Matthews, Dilshan fit to lead Sri Lanka: Sangakkara

Kolkata: Outgoing Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has reaffirmed that his successor should be given enough time to adjust to the role and picked Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Matthews as suitable for the job.

Sangakkara resigned from captaincy in the One-day Internationals and Twenty20 last week following Sri Lanka`s defeat by India in the World Cup final in Mumbai. He is currently in India captaining the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League.

Sangakkara asserted that the Sri Lanka Cricket must look at the long-term benefit of the team while choosing the next captain.

"You have to look long term. Not just what is good for now, If you want to go for Dilshan, give him the confidence for a long term," said Sangakkara.

"Don`t give the captaincy to Dilshan and say, `You are just going to be captain for a year and half`. It`s not going to be good for him, for he is going to think, `My days are numbered anyway`. And so it won`t be good for the team."

"Both Dilshan and Angelo are suitable. If they think Angelo is too young, then Dilshan will do a good job because he has these little touches for success. Anything he does on the field, he has this little knack. I don`t know whether he will be the long-term candidate with his age, but if he keeps himself fit he can easily play the next World Cup."

The left-hand batsman pointed out that the selectors will have tough time in deciding between the two players.

"They (selectors) can also take the plunge with Angelo. That is where the selectors have to really make a call. Pressure will have to be shared, if they make a call and if things don`t go well in the first or second year, they will have to be strong that they made a good decision."

"They will have to put everything in possible to make the captain has everything to do a good job. If it doesn`t go well even after that, maybe you can re-evaluate. But if the team itself doesn`t expect miracles, but expect steady intelligent guy who does things in his own way and good for the team, then this could work. To expect too much right away will be a real danger."

Sangakkara said his decision to quit from the post was partly selfish but said it was the right time to make way for a young leader.

"No matter how much I try to deny it, there is a lot of `me` in that decision. I have also done what is best for me. But having said that, there is also a large part of the decision of what I think is the way forward for the team. The way forward is not as difficult as people make it out to be. Players come players go and so do captains. Yet team progresses. That is the natural progression," he said.

Bureau Report