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Frequent changing of captains won’t do much good for Sri Lanka cricket

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All-rounder Dasun Shanaka is set to take over the reign from Kusal Janith Perera, who went through a disappointing tour of England where they lost the T20I series 0-3 and the ODI series 0-2 respectively.

Sri Lanka have now made it a habit of changing the leadership role quite frequently and Shanaka will be the third captain to lead Sri Lanka in an ODI within this year.

The National Cricket Selectors, of course, had a lot of faith in Kusal Perera when he was appointed captain for the ODI series in Bangladesh in May this year.

His arrival also brought an end to Dimuth Karunaratne’s career as captain after the former left-hander had led the country to victory in 10 ODIs out of the 17 matches.

In fact, Karunaratne had a decent record as captain of the Sri Lanka ODI Team and his batting performances was also quite satisfying where he notched-up five half centuries at an average of 36.06 during his tenure.

But it was not the same with Kusal Perera who looked very much under pressure from his very first game as captain although he managed to hit a century and one half-century at an average of 41.00 during his captaincy.

Even then, his hundred in the third ODI against Bangladesh was of less value because by that time Sri Lanka had already conceded the series after having lost the opening two games in Dhaka.

Karunaratne also had his moments of success and misery as captain as he made a determined effort to keep the struggling Sri Lankan Team afloat with a consistent performance.

His track record at home was quite excellent as he led the team to an ODI series victory against Bangladesh (3-0) in 2019 and against the West Indies (3-0) in 2020. However, Karunaratne met his waterloo in the Caribbean as Sri Lanka were swept aside 3-0 by a much improved West Indies Team in March this year. That series also marked the end of the road for Karunaratne as Sri Lanka made several sweeping changes to their side in an attempt to redeem their lost pride.

Despite the changes and the new look team, the results on the field have been the same this year as Sri Lanka managed to record just a solitary win from nine ODIs with one no result.

Gone are the days where Sri Lanka rallied around through one captain for a long period and produced some fantastic results over the years in all formats of the game. The last person to enjoy that success was all rounder Angelo Mathews who

led Sri Lanka for a span of six years from 2012 to 2018 while leading the team for 106 matches.

But thereafter, Sri Lanka have failed to discover the perfect kind of leadership, which has shifted from hand to hand and because of that the results too have been quite awful in this format of the game.

Very soon Shanaka could also have that same kind of experience although he led the country to a 3-0 sweep in a Twenty20 International series in Pakistan in 2019.

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