Sri Lanka’s surprise win in the opening game of the three-match Twenty20 series against India had many believe that the young side could pull a rabbit out of the hat. It was just an illusion, as the islanders slumped to their lowest total in the T20 format on Sunday.
Sri Lanka are the only team yet to announce their squad for the World Twenty20 to be played in India in March.
At the end of the three-match series, the depleted squad threw up a few shining stars, but their accomplishments came in the first game, and on a wicket that is unlikely to be seen at any juncture during the premier event.
On spinning tracks, that are more likely to be used during the T20 extravaganza, the team has shown little effectiveness. On Sunday, they were dismissed for just 82. In the previous game, their seam-heavy bowling was torn to shreds by the India batsmen.
The string of injuries to their regular players had forced the selectors to send an inexperienced side to India. Their performance in the last two T20s though does not look to have eased the job of the selectors.
The top order has been a big worry for the visitors on this short tour. The performance of star batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan in the last two T20s has been nothing short of poor. Dilshan was bowled first ball in the second T20 and on Sunday he perished after scoring just one run.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera were the only two batsmen of note in the series, but the latter skipped the third game on Sunday due to injury. The others showed complete lack of application against spin.
The one department where the Sri Lankan selectors could have seen some ‘movement’ in India --- spin --- left a lot to be desired. Senior spinner in the squad Sachitra Senanayake was average.
The one area where the visitors showed some brilliance was in the pace department. Youngsters Kasun Rajitha and Dushmantha Chameera showed some fight. But with Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera set to return, there might be a situation when one of the two could be dropped.