Sri Lanka, on Friday, announced their squad for the first Test against New Zealand. They made quite a few surprise changes to their side for the 5-day cricket, which is being played after a long time. A couple of those surprises are the call-ups for their senior players Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.
Once again, the game of comebacks begins for Sri Lanka. After the completion of world cup 2019, Sri Lanka board decided to implement quite a few changes and wants to make their team stronger across the formats. They are starting it with Test format by calling their best players Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews back in their Test squad.
Dinesh Chandimal is back:
Chandimal was named in a preliminary squad of 22 for the Tests against New Zealand this week. The squad trimmed to 15 on Friday. From the initial pool of players, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Angelo Perera, Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando have been removed.
Dimuth Karunaratne led the side to a historic 2-0 Test series win in South Africa earlier this year. Once again, he is set to lead the side as Sri Lanka start their fixtures as part of the new ICC Test World Championship.
“The selections were made out of the preliminary squad of 22 players. It was approved by the Minister of Telecommunication. And also, by Foreign Employment and Sports Honorable Harin Fernando,” a media release stated.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, they named Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and Lasith Embuldeniya in spn section. Meanwhile, the pace contingent comprises Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando.
Top-order batsman Oshada Fernando has been named too after he made his debut in South Africa earlier this year. And also, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perara also placed in the squad with seniors Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews.
The first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is from August 14 in Galle. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be under interim head coach Rumesh Ratnayake, who was appointed by Sri Lanka’s sports ministry. Surprisingly, Chandika Hathurusingha is continued to be contracted with Sri Lanka Cricket.
Sri Lanka Squad:
Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis. Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Akila Dananjaya. Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando