CLT20: Kandurata Maroons features the best of Sri Lanka, believes skipper Lahiru Thirimanne
While skipper Lahiru Thirimanne is banking on the quality spinners and the experienced batsmen for the Champions League T20, coach Chaminda Vaas feels that the side will do well since they are extremely well balanced.
Their build-up to the Champions League may have been overshadowed by star batsman Kumar Sangakkara's spat with the Sri Lankan cricket board, but Kandurata Maroons skipper Lahiru Thirimanne believes his side are contenders for the title. "I think this is the best team Sri Lanka have sent," Thirimanne was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "We've got experience with the likes of Sangakkara, (Nuwan) Kulasekara, Upul Tharanga and Ajantha Mendis, who are among the best in the world at the moment. Whether you look at our bowling or batting, we have a lot of ability and the side is well balanced."
Sri Lanka have been the top-ranked T20 side in the world for over a year. In addition to Sangakkara and Thirimanne, Mendis and Kulasekara are the other Kandurata players who have been permanent fixtures in the national side.
The strength of Kandurata lies in its spinners and their 24-year-old captain is enthusiastic on playing on turning Indian pitches. "We will have a big advantage with the quality of spinners that we have. They will be playing in helpful conditions in India and maybe some of the other teams aren't very comfortable against spin." Kandurata boast the talents of Mendis along with the evergreen Rangana Herath in two-pronged spin attack. They also have two slow-bowling allrounders, Shehan Jayasuriya and Milinda Siriwardene, in their ranks.
Kandurata can also count on the experience provided by Sri Lanka's greatest-ever fast bowler, Chaminda Vaas, who is currently coaching the side. "We've got a very balanced team. The batting is balanced and we've got good fast bowlers as well as spinners. We've got the best possible combination to do well in the tournament," said Vaas.