Sri Lanka announce squad for one-off Afghanistan Test

Dhananjaya de Silva will start his tenure as Sri Lanka's Test captain with the one-off Test match against Afghanistan.

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Sri Lanka Cricket
Sri Lanka Cricket. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are set to square off in a multi-format series next month. A one-off Test match will be followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is.

Sri Lanka's new red-ball captain Dhananjaya de Silva will be starting his tenure with the Test match, which begins on Friday, February 2, in Colombo. Kusal Mendis is the designated deputy of de Silva. Experienced players like Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, and Dinesh Chandimal have been named in the squad along with quite a few young and exciting talents.

Wicketkeeper-batter Lahiru Udara and pacers Chamika Gunasekara and Milan Rathnayake are the three uncapped players who have been named in the 16-member squad. The bowling department will be led by the likes of Kasun Rajitha, Prabath Jayasuriya, and Ramesh Mendis. Vishwa Fernando is another experienced bowler that Lankan Lions have picked for the encounter.

Sri Lanka would want to bounce back strongly in the longest format of the game after suffering a whitewash at home against Pakistan in a two-match Test series in July 2023. Dhananjaya de Silva was the highest run-getter for Sri Lanka in that series, as he scored 271 runs in four innings at an average of 67.75. Meanwhile, Jayasuriya was the leading wicket-taker for the island nation, bagging nine wickets from two games.

Sri Lankan fans will hope that Sadeera Samarawickrama, who was their highest run-getter in the ODI World Cup last year, returns to form in red-ball cricket after he managed only 52 runs in four innings against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be facing each other in the purest format of the game for the first time, and fans can expect a good contest, as the Blue Tigers have made a habit of pushing more experienced sides every now and then.

Sri Lanka squad for only Test versus Afghanistan: Dhananjaya de Silva (C), Kusal Mendis (VC), Dimuth Karunaratne, Nishan Madushka, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lahiru Udara, Chamika Gunasekara, Milan Rathnayake

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