5 Sri Lankan youngsters to watch out for
Much has been made of Sri Lanka's vulnerabilities post the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, so much so that the cricketing world has almost missed the emergence of quite a few players from the Island Nation.
In the recently concluded Tri-Series that Lanka won, they exhibited a hoard of new players, who delivered the goods, albeit against Zimbabwe and West Indies. While their capabilities are yet to be tested against mainstream cricketing nations, a series win away from home without their regular captain (Angelo Matthews) and strike bowler (Rangana Herath), is no mean feat.
In the ODI series against Australia, which they lost, they witnessed the last of another veteran in Tillakaratne Dilshan. There is no doubt that the team is in a rebuilding phase. But unlike the time they lost Sangakkara and Jayawardene, they were more prepared for Dilshan's absence.
The new players brought in have been shuffled around to find the best among the lot and there are quite a few of them. Let us take a glance at five of them, who, if groomed properly, can turn out to be match winners for Lanka in the future.
#5 Niroshan Dickwella
The attacking wicketkeeper-batsman made his name in school cricket before churning out some mesmerising performances in List A cricket to attract the attention of the selectors. Having graduated from school in 2012 as the best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, Dickwella made it to the Sri Lanka A side the very next year.
He plays for Nondescripts Cricket Club and has been their regular wicketkeeper. A call-up to the national side came in 2014 and now at just 23 years of age, he has already represented Lanka in all formats of the game. His Test debut came against South Africa in 2014, when he made a terrific half-century, which to date remains his only half-century.
His ODI debut came later that year and despite being picked initially for the World T20 in 2016 in India, he was dropped due to poor form. In 6 ODIs, Dickwella has an average of 36.6 and a top score of 94.