Suryakumar Yadav’s omission from playing XI did surprise him but former Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal also feels that it is a testimony to India’s tremendous bench strength in white ball cricket. With KL Rahul donning the big gloves at No. 5 and Hardik Pandya an automatic choice at No. 6 as the pace bowling all-rounder, India’s one and only ‘Mr 360 degree’ will have to wait for his turn despite his phenomenal show in T20 cricket.

“Looking at this Indian team, it shows how much strength is there in the bench. I still feel Surya can play in the middle order in this Indian team,” Chandimal, who will be playing for Desert Vipers in the inaugural ILT20, told PTI in an exclusive interaction.

For Chandimal, Surya’s USP will always be his strike-rate and even a cameo of 30 or quick half-century from him can change the complexion of the game in no time.

“He is different to other batters. You need a guy like him in the middle-order. He can change the game by just scoring 30 to 50 runs. Opposition team can be frustrated with the speed at which he scores. I still feel he should play in ODIs,” said Chandimal, whose Test match winning hundred at Galle, will forever remain a nightmare for Indian fans.

Having already lost the series 0-2, Chandimal wants Dasun Shanaka and his boys to play positive cricket.

“It is tough to play India in India but they should play positively in every department.”

“ILT20 will be my vehicle of comeback”

Chandimal said leagues like ILT20 will give him an opportunity to once again showcase his skills and make a comeback to the national side.

Chandimal’s Desert Vipers is being mentored by Tom Moody and coached by James Foster.

Chandimal, who played his last T20 last February and ODI as recently as November, said: “Players who are not part of the national team right now have a chance to prove themselves and make a comeback.” He was also expressed surprise that team captain Shanaka did not get picked at the IPL Auction.

Chandimal said: “I am surprised the way he played in India. It is outstanding. I am sure one of the (IPL) teams will pick him in future. He is a player who can change the course of game in quick time.” Shanaka played match-winning knock of 56 not out in 2nd T20I. He also took 2 wickets in this match. He followed that up with a hundred in a losing cause in the first ODI in Guwahati.

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