Dimuth Karunaratne shouldn’t be made ODI captain straightaway says Farveez Maharoof

Coming to the ODI side, there are some reports that Dimuth Karunaratne is now being considered for ODI captaincy. What’s your take on that?

I think it all depends on what SLC needs. I mean the Sri Lankan head coach Chandika Hathurusingha was asked to come back. So I am not sure, the thing is, lots of ifs and buts are happening at the moment. We are not sure what decisions have been made. If you look at how Sri Lanka’s performances in the ODIs, apart from Angelo Mathews, no one has batted for a long time. So I think, in my personal opinion, a player like Karunaratne, if he can come in as an opening batsman who could at least bat 30-35 overs with a decent strike rate, I think that’s what we want. But straight away coming and captaining a ODI side that you haven’t played (in) for four years, I don’t think should be the way forward. Coming in and captaining won’t be that easy. It’s a huge task you are asking from him. So it’s important to strike that balance. I feel like as a player, I would definitely like to have Karunaratne because he likes to bat (for a) long time. But definitely not as captain right now.

You mentioned the performance of Vishwa Fernando and Lasith (Embuldeniya) and Oshada too played really well in the series. How would you rate the overall performance of this team, since it’s not a one-man show, everyone chipped in

Yes, that’s the brilliant part of it. You even take Kasun Rajitha, the way he bowled, and the way Suranga Lakmal bowled in the test matches, the way he controlled things. In the second innings in the second test, he came up and bowled a brilliant spell, I think he picked up three or four wickets(4) when things were not going great or us, so he showed his experience. So all in all, everyone performed, everyone clicked, everyone chipped in whenever the demand was there. And also South Africa didn’t bat that well. I mean, you take Hashim Amla, in the entire series he was a failure. You take Dean Elgar, one of the best players in the South African team, was not performing well. That shows we have done our homework and our bowlers have done their part by working out a plan. So this shows how good we can be. As I said, now the main thing is to be consistent and make sure that this is not just a one-off.

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