5-0 whitewashes this year including one at home against India.
Following a poor showing at the ICC Champions Trophy, Angelo Mathews’ captaincy duties were distributed between Tharanga – in the limited overs – and Dinesh Chandimal – for Tests.
Tharanga has been lethal with the bat but his captaincy remains questionable. With the bat, he’s put together over 800 runs in 22 ODIs at an average of 47 with two centuries and five half-centuries in 2017. But with three whitewashes – against South Africa, India and Pakistan – Sri Lanka’s chances of automatically qualifying for the 2019 World Cup were challenged. It didn’t help his case when he got into trouble twice due to slow over rate and was suspended.
Last month he opted out of playing in the third and final T20 against Pakistan, be played in Lahore, due to security concerns. It brought in Perera as captaion for the T20s with SLC opting to name a single squad for the entire series. He has thus been rewarded for bringing the side together even though they were blanked 3-0 in the T20 competition.
As per reports, there were discussions to hand back the responsibility to Mathews but his constant injury concerns ruled him out. Chandimal was also in the fray but his struggles in the shortest format kept him out.