Sri Lanka name squad for the Test series opener against Pakistan – Cricket News Update
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) selectors, on Tuesday announced a 15-man squad for the first of the three-match series against Pakistan, commencing at Galle from Friday, June 22.
Mahela Jayawardene has been retained as the skipper for the Test leg of home series. The star performer of the 3-1 ODI series win, Thisara Perera, has been included in the squad for the Galle Test, along with fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara.
"We brought in Kulasekara and Perera because of injuries to our fast bowlers," said Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel, while addressing a press conference after announcing the squad.
Dilhara Fernando is the pace bowler who is nursing a shoulder injury he sustained during a practice session.
Perera was named as the Player of the Series after his impressive show in the five-match One day International series against Pakistan - 11 wickets from 4 innings at an average of 15.54 and an economy rate of 5.00. Nuwan Kulasekara followed the all-rounder,
with seven scalps at 22.00 and a startling economy rate of 3.91.
Colombo-born all-rounder, Jeevan Mendis, is the only uncapped player in Sri Lanka’s Test squad. He has so far played 20 One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals for the Islanders.
"We have brought Mendis into the squad because he looks a wicket-taking bowler as he showed during the fifth one-dayer on Monday," said De Mel.
The Sri Lankan chairman of selectors also hinted at playing an additional seamer in the three-match Test series against the Men in Green.
"With the weather looking uncertain there is a likelihood we may go with an additional seamer because Tillakarane Dilshan can also bowl off-breaks," De Mel opined.
The five-match ODI series between the two outfits was won by the hosts 3-1, with one match washed out, while the two-match T20 series was drawn 1-1.
The Test series opener in Galle will be followed by a match at Sinhale Sports Club, Colombo (from June 30), while the last Test will be played at Pallekele (from July 8).
Squad for 1st Test: Mahela Jayawardene*, Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chanaka Welegedara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekera,
Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis.