COLOMBO: All-rounder Thisara Perera has been named to lead Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series against India, beginning December 10 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPA) Stadium, Dharamsala.
The 28-year-old will take over the captaincy from opener Upul Tharanga, whose captaincy saw Lanka slump to three 5-0 whitewashes this year.
Perera, who was in charge of a depleted T20I side that played against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore last month, will lead the side in the 50-over international cricket for the first time.
It seems that the national selectors might have handed the top role to Perera in the wake of his impressive handling of a young outfit when several first-choice players expressed their reluctance to visit to Lahore for third T20I against Pakistan.
Perera, who made his debut in December 2009, has appeared in a total of 125 ODIs for Lanka, with a formidable strike-rate of 109.
As a bowler, he has bagged a total of 133 wickets at an average of 32.62 apiece.
However, his form has come under scrutiny in the recent times, scoring only 91 runs and bagging just four wickets in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan. He followed that with only 19 runs and three wickets across three T20Is.
It should be noted that Lanka’s limited-overs side has undergone plenty of changes in the recent times.
When Angelo Mathews stepped down from captaincy in July this year, the role was split and Tharanga was asked to lead the ODI side while Dinesh Chandimal was given the Test mantle.
Under Tharanga’s watch, Lanka were whitewashed 5-0 at home by India and 5-0 away by Pakistan before the team was beaten 5-0 in South Africa as well.
As a result, Thisara became the seventh player to captain Sri Lanka in 2017, following Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera who all have borne the responsibility in one format or the other.