SL vs ZIM: Dimuth Karunaratne, Dasun Shanaka Sacked As Sri Lanka Announce New Captains For All Formats

Published - 04 Jan 2024, 11:52 AM | Updated - 04 Jan 2024, 03:47 PM

Sri Lanka {PC: Getty}
Sri Lanka {PC: Getty}

Sri Lanka, on Wednesday (January 3), named Dhananjaya de Silva their new Test captain. He has replaced Dimuth Karunaratne as the captain of Sri Lanka’s Test side.

Karunaratne was leading the Sri Lankan Test team from 2019. He had started his reign as the captain on a historic note by guiding Sri Lanka to a famous series win in South Africa. The left-handed batsman became the first captain from Asia to win a Test series in South Africa.

Sri Lanka have announced new captains for the limited-overs formats as well. Dasun Shanaka was leading the team in both the white-ball formats but has faced severe criticism in recent times for his team’s poor performance. In the 2023 ODI World Cup, Sri Lanka finished at the ninth spot in the points table with just 2 wins from 9 games and also failed to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

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Sri Lanka’s new captains:

In ODIs, Kusal Mendis has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s captain. The right-handed batsman impressed in the World Cup and finished the tournament as his team’s third-highest run-scorer, scoring 294 runs with the help of one century and one half-century. In T20Is, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has replaced Shanaka as the captain.

While announcing the new captains, newly-appointed chief selector Upul Tharanga stated that while he would have liked one captain for all three formats, there was no other choice than to go for three separate captains because of a lack of suitable automatic choices.

“I would have preferred to have the same captain for all three formats, but we are unable to do that at the moment with the players we have,” said Chief Selector Upul Tharanga.

The former Sri Lanka opener also said that his immediate concern is to fix Sri Lanka’s inconsistent top-order as he highlighted the top-order batters’ poor performance in the ODI World Cup in India.

“We came apart at the World Cup due to the bugging inconsistency in the batting where mainly the top four who are the nucleus failed to click. If a batsman scored in one game his failure thereafter was a major setback and we aim to arrest that major drawback,” said Tharanga.

“All these players are not short of talent, but there is an obvious shortcoming where consistency is concerned and we have already spoken with the coaches concerned regarding sorting out this problem,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will begin 2024 with a home series against Zimbabwe in January. They will host the African nation for three ODIs and as many T20Is. It will be followed by a series against Afghanistan, consisting of one Test, three ODIs, and three T20Is. The Islanders will then head to Bangladesh for an all-format tour.

Sri Lanka’s new captains:

  • Test: Dhananjaya de Silva
  • ODI: Kusal Mendis
  • T20I: Wanindu Hasaranga

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