Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Sri Lanka ready to unleash Theekshana on Aussies

Sri Lanka mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana will attempt to bamboozle Australia at the T20 World Cup on Thursday with coach Mickey Arthur backing the 21-year-old to "pose some questions".

Theekshana claimed eight wickets in three qualifying matches last week as Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, swept into the Super 12 stage.

However, a back injury ruled him out of the five-wicket win over Bangladesh at the weekend in a game where his team surrendered 171 runs.

"He's a quality bowler, he's a mystery bowler. He's still young. He's still making his way in the game," said Arthur of Theekshana who only made his international debut in September.

"If you haven't seen Maheesh, he certainly poses some questions.

"He has a couple of different balls that do make you quite hesitant if you can't pick them. So it will be an interesting contest tomorrow."

Theekshana not only bowls traditional off-spin.

He has mastered the googly and the carrom ball, the aerodynamically challenging delivery which is produced by flicking the ball out from between the thumb and the bent middle finger.

Meanwhile, Australia's Matthew Wade on Wednesday backed skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner to hit top gear and help drive the team to a maiden Twenty20 World Cup title.

"They're terrific players. They're just short of runs," said Wade.

"Guys that are world-class players for as long as they have been in this format are never out of form. They're just short of runs at the moment."