Sri Lanka announce a 22-member squad for England and South Africa Tests
Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of South Africa tour.
Updated - Dec 18, 2020 11:39 am
Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) announced the 22-member squad for the much-awaited Test series against South Africa and England. The island nation is scheduled to play a two-match Test series against South Africa, starting from December 26 in Centurion and January 14 in Galle respectively. The players and staff will leave for South Africa on December 18 and will feature in a three-day practice game from December 20in Benoni.
There are a number of additions in the squad as five uncapped players namely Wanindu Hasaranga, Minod Bhanuka, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka and Santhush Gunathilaka got their maiden Test call. Sri Lanka is marred with injuries too as a few veteran players are uncertain for the South African tour.
One notable name is Angelo Mathews who will not travel with the team to South Africa as he is recovering from the hamstring injury that he sustained during the 2020 edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL). Regular opening batsman Oshada Fernando is also doubtful for the SA tour as he has been ruled out of the first Test. In his absence, Kusal Perera is expected to open the innings for the visitors.
Oshada may not play in the first Test but likely to be fit for second
“We will need Oshada for the England series too so it is better to keep him with us so that he can bat and get some practice. The only thing is, he will not be able to do other things on the field till the end of the month. We are coming straight to the England series at home from the South African bubble so it is better for Oshada to be in the side so that the physios can attend to him,” Ashantha de Mel, the head of the national selection committee, was quoted as saying by Daily FT.
“Oshada may not play in the first Test match but he will be fit for the second one. The first Test we most likely might open with Kusal Perera. He scored a match winning 153 on the last tour although he didn’t open, but in the current situation we feel he might do well as an opener because he can play the new ball. Otherwise, we will have to see whom we can open with,” he added.
The two-match Test series between England and Sri Lanka is set to commence on January 14 with both the matches scheduled at Galle.
Sri Lanka Test squad for series against South Africa and England: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Santhush Gunathilake, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.