T20 World Cup 2021: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella ban affecting team, says coach Mickey Arthur
Sri Lanka have banned Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella for 1 year as they were spotted breaching the bio-bubble.
Sri Lankan coach Mickey Arthur has said that one-year bans on three players -- Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella -- for bio-bubble breach during the UK tour earlier this year had unsettled the crucial No.3 position in the batting order, adding that if that position could be "shelved down", his team would be much better off in the ICC T20 World Cup here.
Following an easy seven-wicket win over Namibia on October 18, Sri Lanka take on a much tougher opponent in Ireland later on Wednesday, with a win in the First Round Group A match assuring the former champions a place in the 'Super 12' stage.
"That No. 3 position has been an Achilles heel for us ever since we lost Danushka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella (to suspension). We`ve battled to find the right balance in our top five. I`m comfortable we`ve got that balance. If we can just get that No. 3 position shelved down, we`ll be good," said Arthur on Tuesday evening.
Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka have been suspended by Cricket Sri Lanka Over Bio Bubble Breach.pic.twitter.com/teKsQ9oEW5 — ALI SHAMRAZ (@AliiItss) June 28, 2021
"Dinesh Chandimal has it at the moment. Hopefully, he gives us a performance at some stage. We've got young Charith Asalanka, who I think is another young player that`s going to play a lot for Sri Lanka, just waiting in the wings. I`m just waiting for someone to grab that position and make it their own," added the South African.
However, Chandimal looked out of sorts in the opening game against Namibia, managing only five runs. But Arthur said he was willing to give the batter more opportunities to settle down. "Chandi is a very, very good player, and contrary to a lot of the stuff I`m reading about him, he is a fine, fine batsman. He`s just short of a little confidence at the moment, but I`m comfortable that he will regain that. When he does he played an innings in the practice game before we came over here. We had three practice games in our camp. He faced a really good attack. Dushmantha Chameera wasn`t there, but he had Binura, he had Chamika, he had Akila and Maheesh bowling against him, and he got 84 out of 48 balls and really played very, very well."
"He batted superbly. He hit proper cricket shots, and he hit them well, he hit them hard. He cleared the boundary straight a lot of times. So if we can recreate that confidence for him coming into World Cup games, we feel we`ve got a win. We`ll give Chandi another run without a doubt. I`m comfortable that Chandi is one innings away from showing us potentially what he can do," added the coach.