Dubai: Captain Dasun Shanaka says that Mahila Jayawardene is a master tactician and the next-generation Sri Lankan team hope to reclaim the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title under his guidance.
Sri Lanka has engaged Jayawardene as a coaching consultant which is more crucial than the loss of seasoned bowler Nuwan Pradeep to injury.
“Jayawardene has been amazing over the years and tactically, he is the best in the business. He has been a real asset for all of us,” Shanaka told ICC.
Meanwhile, skipper Babar Azam’s form with the bat and leadership qualities will be crucial to Pakistan’s hopes of lifting the trophy for the second time. He is ranked second in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I rankings and averages a remarkable 46.89 in T20 internationals.
“Good performances give you confidence and I feel like I’m in form,” Babar said. “I am ready and looking forward to the tournament.”
Pakistan, who staged a National T20 Cup to provide players with match practice ahead of the mega event, will once again call on Shoaib Malik, who has never missed a T20 World Cup after he was a late replacement for the injured Sohaib Maqsood.
“Shoaib Malik is an experienced player who is also considered among the fit members of our squad,” said Babar.
“However, we have to make a plan on including him in the playing XI squad.”
Defending champions West Indies are the only team to have won the tournament on more than one occasion and boast a devastating array of power hitters. Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and captain Kieron Pollard are all among the top ten in terms of most sixes hit in T20 internationals.
But Pollard is at pains to highlight that his side has more to their game than just plundering big boundaries.”That is the way we go about our cricket and it is part of our strength,” Pollard said.
He said, “A lot of different analysts keep harping on about dot balls and singles and ones and twos. To us, everything is important but we have to play to our strength.
“We continue to work on our weaknesses and keep our strength as our strength. We have a lot of powerful guys in our line-up, but sometimes the situation warrants it and sometimes it does not.
“We also have guys who can manoeuvre the strike and run between the wickets. We want to play complete games of cricket and let the results take care of themselves.”