Mahela Jayawardene to captain Sri Lanka in Australia tri-series

Mahela Jayawardene will replace Tillakaratne Dilshan, who resigned as captain following the team’s disastrous tour of South Africa AFP

Colombo: Jan 23, 2012

Mahela Jayawardene was today reappointed captain of the Sri Lankan squad for all three formats of the game hours after Tillakaratne Dilshan resigned from the post following the team’s dismal showing in South Africa.

The 34-year-old’s immediate assignment would be to lead the team in the triangular series involving hosts Australia and India starting early February, sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage announced on Monday.

Angelo Mathews was named vice-captain of the 15-member squad which also included Dilshan.

All-rounder Farveez Maharoof and pacer Chanaka Welegedara were recalled after having last played an ODI for Sri Lanka in June 2010.

The two were brought in place of Kosala Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando, both of whom who were part of the squad for the recent ODI series in South Africa.

Appointed to the hot seat by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Jayawardene led the side to the World Cup final in 2007.

The 35-year-old Dilshan sent in his resignation from South Africa, where Sri Lanka concluded their disastrous tour yesterday.

Sri Lanka lost the three-match Test series 1-2 and the five-match ODI series 2-3.

“Dilshan has resigned as captain in all three formats of the game,” SLC said in a statement.

“Members of the executive committee take this opportunity to thank Dilshan for his commitment and dedication during his tenure as the national captain,” the Board said.

“We also wish him well as he continues to represent Sri Lanka as a national player.”

Dilshan’s resignation did not come as a surprise as under him Sri Lanka lost away series to England, Pakistan and South Africa while also failing to win against Australia at home.

He took over the captaincy from Kumar Sangakkara after Sri Lanka’s six-wicket defeat against India in the World Cup final in April last year.

Dilshan led Sri Lanka in 11 Tests since May 2011, of which his team won one match and lost five.

His own form with the bat dipped during his tenure as captain and, despite a historic Test win in Durban, Sri Lanka’s first on South African soil, the team’s overall record was not worth a mention.

His own average during his tenure was 33.60, as opposed to his overall average of 40.89 (4,662 runs in 77 Tests).

Dilshan led Sri Lanka in 21 ODIs, winning eight and losing 13.

His batting suffered more on the ODI front as he averaged 20.95 in comparison to his overall figure of 34.68 (5,896 runs in 224 matches).

It is believed that Dilshan’s replacement is part of an ongoing shake-up after the national team’s recent poor run.(PTI)

Sri Lanka team for the tri-series in Australia:

Mahela Jayawardene (c), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayaka, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedera, Dhammika Prasad and stand by Thilan Samaraweera.