Can’t always complain that Sanga, Mahela not there: Dilshan

Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) Ahead of the World Twenty20 tournament, Sri Lanka veteran batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan on Wednesday pointed out that the team cannot afford to always complain of not having retired batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in the side.

“We have a lot of youngsters in the team and they are gaining a lot of experience in this duration. We can’t complain all the time that Sangakkara and Jayawardene are not there in the team. When Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva left the team we had to take it from there,” Dilshan said at a press conference here.

“There is no point in talking about who has retired. We have a young team and should give full support to young guns and take 100 percent out from them. Hope they can carry our country’s flag high soon,” he said.

The 27-day tournament got underway in Nagpur on March 8 and will be played at eight venues across India with Eden Gardens in Kolkata scheduled to host the final on April 3.

India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia are clubbed in Group 2 while South Africa, England, the West Indies and Sri Lanka are in Group 1.

After struggling to find form in the early part of the just concluded Asia Cup T20 tournament, the 39-year-old Dilshan struck a brilliant unbeaten 75 against Pakistan in the final round robin encounter.

With the team scheduled to play a couple of practice matches ahead of their first match on March 17, Dilshan is hopeful that he will carry his form to the World T20 and also continue playing his trademark ‘Dilscoop’ shot.

“I am confident of taking my form to the World T20. I played well against Pakistan in Asia Cup. That gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.

“I am confident and I will play Dilscoop in the competition. I am not afraid of playing that shot and nowadays my son has started playing Dilscoop better than me,” the right-handed batsman laughed.

The veteran batsman believes that the youngsters in the team have the ability to shine in the days to come, adding that patience should be the key to their success.

“We have a couple of good young guns in our team. I am helping them with tips where to improve but they need to have patience and that is the key to success,” Dilshan concluded.

On the other hand, Lanka talented batsman Dinesh Chandimal said his compatriot and former wicket-keeper batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana inspired him to take up the game.

“Romesh Kaluwitharana inspired me to take up cricket. Everybody knows about his contribution for the country. He was a great wicket-keeper and batsman,” Chandimal said.

The 26-year-old said it is the young players in the team who need to step in and fill the shoes of Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

“It is a big loss for the team to lose Sangakkara, Jayawardene. As young players we need to fill in the shoes. I am confident we will do well in the World T20 as we have good talented players mixed alongside some experienced ones,” Chandimal added.

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