ESPNcricinfo: Although Sri Lanka Cricket had already named a T20 squad ahead of the ODI series, two days out from the one-off match against India, the board has released a new squad, this one featuring legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay and seam-bowling allrounder Dasun Shanaka.
Also in this side are spinner Akila Dananjaya, who was Sri Lanka’s most penetrative bowler in the ODIs, seamer Suranga Lakmal, who has recovered from a back complaint, and allrounders Wanindu Hasaranga, Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardana. Seam bowler Isuru Udana has also been named, while Dushmantha Chameera and Vishwa Fernando have been omitted.
Kusal Mendis, whom the management feels is suffering from mental fatigue, has been rested as well.
Vandersay has not played a T20 for Sri Lanka since the World T20 last year, which is perhaps surprising, as he had been one of the team’s standout players in that tournament. His return was complicated by injury, but the selectors have tried other spinners ahead of him as well. Notably absent from this 15 is left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan – a more aggressive but expensive option.
On the seam-bowling front Sri Lanka have Lasith Malinga, in addition to Lakmal and Vikum Sanjaya. The most senior batsman is Angelo Mathews, and this will also be Upul Tharanga’s first match as full-time T20 captain.
T20s are the one format in which Sri Lanka have a creditable record in 2017. They won both the three-match series against Australia and South Africa, and drew the two-match series against Bangladesh to keep a 5-3 win-loss record. The victories over Australia and South Africa, however, were against substantially depleted teams. The match is scheduled to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 6.
Sri Lanka’s revised T20 squad
Upul Tharanga (capt), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilshan Munaweera, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Vikum Sanjaya
Tharanga opts out of Test cricket for six months
ESPNcricinfo: Sri Lanka’s limited-overs Captain Upul Tharanga has opted out of Test cricket for six months in order to focus on the white-ball formats. The outgoing selectors, headed by Sanath Jayasuriya, did not name Tharanga among the 25 in the provisional Test squad for the forthcoming games against Pakistan in the UAE.
Tharanga has been modest in Tests this year with 430 runs from eight matches, but has been successful in ODIs with an average of 47.21 – even as he has presided over two 0-5 whitewashes at the hands of India and South Africa.
The squad is expected to be trimmed to 15 by the next set of selectors, who are yet to be named.
Notably, fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, who expected to be fit following a hiatus of almost two years due to a major shoulder complaint that required surgery, is in the squad. Also included are Kaushal Silva, who was dropped after the South Africa tour, and Sadeera Samarawickrama - the top-scorer from this years’ first-class season.
The provisional squad also features spin bowlers Akila Dananjaya and Jeffrey Vandersay, in addition to Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan. Allrounder Asela Gunaratne and batsman Kusal Perera remain injured.
Provisional squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Roshen Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Charith Asalanka, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad