Sri Lanka have revealed their playing XI on the day of the first T20 International match against Australia, which will kick off the month-long tour for the two sides.
Top performers in the recently concluded IPl 2022 like Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Maheesh Theekshana earned spots in the Dasun Shanaka-led team for the first T20I on Tuesday (June 7).
Kusal Mendis returns to Sri Lanka’s T20I side
All-rounder Chamika Karunaratne, who was part of the KKR squad but didn’t play any game for the two-time IPL winners this year, has made it into Sri Lanka’s side.
Top-order batter Kusal Mendis, who missed the India T20I series in February owing to a hamstring injury, comes back to the side after regaining fitness.
Confident of turning things around in our conditions: Dasun Shanaka
Pathum Nissanka will open the batting order with Dhanushka Gunathilaka while Charith Asalanka will continue to bat at No.4 in the middle order. 27-year-old Nuwan Thushara will pair Chameera in the pace department.
Early in February, Sri Lanka lost the five-match series 1-4 against the defending T20 World Cup champions Australia in their own backyard.
“We had a close series against Australia earlier this year and it was in their conditions — we’re pretty confident that we would be able to turn things around in our conditions,” Shanaka said in a press conference.
“Our bowling is quite formidable but our batting needs to fire,” he added.
Sri Lanka will be without the services of injured top-order batters Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando.
Youngster Matheesha Pathirana, who made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings recently, will have to be patient to play his first international game for the senior team.
The islanders will aim to avenge that loss in the upcoming three-match T20I series, which starts on Tuesday (June 7) at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka XI for first T20I vs Australia: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Nuwan Thushara.
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