Jeffrey Vandersay (centre) was included in the T20 World CUp squad in place of Lasith Malinga © Getty Images
Jeffrey Vandersay (centre) was included in the T20 World CUp squad in place of Lasith Malinga © Getty Images

Delhi: The present may not be perfect for Sri Lanka owing to the exit of stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara but the team will come back stronger in a few years’ time, young leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay said on Sunday. Sri lanka, missing big players like Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, have been knocked out the World Twenty20 in the preliminary stage itself, a rather disappointing result given that the team was the defending champion. They have managed just one win so far and that too against minnows Afghanistan. The islanders will play an inconsequential match against South Africa on Monday. “We have a young team. We lost a couple of big names in the last three years. We are in the process of rebuilding. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 29 at Delhi

Give us time. We will do well in future,” Vandersay said on the eve of the dead rubber. “Our batting is quite good. We have potential. From 15 for four we came back fighting and lost by just 10 runs [against England on Saturday]. It shows the character and potential of the team.”

The team has been struggling but the 26-year-old Vandersay has left an impression in the two matches he has played in this tournament. In yesterday’s defeat, he took two England wickets while against the West Indies, he scalped one batsman. “In India this year, it’s more helpful specially the leg -spinners. Personally, I am happy to contribute in some way. Angelo Mathews’ valiant 73-run knock goes in vain as England defeat Sri Lanka by 10 runs in T20 World Cup 2016

It’s always a privilege to play for the nation. Every opportunity that has come my way, I have tried to grab it with both hands,” he said. Talking about tomorrow’s match against Proteas, Vandersay said even though it is only of academic interest, his side will not be short of intensity.

“We are out but we keep fighting. We will not take it easy, we will play to win.” Vandersay said, given an opportunity, he will try to shoulder the burden of leading the spin attack now that senior spinner Rangana Herath is in the twilight of his career. READ: Angelo Mathews: The only shining star amidst gloom surrounding Sri Lankan cricket

“Rangana is legend. He has done so much for Sri Lanka cricket. It will take time to fill the gap but if given an opportunity, I will try to do my best.” He also said lack of hard work is not an issue in the team as it trains hard “whether batting, bowling or fielding.”