Australia in Sri Lanka, 2003-04 February 18, 2004

Lokuarachchi recalled in a spin-heavy squad

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Sri Lanka have picked four specialist spinners in a 15-man squad for the first two one-day internationals against Australia. The squad included two changes from Sri Lanka's last one-day series, against England last November.

Kaushal Lokuarachchi, a 21-year-old legspinner, was recalled for the first time after completing a four-month disciplinary ban. Lokuarachchi, who has played in five one-dayers, was banned after a fatal late-night car accident last year.

Saman Jayantha, an explosive opening batsman who also bowls offspin, won a place in the national squad for the first time. Jayanatha starred for Sri Lanka during last year's Hong Kong Sixes, winning the Man of the Tournament award, and also impressed with good performances for his club, province and the A team during recent months.

Dinusha Fernando, who opened the bowling with Chaminda Vaas against England at Dambulla and took two wickets on what was his international debut, has been dropped after a loss of form and confidence in recent domestic tournaments. Chamara Silva, a batsman, was the other player to be left out.

Sri Lanka are set to go into the first game with three specialist spinners: Muttiah Muralitharan, Upul Chandana and Kumar Dharmasena. The bone-dry pitch is expected to offer assistance to the slow bowlers. Lokuarachchi, Jayantha, Russel Arnold and Nuwan Zoysa are the players most likely to be left out of the final XI.

Squad Marvan Atapattu (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana (wk), Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Chandana, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Dharmasena, Nuwan Kulasekara, Saman Jayantha, Russel Arnold, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Nuwan Zoysa

Comments