Mumbai: Former Sri Lankan captain and ace player Tillakaratne Dilshan will bid adieu against Australia after the two match T20 series. Dilshan has already retired from limited overs cricket and the upcoming two T20 matches will be the last time he will represent SL in international cricket.
The matches will be played at Pallekele and RPS Colombo.
SL cricket in recent past have lost players such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. They made SL a strong international outfit and helped team to win numerous trophies. The team has lost vast amount of experience and Dilshan was the last link of the quartet.
Dilshan invented the ‘Dilscoop’ and made the shot his own. He goes down on one knee and flicks the ball over wicket keeper’s head. The shot has been inventive as well as productive and Dilshan has benefited greatly from it since 2008.
Australians wrapped up commanding 4-1 series victory in ODI cricket and would be confident to get the job done in T20 format. Aussies lost the Test series 3-0. SL would like to send Dilshan on a happy note by winning the series and proving that loss in one day series was one-off.
The hard-hitting batsman would like to play his trademark shot and at the same time bowing out of international cricket by entertaining crowds and putting smile on their faces.
“The Dilscoop, I first tried in 2008 in South Africa against Australia because I knew nobody could stand behind the wicketkeeper,” Dilshan recalled after playing his last ODI match last week.
“I practised it and then played it in the 2009 World Cup against Shane Watson and it went for a six and that shot gave me lot of courage. I’m happy there’s one shot under my name in my long cricketing career,” said Dilshan.
Dilshan has been an honest worker for Sri Lankan cricket. He batted from every position and played without any ego and always put team first rather than playing for himself. His captaincy stint was not great but he still took the job and he also don the gloves. Dilshan would go down as a legend and international cricket needs players like him to set an example.
He played for over 17 years and participated in 87 Tests, 330 ODIs and 78 T20Is in his long and distinguished career. The impact he had on the team cannot be measured in numbers and his importance will be realised after his retirement.
SL will be captained by Dinesh Chandimal in the absence of injured Angelo Mathews. Mathews tore his calf and has been sidelined for the T20 series. SL would like to make amends in the shortest format.
“We’ll learn from these mistakes and come back stronger. One series you are going to win, another series you are going to lose,” Chandimal said.
Australians have issues of their own with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Shaun Marsh ruled out with back and finger injury respectively. The latest setback suffered by the team from Down Under has been the injuries to Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn.
Finch, who will perform 12th-man duties in the T20s, broke his index finger during the fifth and final ODI in Pallekele while Lynn dislocated his shoulder during a team practice session.
With regular skipper Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh rested, the visitors have asked wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and ODI star George Bailey to stay back for the final two games.
David Warner returned to form and scored a hundred in the last ODI of the series and has led the side pretty well. They will be confident going into the short series and would like to continue the momentum and emerge victorious.
“In these conditions you’re going to have to sweep, you need to use your feet, you’re going to have to watch the ball hard on to the bat where you can’t leave the ball because one is going to skid on,” Warner said on tackling Sri Lankan conditions.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamara Kapugedara, Milinda Siriwardana, Kusal Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Sachith Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka
Australia: David Warner (capt), George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa