Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13 December 29, 2012

Thirimanne and Lakmal added to SL Test squad


Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and right-arm fast bowler Suranga Lakmal have been called up to Sri Lanka's squad for the third Test in Sydney, after two players suffered series-ending injuries and two more remain in doubt after the Boxing Day Test. Kumar Sangakkara's fractured hand and Chanaka Welegedara's torn hamstring have ruled them out for the remainder of Sri Lanka's tour of Australia, while Prasanna Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara's fitness will be reassessed in the lead-up to the third Test, though it is unlikely that Kulasekara will play.

Thirimanne had been on Sri Lanka's stand-by list for the tour, and as such had already secured visa clearance to enter Australia, and will arrive on January 1, two days before the match. Lakmal, though, had not been on standby, and will have to wait for his visa to be approved on December 31. He will likely arrive in Australia on the eve of the Test.

Thisara Perera is the only fast bowler who was named on the standby list, and is already in Australia competing in the Big Bash League, but he was not considered as his bowling form was deemed inadequate for Test selection. Perera had suffered a side strain during the Sri Lanka Premier League in August, and though he has been bowling in limited-overs cricket, the captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was yet to build up the number of overs required to come into Test contention in the lead up to the Melbourne Test.

Lakmal is also coming back into the international team after an injury layoff, having undergone surgery on his ankle. His last Test appearance was against England in April, but he has been in good form in Sri Lanka's domestic one-day tournament in December, having taken 13 wickets at 20.46 in six matches. He is unlikely to play in Sydney however, as the fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep has been with the team throughout the tour and is next in line for a game. Sri Lanka may also decide to field two spinners, depending on the surface, in which case Suraj Randiv will play.

Thirimanne meanwhile, will only play if Prasanna Jayawardene is deemed unfit. Sri Lanka next train on December 31, and a decision will be made on his participation after that session. Dinesh Chandimal will take the gloves in his place.

Kulasekara is not expected to be fit to play in Sydney, but will stay with the team for the ODI series, which begins on January 11.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    @ Suranga..In 2011 wORLD CUP Dilshan was the leading runs scorer with 500 runs and Upul Tharanga took the 5th place for his 395 and Mahela coldnt be among the top TEN at least.

    In 2009 Twenty 20 world cup also again Dilshan became the leading runs scorer for his 317 runs and even playing last world cup Jayasuriya could take the 7th place and Mahela was far behind Jaya also that world cup..Mahela took the 10th place...

  • Heshan on January 1, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    No one can blame sanga or Mahela for their performance in last few matches. These 2 guys have served srilanka for last 10 to 12 years with great performance. Form may be temporary, but their quality is well permanent. But they cant play for another 10 years. Dats why ve need to give more chances to the players such as Chandimal , Thirimanne & Dimuth. Because If they get their experience with the guidance of legends like Sanga & Mahela, one fine day they will change the history in the same way Sanga & mahela did after the retirements of great Arjuna. Aravinda, Roshan & Hashan. Cheers to our youngsters.......

  • Pushpakumara on January 1, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    No doubt.Mahela is a great player.But his batting outside the subcontinent is ordinary.He is always struggled in pacy,bouncy and swinging conditions,and also against high quality fast bowling in any condition,but a smart player of spin.Most of among his 31 test centuries,are in sub continent,10 0f these centuries are in the SSC ground.Even in ODI format his average 33.36 is far from great.That shows his inconsistency,even though he has played some vital innings in shorter format.But his shot range is wide and delightful.But his consistency is not enough to be great

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    @romesh perera, Mate Jayasoriya opend the innng for SL more than 400 games where as MAHELA batted at 4-5 most of the time. So don't expect to score 20-30 hundreds batting at 4 or 5. Can you tell me when Mahela open the inning what is his avg in ODI's ?? avg over 50.... Can you rem 2007 WC, 2011 WC, 2009 T20 WC ?? Who scored most runs for SL ??

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    My team for the 3rd test match

    TM Dilshan (i guess its his last test) D Karunarathne (better than paranavithana) L Tirimanne (must give him a chance) TT Samaraweera (last test) M Jayawardane (c) (last test as captain) D Chandimal (wk) (he's the only replacement after sanga and prasanna) A Mathews S Randiv (must give him a go) D Prasad S Eranga N Pradeep (He has pace and has been in the squad)

    no Herath because an injury to another star tagged player wont do it for the ODI series.Lakmal to arive on the eve of the test so he is not prepared but pradeep has pace and he has been there for the whole series.Thirimanne must take sangas palce and Chandimal must take the gloves for its a risk to play Prasanna and it would give Chandimal some experience.

  • Hasitha on December 31, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Guys dont blame to MJ. We all know he is such a class act. He has 31 test centuries. It tells the story who Mahela Jayawadena is. He is totaly out form. Also he has some problems with SLC. He is the best captain Sri Lanka ever produced. So Plece dont tell to drop him

  • Rajitha on December 31, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    I feel lot of people mentioning about Ajantha Mendis as an option but what they forget is in Australian conditions he is not the type of bolwer who can help you to take 20 wickets. Dont get me wrong, he is a phenomenal talent! Got 7 for the other day with his domestic club SL Army but it is a different kettle of fish. Although I am not a big fan of Lahiru Thirimanne, he could be the dark horse srilankan cricket needs. I mean honestly, anybody who follows Australian domestic cricket will tell you Ed Cowan is not a stand out performer but here he is been considered for captaincy. It's the x-factor I like to call it, just what Stuart Clark had and I hope its what Suranga Lakmal can bring in.

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Mahela could do something in past.But his time is up now..we shouldnt include him to the team because of his past performance. iF so Aravinda, Arjuna and Sanath is a better option..

    Mahela's ODI batting records,

    386 matches 15 centuries 15 Man of the Matches...

    Sanath Jayasuriya's ODI batting records, 445 matches 28 centuries 48 Man of the Matches.

    We should find that kind of SINGLE HANDLE MATCH WINNER to the side..

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    We have seen in few matches Sri Lanka could win Matches because of Thisara Perera's batting and sometimes because of unexpected nuwan Kulasekara's batting performance. So no any diffence to the Mahela's innings at the world cup..

    To become a great batsman he should maintain that rhythem for more innings.But He never continued that rhythem for a period or atleast for few matches.

    Unfortunate thing is Mahela is an inconsistent batsman.If he makes a 100 today he fill fail next 20 to 30 innings for sure. pls check his last TEN to 20 iinings or more.

    So no point of depending on him.young people should brought to the side.Mahela is blocking their opertunaties to GROOM.

  • gnanavelu on December 31, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Some Lankan fans show they don have any cricketing brain by abusing and questioning the two 10000+ league members' place in the squad. Had they not been there in the team sl could have further passed to the core of hall of shame without any doubt.

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