Upul Tharanga (Image courtesy: AFP)
Upul Tharanga (Image courtesy: AFP)

Sri Lanka cricket have hit rock bottom in 2017; especially in ODIs. They were whitewashed by South Africa, India and Pakistan in a five-match series. In addition, they were disappointing in 2017 Champions Trophy. Even at home, they drew (1-1) versus Bangladesh and were trounced by Zimbabwe (3-2) as well. Majority of the series were led by Upul Tharanga, and he became full-time captain after Angelo Mathews stepped down following Zimbabwe series. Nonetheless, he has failed to inspire the unit, and is set to face the axe.

According to Cricbuzz, Sri Lanka cricket is looking for alternatives ahead of the three-match ODI series versus India from December. Tharanga has made amends as batsman, but that won’t come in handy. He has averaged 47 with two hundreds and five fifties; amassing 860 runs in 22 ODIs. He is the leading run-scorer for Sri Lanka in the calendar year.

To add to Tharanga’s woes, he was banned twice for slow over rate offences while at helm. Sri Lanka do not have enough options to choose from. Going back to former skipper Mathews can be an option since he was groomed for the job since his U-19 days. Test skipper, Dinesh Chandimal, may also replace Tharanga. However, the right-hander has been off colours in shorter formats off late. Thisara Perera has an outside chance to become the limited-overs captain. He led the national side after several senior players backed out from the three-match T20Is versus Pakistan (due to Lahore hosting the final match).

Tharanga had surprisingly replaced Mathews, in early 2017, when he was out of action due to injury concerns.