Sri Lanka will perhaps look to someone other than Angelo Mathews to lead them in the shortest format © AFP
Sri Lanka will perhaps look to someone other than Angelo Mathews to lead them in the shortest format © AFP

Lasith Malinga recently stepped down as Sri Lanka captain ahead of the ICC World T20 2016, paving way for Angelo Mathews to take over the reins for the upcoming mega event. Mathews may, however, not be a long-term solution for captaincy in the shortest format. Mathews already leads Sri Lanka in Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Dinesh Chandimal may perhaps the right candidate to lead the side at this stage, given his prior experience of leading Sri Lanka in T20Is in the absence of Malinga and Mathews. Chandimal’s appointment as permanent captain will make more sense at this point. READ: Lasith Malinga steps down as Sri Lanka captain ahead of ICC World T20 2016

Chandimal, if needed, can also keep wickets for Sri Lanka, which can accommodate an extra bowler or batsman in the side — much like Rahul Dravid did it for India in the ICC 2003 Cricket World Cup. Chandimal led India in the recently concluded T20I series in India, and despite losing the series, he showed glimpses of how effective he can be as captain: leading a team of inexperienced cricketers, he shocked a rampant India in the first match. READ: Sanath Jayasuriya backs Angelo Mathews to lead Sri Lanka in ICC world T20 2016

Sri Lanka are going through transition across formats and it is a similar story in T20Is as well. Malinga is more or less set to bow out after the World Cup, and Tillakaratne Dilshan can do the same as well. Dilshan is one of the leading run-scorers in T20Is, and his loss will be big one for Sri Lanka. Rangana Herath may not last long, either.

With the burdens of mentoring youngsters, leading and strategising as well as leading the batting and bowling occasionally, Mathews may be overburdened, if he is handed the T20I captaincy as well. We have seen the same happen to AB de Villiers, who has complained about his workload of late. De Villiers has often hinted that he may retire from one format to reduce the burden on himself. Mathews, too, may go through a similar phase, and Sri Lanka cannot afford to want him to go the de Villiers way.

Mathews has done reasonably well as captain in Tests and ODIs, but giving him captaincy across formats may be pushing things a bit too far.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)