We are well prepared to take up the Australia challenge and win the T 20 series said Sri Lankan T20 skipper Dasun Shanaka at the press briefing held at Hotel Cinnamon Grand yesterday.
The experienced all rounder Shanaka said we put up a good fight against the Australians during our T20 series in Australia last February and this time with the home advantage we are ready to take on the world T 20 champions said skipper Dasun Shanaka.This time we have the players who excelled at the IPL and that is a good advantage for us . Wanindu Hasaranga the champion leg spinner , Maheesh Theekshana the mystery spinner , experienced Dushmantha Chameera and young Matheesha Pathirana are now top class players while hard hitting Bhanuka Rajapaksa also is in good form and two talented players Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka have come back after recovering from their injuries and the presence of Dhanushka Gunathileka also is good for the team but we have not finalized our final eleven for firstT20 game today said Shanaka .
Dasun Shanaka also performed well with both bat and ball at the MCA Super Premier League tournament for the Sampath Bank is expected to do well in this most challenging tournament.
We saw spectators are very keen to get match tickets .They wanted to see matches and their support is more important for us .Both T-20s and ODI’ s are very important.Australians are well prepared and we can’t underestimate the Australians who are formidable in all three formats and we have to face these challenges said Dasun Shanaka.
Our paceman did really well at the last Bangladesh test series. In addition Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana also did well at the IPL .I think R.Premadasa wicket is going to be a good bouncy wicket and keen tussle is expected said Dasun Shanaka.
We have Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis and Bhanuka Rajapaksa for number three slots while we have not decided who is going to be number three and it depends to balance the side and also adjust left and right hard combination . Kusal also going to keep wickets .I think we batted well at the recent series and bowlers also did their part really well.
The presence of Lasith Malinga the bowling strategy coach did a good job at the last Australia tour and his presence in this series is a big boost for our pacemen. Malinga the experienced IPL expert had very good knowledge about T 20 format while the new head coach Chris Silverwood and his team are very supportive and go out with confidence said Dasun Shanaka.
Especially we are focused on next T 20 world cup .During the last world cup as well as last T20 series against Australia and India we were not at full strength.Few players were injured while some players were tested positive for Covid 19 but today we will be at full strength said Dasun
Meanwhile Dimuth Karunaratne the test captain also said after six years we are lucky to get full cricket series against Australia and it’s a real test for Sri Lanka team. The present head coach Chris Silverwood already with our test team and he still getting to know our players ..When we had to face panic situation at the test match Silverwood reached to us and gave good support and he is an understanding coach and calm character said Karunaratne .
I am not think about my omission of the white ball format and concentrating on Red ball format.Its the selectors decision .They have plans and discussed with us and we all give our fullest support said Dimuth Karunaratne.
Meanwhile Australian skipper Aaron Finch is expected to be at full strength for today’ s game. The opening combination of Finch and experienced David Warner Mitchell Marsh , Glenn Maxwell ,Steve Smith and Marcus Stonis and wicket keeper Matthew Wade bolster their batting line up while Ashton Agar , and Maxwell two spinners and fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson and Josh Hazelwood are in the final eleven of the team .
The first T 20 will commence today at the R.Premadasa International cricket stadium from 7pm onwards while all tickets have sold out .The proceeds from the ticket sales will be handed over to Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe for the benefit of Sri Lanka people .
The match will live telecast on Rupavahini Eye channel and Ten Cricket, and Sony Liv while renown commentators Roshan Abeysinghe , Russal Arnold , Farveez Maharoof , Aamir Sohail , H.D Ackerman and Brad Haddin will be the commentary team.
Australian team for the first T20 I: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood.
Sri Lanka probable team for first T 20: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Dhanushka Gunathileka, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Madushanka, Dushmantha Chameera and Matheesha Pathirana