India drop in-form Chahal, Sri Lanka pick struggling Dananjaya | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Mahela Jayawardena: Chairman cricket SSC, chairman NSC, Consultant SLC, head coach MI:

India drop in-form Chahal, Sri Lanka pick struggling Dananjaya

17 October, 2021
Akila Dananjaya-Mahela Jayawardena
Akila Dananjaya-Mahela Jayawardena

In and out slow bowler Akila Dananjaya will have the fight of his career when Sri Lanka gets down to contest what is being called the T20 World Cup that starts in the United Arab Emirates next week.

Dananjaya is not the only player who has been selected despite not being in the best of form, but his selection at the last minute at a time he was struggling for wickets is what raises pertinent questions.

In his last T20 match on home soil, Dananjaya conceded 28 runs without a wicket against South Africa in August that included two sixes and was dropped for the next two games. In his last two international games against Oman, Dananjaya conceded 16 runs in the two overs that he bowled and 33 runs in three overs in the second match to finish wicket-less.

Dananjaya was initially fast tracked by Mahela Jayawardena who influenced the selectors that he was the pick of the new slow bowlers after the retirement of Muttiah Muralideran in 2012.

Jayawardena is now the best all-rounder in retirement holding the post of chairman of cricket Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC), Consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and head coach of probably the richest franchise team in the world, Mumbai Indians (MI).

In contrast India has shown the door to the in-form Yuzendra Chahal who picked up 18 wickets in the IPL and ended among the top five bowlers.

Dananjaya according to some experts is yet to recover from a peppering he suffered in the West Indies in March this year when Kieron Pollard clouted him for six sixes in an over.

Sri Lanka squad:

Dasun Shanaka (captain), Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Pathum Nissanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Mahesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya