Sri Lanka in England 2014 June 2, 2014

Lakmal out of Test squad; Welegedara recalled

  shares 20

Injured fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been left out of Sri Lanka's Test squad to England, allowing the return of left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara Test squad, 18 months after he played his most recent Test.

Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad, who are already in England, form the remainder of the pace battery, with Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera providing the spin options.

Among the batsmen, Dinesh Chandimal retains his place in the Test squad, while Prasanna Jayawardene returns to take the gloves. Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne also holds on to his place, alongside Kaushal Silva, but middle-order batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage has been omitted.

Sri Lanka team management had hoped Lakmal would recover from his grade two hamstring tear in time for the Lord's Test, but it now appears he will not be available for the first match. The bowler only began running work on Monday, but will likely be added to the squad if he regains fitness quickly enough.

The loss of Lakmal is a significant blow to Sri Lanka, who had planned for him and Eranga to lead the pace attack in the Tests. Both bowlers had showed vast signs of improvement in the four Tests they played together this year.

Welegedara, 33, had his Boxing Day Test in 2012 cut short by a hamstring tear, and had since been plagued by more injuries, which prevented him from playing more than four first-class matches in the 2014 domestic season. He took six wickets in those games. He and Kulasekara are the most experienced pacemen in the squad, with 20 Tests apiece. They are also the only bowlers to have played Tests in England.

Karunaratne and Kaushal will likely open the innings, though Lahiru Thirimanne is also in reserve for that role. Thirimanne's recent promotion to vice-captaincy, though, means he is almost certain to be in the playing XI, likely displacing Chandimal from the middle order. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are set to take their places at Nos. 3 and 4, with captain Angelo Mathews to follow at either No. 5 or 6.

Offspinner Perera's impressive turns in the UAE and Bangladesh this year have been enough to safeguard his second spinner's spot, but he is the least experienced bowler in a green Sri Lanka squad. Eight of the 15 players have never played Tests in England, including captain Mathews.

The series will be Mathews' first Test assignment out of Asia since being given the captaincy.

Sri Lanka squad Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • premilrd on June 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Pls dont destroy Chandimal. let him play his natural game at suitable position

  • on June 5, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    If Sri Lanka are looking to the future, I would go with Chandimal with the Gloves. His teat batting record is FAR better than his ODI record. The man needs confidence and burden of vice captaincy not being on him will free him up. (I hope)

  • VikumHerath on June 3, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    Keep the most experienced young resource, who had excelled in those seaming bouncy conditions to play in SL-A team! Simply, because his batting average in such countries is beyond any other SL player in history, but doesn't have the "Luck" to be considered in SL!

  • on June 3, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    SL continue to omit young talents like Dananjaya, T. Kaushal, Vimukthi Perera, Ishan Jayaratne etc. And the young talents that they do have, they have mishandled. Chandi and Thiri are too young to be captain or vice captain. After nearly 2 years, they finally figured that out concerning Chandimal. But now they have made the mistake of burdening Thirimanne. And already he seems to have succumbed to the burden with some poor showings. Mathews has done OK as captain, but the vice captain should be someone more experienced, like Malinga or Kulasekara .

  • on June 3, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Tharindu kausal omission is questionable! hope he will get a chance against SA! And happy that fans get behind chandi! hope he will get chance to bat at thilan place (number 5)

  • Udendra on June 3, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Saw someone mention about Tharindu Kaushal. Yes, it's hard to understand why he doesn't get a chance, despite a brilliant FC record. May be the English conditions?

  • on June 3, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    Welagedara can be a match winner at times. Remember what happened in Durban test in last South Africa tour. He is the one who started the slide in SA's first innings. He and Lakmal in partnership bowled well in last England test series but we did not have a proper third seamer to back them up. Still I am not sure how effective he will be coming back from injury. Chandimal is very unfortunate. Thirimanne has not done much this tour to merit selection to the test team. Yet again the vice captain issue is creating a selection quandary. Further, Thirimanne has become an easy victim for Anderson. I am sure England will expose that. On the other hand they have also worked out some weakness of Chandimal against short pitched bowling at the body.

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 3, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    There is no point of selecting Kulasekara in test team . He is not a wicket taking bowler. ODI 152 matches 168 wickets. Test 36 innings 46 wickets. Does we need a bowler who has taken 1 wkt per inning. Poor selection . This is unfair for upcoming fast bowlers. We need to find a good real fast bowler. We trust Kulasekara swing in England . but as usual he has taken 5 wickets in 4 matches so far . poor selection

  • on June 3, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    How will Sri Lanka take 20 wickets in Test matches when their best wicket-taking options are not selected? Ajantha Mendis should have been selected - his strike rate is among the top this year and with Herath's vulnerability to his ageing injury, with Lakmal out injured and Malinga unavailable, it should have been obvious to Sri Lankan selectors play their best possible attack. It wasn't that long ago when Sri Lanka struggled to bowl sides out.

  • on June 3, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Sri Lankan selectors are not intelligent enough to handle these talented bunch of players. First, they appointed none starting XI player, Chandimal as the captain of T20. They ruined his T20 career. Not only T20, ODT career up to some extend. Then, they have appointed none starting XI player for test, Thiri as Test vice captain. This forced to bench Chandimal who has better test record.. His recent test record is good. Appointing Thirimanna as vice captain of all format is not good decision. Since Mathews has so many years left, some senior like, Nuwan, Rangana could be appointed as vice captains of relevant formats and give these young players to get experience and cement their place in the team. After couple of years, these guys can be given responsibilities.

  • premilrd on June 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Pls dont destroy Chandimal. let him play his natural game at suitable position

  • on June 5, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    If Sri Lanka are looking to the future, I would go with Chandimal with the Gloves. His teat batting record is FAR better than his ODI record. The man needs confidence and burden of vice captaincy not being on him will free him up. (I hope)

  • VikumHerath on June 3, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    Keep the most experienced young resource, who had excelled in those seaming bouncy conditions to play in SL-A team! Simply, because his batting average in such countries is beyond any other SL player in history, but doesn't have the "Luck" to be considered in SL!

  • on June 3, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    SL continue to omit young talents like Dananjaya, T. Kaushal, Vimukthi Perera, Ishan Jayaratne etc. And the young talents that they do have, they have mishandled. Chandi and Thiri are too young to be captain or vice captain. After nearly 2 years, they finally figured that out concerning Chandimal. But now they have made the mistake of burdening Thirimanne. And already he seems to have succumbed to the burden with some poor showings. Mathews has done OK as captain, but the vice captain should be someone more experienced, like Malinga or Kulasekara .

  • on June 3, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Tharindu kausal omission is questionable! hope he will get a chance against SA! And happy that fans get behind chandi! hope he will get chance to bat at thilan place (number 5)

  • Udendra on June 3, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Saw someone mention about Tharindu Kaushal. Yes, it's hard to understand why he doesn't get a chance, despite a brilliant FC record. May be the English conditions?

  • on June 3, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    Welagedara can be a match winner at times. Remember what happened in Durban test in last South Africa tour. He is the one who started the slide in SA's first innings. He and Lakmal in partnership bowled well in last England test series but we did not have a proper third seamer to back them up. Still I am not sure how effective he will be coming back from injury. Chandimal is very unfortunate. Thirimanne has not done much this tour to merit selection to the test team. Yet again the vice captain issue is creating a selection quandary. Further, Thirimanne has become an easy victim for Anderson. I am sure England will expose that. On the other hand they have also worked out some weakness of Chandimal against short pitched bowling at the body.

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 3, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    There is no point of selecting Kulasekara in test team . He is not a wicket taking bowler. ODI 152 matches 168 wickets. Test 36 innings 46 wickets. Does we need a bowler who has taken 1 wkt per inning. Poor selection . This is unfair for upcoming fast bowlers. We need to find a good real fast bowler. We trust Kulasekara swing in England . but as usual he has taken 5 wickets in 4 matches so far . poor selection

  • on June 3, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    How will Sri Lanka take 20 wickets in Test matches when their best wicket-taking options are not selected? Ajantha Mendis should have been selected - his strike rate is among the top this year and with Herath's vulnerability to his ageing injury, with Lakmal out injured and Malinga unavailable, it should have been obvious to Sri Lankan selectors play their best possible attack. It wasn't that long ago when Sri Lanka struggled to bowl sides out.

  • on June 3, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Sri Lankan selectors are not intelligent enough to handle these talented bunch of players. First, they appointed none starting XI player, Chandimal as the captain of T20. They ruined his T20 career. Not only T20, ODT career up to some extend. Then, they have appointed none starting XI player for test, Thiri as Test vice captain. This forced to bench Chandimal who has better test record.. His recent test record is good. Appointing Thirimanna as vice captain of all format is not good decision. Since Mathews has so many years left, some senior like, Nuwan, Rangana could be appointed as vice captains of relevant formats and give these young players to get experience and cement their place in the team. After couple of years, these guys can be given responsibilities.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    Chandimal is the BEST young batsman we have, even someone doesnt like it. Only someone, who doesnt know anything about cricket can ask to replace him by T20 players like Kusal, Vithanage without any technique. When Dilshan was captain , he send Chandi between Sanga & Mahela & we know how he batted that time,but now Mathews send him everywhere from no 5 to 8. Even Thisara can bat earlier in the innings. Maybe somebody wants to destroy his career?

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Chandimal may have had a poor run in limited overs cricket(still better than Mahela's run in limited overs cricket), but in test cricket, he has been successful. And a good test performance could give him back the confidence he lost in ODIs and T20s. People are really fast to forget, just think of all the good Chandi has done for SL, so he had a rough year, big deal. It's not really his fault that he lost form and confidence anyway. First of all, who gives a 23 year old the captaincy? And after doing that, why would you force him, a no. 4 batsman to bat at 7 or 8, as a tailender! For those in doubt, go watch his 100 at lords and multiple 50+ scored in Australia. Remember how this guy was our best no 4 with an average of almoat 40 in ODIs, not how he is a bad tailender, because that was never his role.

  • YsaKaru on June 2, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Tharindu kaushal is the best offbreak bowler in the country.......... Much better than D.PERERA.......

  • Kavum on June 2, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Bring back Vassy! He looks fit and can bowl at least as "fast" as Kulasekera on a bad day with much more skill. PrasannaJ can stand closer if its a problem with pace and carry. Welagedera should be sent home asap. His day has come and gone. Is Dilruwan the best offie in the country? Humbly beg to differ. Now that Sachitra has got the English treatment, SL may need to try some other options. Do not see any of the current stable of bowlers taking 20 wickets to win a match. Herath is good but not Murali good. Hopefully the batting clicks and SL can salvage a draw or two. Deo volente, Insh'allah and the should the Devas be willing!!! Chandi is undroppable; get over it people! Eng 2; SL 0.

  • Nariyaxy on June 2, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Thank you so much for standing up for Chandimal, he is the best young batsmen we have. I am not sure why Thirimanne and Priyanjan in the squad , time will prove above 2 don't belong in any squad. If Sri lanka to win WC 2015 have to bring back Thranga and to give opportunity to Kapugedera(he maybe not in best shape but he can clear ropes and can win matches) Mubarak & Dickwella( very good attacking batsman ) also need to get a new coach , maybe Russell Arnold. Marvan Atapattu not suitable for the job as he is very anxious and don't see things outside the box .

  • Poholiyadda on June 2, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Chandimal averages 52 in test cricket while Thirimanne averages 32. Because of Thirimanne's Colombo background, he is going to replace the guy who has the second best average ( 20 innings or more / behind Sangakkara) in Sri Lankan test cricket history. Sri Lankan selectors must have forgotten how Chandimal' scontribution in his debut against SA lead SL to the first test victory in SAfrica. He also played really well in the only test he got in the Australian tour scoring a half century in the second innings at Sydney. Selectors and some fans are never bothered about Dimuth Karunaratna who is yet to score a century in test cricket after getting plenty of opportunities to open the batting.

  • on June 2, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    Just when you thought these two (Suranga and Shaminda) is gonna give SL the much needed wickets at the top. They toiled hard and got wickets in the flat pitches in UAE. For once they were suppose to get helpful tracks to bowl on, and the guy gets injured. Feel for Suranga and this puts SL pace bowling battery under pressure. They will be going into the first test without their form bowler.

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Goodness!! Replace Chandimal (who has a 50+ average).!! Thirimanne is lucky to be the VC!! Sure Chandimal had a bad stinit in ODIs and T20s but this is a different ball game. Give the guy what is due! Look at Thirimanne's test record!

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    its big a loss for the SL that lakmal is out.. but lets hope welegedara wil stand up.

  • Sinhaya on June 2, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    So sad that Chandimal is being persisted with and Vithanage is not considered. This might make him mentally demoralized. Sri Lanka has no T20 game at all till November when England come down. I would be very happy if Chandimal fails to the maximum in the coming tests so that it will mean a "PERMANENT END" to his career at last and give Vithanage a place. I am disgusted that Vithanage was not considered for ODIs at the expense of passenger Chandimal.

    Kaushal Silva is fine. Karunaratne better prove himself in England or drop him for next month series against SA and put in Upul Tharanga or Shehan Jayasuriya. Senanayake would have been a better spinner rather than Dilruwan Perera.

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  • Sinhaya on June 2, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    So sad that Chandimal is being persisted with and Vithanage is not considered. This might make him mentally demoralized. Sri Lanka has no T20 game at all till November when England come down. I would be very happy if Chandimal fails to the maximum in the coming tests so that it will mean a "PERMANENT END" to his career at last and give Vithanage a place. I am disgusted that Vithanage was not considered for ODIs at the expense of passenger Chandimal.

    Kaushal Silva is fine. Karunaratne better prove himself in England or drop him for next month series against SA and put in Upul Tharanga or Shehan Jayasuriya. Senanayake would have been a better spinner rather than Dilruwan Perera.

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    its big a loss for the SL that lakmal is out.. but lets hope welegedara wil stand up.

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Goodness!! Replace Chandimal (who has a 50+ average).!! Thirimanne is lucky to be the VC!! Sure Chandimal had a bad stinit in ODIs and T20s but this is a different ball game. Give the guy what is due! Look at Thirimanne's test record!

  • on June 2, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    Just when you thought these two (Suranga and Shaminda) is gonna give SL the much needed wickets at the top. They toiled hard and got wickets in the flat pitches in UAE. For once they were suppose to get helpful tracks to bowl on, and the guy gets injured. Feel for Suranga and this puts SL pace bowling battery under pressure. They will be going into the first test without their form bowler.

  • Poholiyadda on June 2, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Chandimal averages 52 in test cricket while Thirimanne averages 32. Because of Thirimanne's Colombo background, he is going to replace the guy who has the second best average ( 20 innings or more / behind Sangakkara) in Sri Lankan test cricket history. Sri Lankan selectors must have forgotten how Chandimal' scontribution in his debut against SA lead SL to the first test victory in SAfrica. He also played really well in the only test he got in the Australian tour scoring a half century in the second innings at Sydney. Selectors and some fans are never bothered about Dimuth Karunaratna who is yet to score a century in test cricket after getting plenty of opportunities to open the batting.

  • Nariyaxy on June 2, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Thank you so much for standing up for Chandimal, he is the best young batsmen we have. I am not sure why Thirimanne and Priyanjan in the squad , time will prove above 2 don't belong in any squad. If Sri lanka to win WC 2015 have to bring back Thranga and to give opportunity to Kapugedera(he maybe not in best shape but he can clear ropes and can win matches) Mubarak & Dickwella( very good attacking batsman ) also need to get a new coach , maybe Russell Arnold. Marvan Atapattu not suitable for the job as he is very anxious and don't see things outside the box .

  • Kavum on June 2, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Bring back Vassy! He looks fit and can bowl at least as "fast" as Kulasekera on a bad day with much more skill. PrasannaJ can stand closer if its a problem with pace and carry. Welagedera should be sent home asap. His day has come and gone. Is Dilruwan the best offie in the country? Humbly beg to differ. Now that Sachitra has got the English treatment, SL may need to try some other options. Do not see any of the current stable of bowlers taking 20 wickets to win a match. Herath is good but not Murali good. Hopefully the batting clicks and SL can salvage a draw or two. Deo volente, Insh'allah and the should the Devas be willing!!! Chandi is undroppable; get over it people! Eng 2; SL 0.

  • YsaKaru on June 2, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Tharindu kaushal is the best offbreak bowler in the country.......... Much better than D.PERERA.......

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    Chandimal may have had a poor run in limited overs cricket(still better than Mahela's run in limited overs cricket), but in test cricket, he has been successful. And a good test performance could give him back the confidence he lost in ODIs and T20s. People are really fast to forget, just think of all the good Chandi has done for SL, so he had a rough year, big deal. It's not really his fault that he lost form and confidence anyway. First of all, who gives a 23 year old the captaincy? And after doing that, why would you force him, a no. 4 batsman to bat at 7 or 8, as a tailender! For those in doubt, go watch his 100 at lords and multiple 50+ scored in Australia. Remember how this guy was our best no 4 with an average of almoat 40 in ODIs, not how he is a bad tailender, because that was never his role.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    Chandimal is the BEST young batsman we have, even someone doesnt like it. Only someone, who doesnt know anything about cricket can ask to replace him by T20 players like Kusal, Vithanage without any technique. When Dilshan was captain , he send Chandi between Sanga & Mahela & we know how he batted that time,but now Mathews send him everywhere from no 5 to 8. Even Thisara can bat earlier in the innings. Maybe somebody wants to destroy his career?