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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014
Ahead of World T20 final, Sri Lanka chop and change again
Nilankur Das , Hindustan Times
Mirpur, April 06, 2014
First Published: 00:15 IST(6/4/2014)
Last Updated: 00:18 IST(6/4/2014)

After winning the 50-over World Cup in 1996 defeating Australia, Sunday will be Sri Lanka's fifth appearance in a World Cup final. They have since lost to Australia and India in 2007 and 2011 in the 50-over format and in 2009 and 2012 to Pakistan and the West Indies in the T20 format. And just as the case was in 2011 final against India, there is again an unsettled look about the team.

Before the final in Mumbai, Sri Lanka had made as many as four changes to their 11. They had left out Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath and Chamara Silva and brought in Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera. This time on, the chopping and changing has begun with their captain.

Dinesh Chandimal had landed in Dhaka as skipper of their World T20 campaign. He was banned by the ICC for the last match of the group league against New Zealand. But on the eve of the semifinal against the West Indies, Chandimal opted out and left the leadership to Lasith Malinga.

Brave decision
Sri Lanka defeated West Indies in that rain-curtailed match and following that, Man-of-the-Match Mathews said Chandimal's was a brave and unselfish decision.

On the eve of Sunday's final, Chandimal is finding it hard to get into the 11, forget getting back his captaincy. Stand-in skipper Malinga added to the confusion by saying Chandimal can play if the track and conditions force them to revise their combination. So who will lead the team in case Chandimal comes back, someone asked. "Myself," the paceman said.

Not just that. Sunday will be Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's last T20I match.

Even with Chandimal in the dugout, Sri Lanka will have four former skippers - Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mathews –in the middle.

And Malinga spoke of how their inputs will help him. Whatever happens, the responsibility will be on the MI pacer who will go out for the toss. It will be interesting to see who lifts the trophy if Sri Lanka win.


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