Reports: Dasun Shanaka to replace Kusal Perera as Sri Lanka captain for India series

Reports: Dasun Shanaka to replace Kusal Perera as Sri Lanka captain for India series

Kusal Perera couldn't do well in the leadership role.

Dasun Shanaka
Dasun Shanaka. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The last few years haven’t been pleasant for Sri Lanka cricket by any means as they lost one series after another, and their position in the team standings narrates the entire story. Not having a settled squad has arguably been the biggest reason behind their downfall. The Lankan Lions even struggled to find a permanent captain. As many as nine players have led Sri Lanka in ODIs since 2017.

Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera was the latest player at the helm. He replaced Dimuth Karunaratne as the skipper of the ODI side earlier this year. However, just like his recent predecessors, Perera couldn’t thrive in the leadership role. Under him, the Lankan Lions lost seven out of the nine white-ball games. This includes series losses against Bangladesh and England.

With the southpaw not performing as per expectations, the selectors are reportedly planning to relieve him from captaincy duties. As per a report in The Papare, Perera is set to be replaced by all-rounder Dasun Shanaka. This means Shanaka will lead the Lankan troop in the upcoming white-ball series against India at home, which gets underway on July 13. The tour comprises three ODIs and as many T20Is.

Dasun Shanka has led Sri Lanka before

It has to be noted that Shanka has led Sri Lanka in international cricket before. He even spearheaded the depleted side that defeated Pakistan 3-0 in a 2019 T20I series in Lahore. However, the thing which goes against him is that he hasn’t captained the Lankans in the 50-over format. It would also be interesting to see how the added responsibilities of captaincy would affect his game.

So far, the dashing all-rounder has played 28 ODIs, scoring 611 runs and scalping 10 wickets. However, he needs to put up a much better show against India. Notably, many first-choice Indian players will not feature in the Sri Lanka tour as they would be plying their trade in the England Test series. However, this doesn’t ease the home team’s challenge to a great extent.

In skipper Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Yuzvendra Chahal, the Men in Blue have some of the finest white-ball players going around. Many are even backing them to beat Sri Lanka. Hence, it would be interesting to see how this series unfolds.