Sri Lankan cricket has been in a state of turmoil as they received a hammering in the Test series from the No.1 ranked Test team in the world India. The misery of the longest form of the game carried on to ODI cricket too as they suffered another clean sweep at the hands of the neighbors. Post the ODI series, the limited overs sides’ skipper Upul Tharanga has ruled himself out of Test cricket for the coming 6 months.
He will miss the 2-Test match series against Pakistan, which is scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this year. The move to stay away from Test cricket has come in a bid to concentrate on white ball cricket.
A press release issued by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday (September 4), stated that the Tharanga has opted out of Test cricket for the coming 6 months in order to focus on his white-ball cricketing skills. As a result, he was not considered for the 25-member provisional squad for the upcoming Test series versus Pakistan.
Nightmare as a captain
The 32-year-old has had a horrible time as a captain of the Sri Lankan side. The team under him suffered a massive loss against India. To make the matters worse, he was suspended for 2 matches after his side was found guilty of slow over rate in the 2nd ODI of the series.
After sitting out of the 3rd and the 4th ODIs, he made a comeback in the last game. The left-hander played a quickfire knock of 48 off 34 balls while opening the innings. But it wasn’t enough to inspire the team as they bundled out for just 238 which the Indian batsmen chased down quite comfortably to complete a 5-0 whitewash.
Upul Tharanga had denied any thoughts of giving up the captaincy despite a major defeat. Recently, Angelo Mathews had resigned from the captaincy that handed over the reigns to Tharanga. Had he decide to leave as well, it would have left Sri Lankan cricket deeper into trouble.