Stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal has admitted Sri Lanka selectors have not helped the team’s preparations for the upcoming ODI series against England with the dropping of captain Angelo Mathews.
Chandimal will absorb the limited overs captaincy to tie in with his Test role after selectors reacted to a poor Asia Cup showing by leaving veteran Mathews out of the squad to face England.
Citing concerns over Mathews’ lack of fitness, the 31-year-old all-rounder responded by penning a letter to SLC chief executive Ashley da Silva in which conceded he was ‘willing to take part of the blame’ for the team’s performance in the Asia Cup. But he also stated he felt he had been turned into a ‘scapegoat’ and had been ‘betrayed’.
Ahead of Wednesday’s first ODI against tourists England in Dambulla, Chandimal came to the defence of his team-mate.
“We all know he is our best batsman, especially when it comes to the shorter formats.
“I hope he will identify what he needs to do to come back to the side and come back strongly. It is mainly his fitness.”
Sri Lanka face England winless in their last nine bilateral series and coming off the back of a swift exit in the Asia Cup through losses to Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
1st ODI, October 10, Dambulla
2nd ODI, October 13, Dambulla
3rd ODI, October 17, Kandy
4th ODI, October 20, Kandy
5th ODI, October 23, Colombo
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