Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2013-14 January 23, 2014

Ajantha Mendis returns to Sri Lanka's Test squad


Ajantha Mendis has been named in Sri Lanka's Test squad to Bangladesh, after he had been directed to return from the Big Bash League at short notice this week. Batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage has also been named in the 15-man squad, which leaves for Bangladesh on Thursday morning.

Mendis replaces offspinner Sachithra Senanayake from the squad that toured the UAE, while Vithanage is in the team for Lahiru Thirimanne, who remains sidelined with the ankle injury he sustained during the ODI series against Pakistan in December. Kusal Perera had been Thirimanne's replacement on that tour, but having not got a game against Pakistan, Kusal has been overlooked. The 13 others in the squad for the Pakistan series are unchanged.

Mendis has been increasingly regarded a limited-overs spinner, but on this tour offers variety from the orthodox spin-bowling styles of left-armer Rangana Herath and offspinner Dilruwan Perera. Both Mendis and Vithanage last played Tests in March 2013, also against Bangladesh.

Vishwa Fernando, the 22-year-old left-arm quick, was among those retained from the tour to the UAE, where he did not get a game. Said to possess considerable pace, generated from a jerky action, he will support the leading trio of fast bowlers Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep, while continuing his work with the national trainer and fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas.

Positive left-handed batsman Vithanage has not been in great domestic form over the past months, but is considered among Sri Lanka's brightest middle order prospects. He had hit a half-century on Test debut against Bangladesh, in Galle.

The national selectors awaited the return of the team from the UAE before announcing the squad. The team will play two Tests, in Dhaka and Chittagong, after the tour was given the green light by Sri Lanka Cricket amid security concerns. The first Test will begin on Monday, less than a week after Sri Lanka played their previous Test, in Sharjah.

Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Shaminda Eranga, Vishwa Fernando.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chandra on January 26, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    I hope SL will give chances to new comers; otherwise it's no point picking them for tours and not giving them any opportunities. Good luck Sri Lanka.

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    @IndianCoolGuy your team is getting thrashed by NZ and just lost ODI #1 ranking. So if i were you il think twice before before posting a such comment. Yes we did some mistakes in the last test with Pakistan but except for chandimal i think everyone did reasonably well. its not going to be a white wash for sure. I still dont think chandimal should be in the team. He might be a key member out of form but now he is a burden to the others. I think its the high time to drop him and give someone else chance.

  • R on January 26, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    I had seen SL team touring Kenya, Zimbawe, Bangladesh when they are outplayed by top teams. This is a good strategy to get back to form and also will get them some points to go up in ranking.

  • Dummy4 on January 25, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    We should have a captain with sense.From the very beginning Mathews was not in that frame.He is not an attacking type captain like Mahela or Sanga.

  • Peace on January 25, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    SL will be very very happy playing against Bangladesh, thinking for easy wins. BUT,,,, Its not the case going happen. lol. I think Bangladesh is a clear favorites here. Common Bangladesh,, white wash SL... SL is one of the weakest team in the world now and you should not miss beating SL every match. Its a good match practice for the asia series ahead. Enjoy..... (:-/

  • Josh on January 25, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Wow, some people think that Ajantha Mendis is a toothless bowler. But if having best-of-figures of 6/13 in ODI and also 6/8 in t20 is toothless, then I can only imagine what he'd be like if he had teeth.

    If the conditions are right for Mendis, he is an absolute match winner.

  • Janith on January 25, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    @HatersAreOrdinary... Test and ODI series win, and T20 as a consolation price, and that too you are saying to a team like Sri Lanka against in favor of team like Bangladesh? earlier i was just go aggressively fans like you, but now i am not, as now i am only having sympathy towards Bangladesh and its fans lol

  • Jay on January 24, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    Welcome SL to bangladesh! We glad that you came but we wont be your friend in the field! We are strongly expecting some positive results yeah you heard me right a test win n odi series win! T20 you can take it as consolation prize ;)

  • Kah on January 24, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    Another toothless overhyped bowler. I thought his career was done, but lets face it SL is short if choices. Maybe he bowls negative better than current crop

  • Amir on January 24, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Welcome to SL. Hope you enjoy the hospitality that BD has to offer. I am hoping for a good competitive series with our friends from the south. Go Tigers!

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