Sri Lanka, on Sunday (July 23), announced the 15-man squad for the first of the three-match Test series against India. Rangana Herath was also confirmed the captain of the team in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal who was diagnosed with pneumonia. Chandimal was recently appointed the Test captain after Angelo Mathews stepped down as captain from all formats in the aftermath of the ODI series loss against Zimbabwe.
Dushmantha Chameera and Lakshan Sandakan have been dropped for the match while allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, fast-bowler Nuwan Pradeep and uncapped Malinda Pushpakumara have been included in the squad.
One of the most prolific wicket-takers in Sri Lanka’s first-class cricket, left-arm spinner Pushpakumara has take a staggering 558 wickets at an astounding average of 19.85. In the last season, the 30-year old had picked up 77 wickets at a mighty impressive average of 13.79 for Chilaw Marians Cricket Club.
De Silva, who had been left out of the squad for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe, has taken Chandimal’s place in the 15-man squad. The batting allrounder, who had scored 325 and 225 runs in his first two Test series against Australia and Zimbabwe, has failed to live up to the expectations in recent times. Recently, he failed to open his account against India in the warm-up game.
Pradeep, who had sustained a hamstring injury during the ODIs against Zimbabwe has replaced Chameera in the pace department.
The three-match series will begin on July 26 before the teams move to Colombo (August 3) and Pallekele (August 12) for second and third Test respectively.
Sri Lanka squad:
Rangana Herath (c), Upal Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep