Ford banking on all-rounders

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Coach Graham Ford has acknowledged the composition of Sri Lanka's squad for this month's T20I series against New Zealand has plenty of significance ahead of next year's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Coach Graham Ford has acknowledged the composition of Sri Lanka's squad for this month's T20I series against New Zealand has plenty of significance ahead of next year's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

While the veteran Rangana Herath and leg-spinning all-rounder Jeevan Mendis were not selected, the uncapped Ramith Rambukwella and recalled Seekkuge Prasanna have been included in the 15-man party.

Spin bowlers Sachithra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis have been retained, while batsman Dinesh Chandimal has kept the captaincy ahead of ODI skipper Angelo Mathews.

"The selectors have had a look ahead and they are thinking about possible conditions in Bangladesh, where preparing spinners is important. The spinners are all quite unique. A couple of them are spinning all-rounders," said Ford.

"In T20 cricket, all-rounders are important. We've got a number of seaming all-rounders, but maybe down the line, conditions are better suited to spin all-rounders. They are just having a look at covering the options at the moment.

"As far as the World Twenty20 goes, the team has got a fantastic chance. They have played good T20 cricket for a period of time now, and are drawn in a favourable group. Plus the conditions should suit our style of cricket and the real bonus is that we'll have a series in Bangladesh just prior to the world tournament."

The Black Caps, meanwhile, have rested captain Brendon McCullum and former skipper Ross Taylor for the two-match series. Batsman Kane Williamson, meanwhile, has been sidelined by injury.

"I am not all surprised the way New Zealand have performed. There were a few comments about them not having a full-strength side, but I am very much aware that their cricketing depth has increased massively over the last couple of years," concluded Ford.

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