Cricket Sri Lanka has announced 15-member squad for the upcoming away test series against India. The selectors have dropped top-order batsmen Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva for the series which get underway in the second half of November.
Former captain Angelo Mathews is returning to the team after recovering from a hamstring injury which caused him recent UAE tour. Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka are other two making come back to Sri Lanka test squad. Pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep who withdrawn in mid of the UAE tour due to injury, not selected in the 15-men squad.
All-rounder Asela Gunaratne and batsman Kusal Perera were expected to be named in the squad, but both of them were not included. Both players had recovered from their respective injuries recently but weren’t named in the squad.
The opening batsman Kaushal Silva made his comeback in the test series against Pakistan, last month. But his scores of only 67 runs in 4 innings thrown him out from the selection of India tour.
The 22-years old top-order batsman Kusal Mendis omission was the biggest talk point of this squad announcement. He struggled to score runs across formats for past few months. Especially in the recent test series against Pakistan in UAE, he managed to score only 58 runs in 4 innings. As his poor form continued in the ODI series, he was dropped from the XI after first two matches. Selectors believe that Mendis needs some time to get back into the form, so pushes him to play domestic matches and improving his game back home.
After the successful 2-0 wins against Pakistan, the experienced batsman Dinesh Chandimal will lead the time on this test tour too. His team looks much better confidence with that series win against Pakistan and also with the arrival of Angelo Mathews. Dimuth Karunaratne retains his place in the team after his tremendous show in the last test series against Pakistan. The top order batsman Roshen Silva earned a maiden call-up to the test squad and he is all set to make a debut in the first game. Lahiru Thirimanne is the other specialist batsman in the squad. He had a good ODI series against Pakistan personally and he will play a key role in Sri Lanka’s middle order during this test series.
The regular wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella will be the first choice to take care of gloves work on India tour. The young Sadeera Samarawickrama will do a role of backup wicketkeeper. He may be included in the XI as a specialist batsman.
All-rounders Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka earned a place in the squad after their impressive performances for Sri Lanka-A against West Indies-A last month. Dhananjaya was the top scorer in that unofficial test series scored 260 runs at an average of 52. Shanaka scored 183 runs and finished as a second-highest scorer in the two matches. Shanaka is waiting for his second debut in the test format, hopefully he will earn that on the tour. Premium all-rounder Angelo Mathews played all three test matches against India at home in August. After missed out Pakistan series, he is back on the side. Bowling all-rounder Dilruwan Perera did a great job with both bat and bowl against Pakistan, will play a crucial part in India too.
Premium spinner in the team Rangana Herath will lead a bowling attack with his left-arm spin. He has a company of Lakshan Sandakan in the spin department. Suranga Lakmal is the most experienced pace bowler in the squad. Lahiru Gamage and Vishwa Fernando are other two specialist pacemen in the squad.
SRI LANKA SQUAD :
- Dinesh Chandimal (Captain)
- Dimuth Karunaratne
- Dhananjaya de Silva
- Sadeera Samarawickrama
- Angelo Mathews
- Lahiru Thirimanne
- Niroshan Dickwella (Wicketkeeper)
- Roshen Silva
- Dasun Shanaka
- Suranga Lakmal
- Dilruwan Perera
- Rangana Herath
- Lahiru Gamage
- Lakshan Sandakan
- Vishwa Fernando