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Mahela Jayawardene picks key Lanka players to watch out in T20 World Cup 2022

Sri Lanka performed mediocrely well in the 2021 T20 World Cup, wherein they won three out of three in the Qualifiers stage and secured two victories in five appearances in the Super12 stage. 

Mahela Jayawardene, who was appointed as a consultant coach for Sri Lanka, has opined on the key players of the Sri Lanka team for the 2022 T20 World Cup.

While interacting with ICC, Jayawardene hailed the attacking mindset of the players in the 2021 edition of the ICC event and gave the hint of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella getting added to the squad this year. 

“I think the young team which participated in the last World Cup did really well and played some really good attacking cricket. There’s going to be a few more players who will be added to that (squad) who were suspended during that period,” said Jayawardene. 

The 44-year-old thinks the in-form Bhanuka Rajapaksa will be batting at the top order and praised the performances of Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka. The left-handed batter Asalanka was the leading run-scorer for the team, with 231 runs to his name in the 2021 T20 World Cup. 

“Bhanuka Rajapaksa is there at the top of the order. Pathum Nissanka had a great T20 World Cup, and so did Charith Asalanka, so I think we’ve got a very attacking batting line-up,” he added. 

Further, the consultant coach hailed Wanindu Hasaranga as one of the best all-rounders at this moment. He thinks Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana will play a vital role in the team, along with Hasaranga. 

“I think Wanindu is going to be a key factor. He’s one of the best all-rounders in world cricket at the moment,” Jayawardena said.

“Dushmantha Chameera has come a long way; I think the bowling department is going to be the key for Sri Lanka at the moment, so Dushmantha and Wanindu are key factors. Maheesh Theekshana is playing for Chennai (and) is another asset for Sri Lanka, so those three bowlers are key for Sri Lanka at the tournament,” the 44-year old added. 

The former Sri Lanka captain concluded by saying the team will be going with more experience under their belt this time and expects them to do well in Australia.