Veteran all-rounder, Angelo Mathews returns to Sri Lanka’s Test side for the home series against England after missing out on the tour to South Africa owing to a hamstring injury. In his last Test series, against Zimbabwe, Mathews registered his highest Test score, 200*, before picking up an injury during the Lanka Premier League.
The two-match Test series will commence on 14 January at the Galle International Stadium in Galle; the second Test will begin on 22 January at the same venue.
Four players – Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Santhush Gunathilake, and Dilshan Madushanka – are left out from the squad, owing to injuries and on the form, which was whitewashed 2-0 in South Africa. Pace bowler, Nuwan Pradeep is recalled along with Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, and uncapped off-spinner, Ramesh Mendis is included in the senior Test side for the first time.
Both the matches are part of the ICC Test Championship. Joe Root’s side is 4th while Dimuth Karunaratne’s side is at the 7th position of the ICC WTC table, which is ranked based on points earned/points available (PCT).
This tour was earlier scheduled in March last year but was postponed due to the sudden rise of the covid-19 pandemic. The England team was indeed in Sri Lanka but then decided to return home.
Joe Root’s team has an important 2021 regarding Test cricket: After the Sri Lanka series, England will travel to India to take on Virat Kohli’s side for 4 Tests. The Three Lions will host New Zealand and India, before touring Australia at the end of the year for a riveting Ashes series. On the other hand, there is no confirmation hitherto of the schedule for the Sri Lankan team post the England series.
Angelo Mathews nears 6000 Test runs
Angelo Mathews, who made his Test debut in July 2009 against Pakistan at Galle, is just 19 runs short of 6000 Test runs. He has scored these runs at a brilliant average of 45. The right-handed batsman is currently Sri Lanka’s fifth-leading run-scorer in Tests.
He has 5830 ODI runs as well. Add to it his contributions with the ball too – Mathews has been a great servant of Sri Lankan cricket for a decade.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Asitha Fernando, Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Ramesh Mendis