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captaincy set to change

Sri Lanka’s ODI ( bangladesh chat room list )captain Upul Tharanga is likely to lose his job ahead of the upcoming three-match series against India as the selectors look for alternatives although there are not many immediate options available.

Tharanga was named stand-in captain when Angelo Mathews was injured in South Africa in January and then took over the job on a permanent basis when Mathews stepped down after the unexpected series defeat to Zimbabwe in July.

Under Tharanga, Sri Lanka have suffered three 5-0 whitewashes this year against South Africa, India and Pakistan. The drubbing at the hands of India and South Africa put their automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup in doubt. While at the helm, Tharanga was also suspended twice for slow over rate offences during the Champions Trophy and the home series against India.

Never a natural leader, many eyebrows were raised when then Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya promoted his former opening partner as successor to Mathews. Tharanga struggled to lead from front and the team’s performances hit new lows under his charge.

His form with the bat this year, however, has been impeccable. He has scored 860 runs in 22 ODIs this year at an average of 47 with two hundreds and five fifties. He is the eighth-highest run-getter in the world this year and no Sri Lankan has scored more runs than him in ODIs in 2017.

Who will replace him remains to be seen. The option of going back to Mathews has been discussed although he will be reluctant to accept the role. There was quite a bit of criticism when SLC didn’t persuade Mathews to continue when he opted to step down in July. Mathews has been groomed for captaincy since his under-19 days.

Dinesh Chandimal, who leads the Test team, would have been the ideal option, but he has struggled in limited overs cricket in recent times. Chandimal was Sri Lanka’s best batsman in ODI cricket in 2015 and 2016, but since being controversially axed for the home series against Zimbabwe, he has played with little confidence. Thisara Perera, who captained the side in three T20 Internationals against Pakistan after several players withdrew due to SLC’s decision to travel to Lahore, has an outside chance of becoming Sri Lanka’s limited overs captain.

Sources told Cricbuzz that input from Chandika Hathurusingha, who is set to become Head Coach soon, will be sought before a final decision is made. The decision is expected to be taken by November 30. Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and three T20Is in India after the ongoing Test series.

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