Akila Dananjaya faces yet another ban from international cricket after his action found illegal. Today, we at the Cricketry decided to take a look at who among the Sri Lankan spinners effectively can replace Akila Dananjaya as the leading spinner.
Whether Akila rectified his issue after his previous ban or whether it was too quick to introduce him to test cricket is a discussion for another day. This is a significant blow for plans of Sri Lankan cricket as he was just getting in to form. Now with this one-year ban, selectors must look at a different option for the T20 world cup just few months ahead.
Who can replace Akila?
Well, Dhananjaya De Silva proved more than handy off-spinner during the recent WorldCup matches, especially in the seam friendly English wickets. That is a good sign since the next T20 Worldcup is to be played in Australia where the pitches will again favour the seam bowlers. Dhananjaya’s batting, as well as his bowling prowess, will sure to get him a place in the playing 11. So he is leading the board among Sri Lankan spinners. Now the question is who will be our second spinner? Fortunately, we have plenty of options.
Another spin bowling batting allrounder
- Shehan Jayasooriya
- Dhanushka Gunathilake
A finger spinner
- Nishan Peries
A left-arm spinner
- Lasith Ambuldeniya
- Amila Aponso
- Wanindu Hasaranga
Let’s take a look at our options.
Shehan Jayasooriya and Dhanushka Gunathila both may get selected for the T20 squad. But with the return of Dhananya De Silva, only one of them will have a place in the playing 11. The chances of Dhanushka Gunathilake is high at this point because he could be the ideal opening batsman with Kusal Mendis. This will let Kusal Perera bat at number 5 or 6 where we desperately need a dependable hard-hitting batsman.
Nishan Peries and Lasith Ambuldeniya both have a similar problem. Both of them are good spinners, but we have not seen how either of them perform under pressure. T20 is a batsman’s game, and the bowlers will be under constant pressure.
Sandakan could be ideal if he can pitch the bowl. Whenever he pitches it, he gets a considerable spin. But his control is a massive problem for a selector to pick him to the world cup squad.
Now for leg spinners. A good legspinner is a treasure to any cricket team because even though they may get hit, they get wickets. And in T20 cricket, wickets are essential to keep a batting line up in control. So out of the two leg spinners we have, who should we select. Well, Vandersay’s horrendous WorldCup form has made it a simple choice.
The recent T20 series against Kiwi’s showed us that Wanindu Hasaranga has greatly improved his bowling over the past two years. He spins the bowl, take wickets and have greater control. He is also a brilliant outfielder and a decent bat. All are massive plus points to a limited-overs cricketer. If managed well, he could be our Shadab Khan.
We have around 15 more T20 games before the WorldCup. Under the leadership of Malinga, we were able to solve at least one issue we had for quite some time now. The opener. Kusal Mendis has shown that he could be the ideal choice for this. Now, its time to fix the other issue. Our spin bowlers. Hopefully, the players will step up and grasp the opportunities they get. But for now, Wanindu Hasaranga is our pick to replace Akila in T20 cricket.
What do you think? Please do let us know who you think could replace Akila Dhananjaya keeping the upcoming T20 WorldCup in mind