Our fans in Sri Lanka have been waiting a long time for us to be successful: Shanaka

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17 Oct 2021 | 05:22 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Our fans in Sri Lanka have been waiting a long time for us to be successful: Shanaka

Sri Lanka won the 2014 T20 World Cup - their last global event success as a cricketing nation

Out of the top 8, Sri Lanka will kick start their ICC T20 World Cup campaign on Monday with a game against Namibia in a bid to book a berth in the Super 12 stage of the competition. It would seem strange for many, especially with Sri Lanka winning the whole thing just an edition ago in 2014 - arguably the end of Sri Lanka's golden era. However, Dasun Shanaka believes that they have the depth to go a long way in the tournament.

"If you recall, that squad had a lot of variety and depth. And with the youngsters we have come through now I feel have the same potential, but the only thing lacking is the experience," Shanaka said, speaking on a captains' Zoom call. "If our guys perform to their strengths I feel they can go a long way in this tournament. Our fans in Sri Lanka have been waiting a long time for us to be successful, and I hope we can make them proud."

"We were not able to perform up to the mark in the last few years, but still the strength of our squad is very good. We've got two guys coming from the IPL [Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga], Kusal Janith [Perera] at the top of the order and Avishka Fernando, who is going well, coming in at No. 4. We are settled with our batting line-up. We've recently changed our line-up a bit - I think we've struck a good balance."

While their middle order is kind of settled, Sri Lanka have tried Dinesh Chandimal, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Pathum Nissanka in their opening slot, but with little to no result. Nissanka seems to be the only certainty in Sri Lanka's opening order and Shanaka is backing Nissanka to shine. 

"He's been a guy coming through the system, so we know how capable he is. Still, when you come to the biggest stage you have to make your mark by scoring good runs. I feel he will make this tournament his own and make it count," the skipper added.

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