Sri Lanka call up Ian Daniel for Test series
Sri Lanka have made two changes to their Test squad for a two-match series against South Africa, recalling Muttiah Muralitharan, who boycotted the Australia tour, and including Ian Daniel, a 22-year-old uncapped opener who has just returned from Sri Lanka A's tour of England.
Daniel, a compact and technically correct right-hander who was earmarked as a future Test player after excelling for the Under-19 team, forced his way into the squad with a productive run in England where he contributed in all three first-class matches, top-scoring with 72 against the West Indians.
Dilhara Fernando, who bagged three first-innings wickets against the South Africans in their recent practice game, but has slipped down the fast bowling pecking order behind Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Zoysa, has been dropped to make room for Muralitharan.
Russel Arnold, another who impressed for the Board President's XI at the Colombo Cricket Club, scoring 83 from 187 balls, is the other player to have been axed in a 15-man squad.
Sri Lanka's selectors have indicated a desire to see Kumar Sangakkara play as a specialist batsman, which should mean Romesh Kaluwitharana will retain the gloves, but the unique conditions at Galle, where the ball can spin at right-angles, could prompt a rethink to make room for three specialist spinners.
The first Test starts at Galle on Wednesday, just two days after the Asia Cup final. It will be followed by one Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club immediately after and then five one-dayers.
Sri Lanka squad
Marvan Atapattu (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Chandana, Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Zoysa, Thilan Samaraweera, Rangana Herath, Romesh Kaluwitharana (wk), Ian Daniel.