World T20 2016 February 18, 2016

Malinga, Mathews back for World T20

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Twenty20 captain Lasith Malinga, vice-captain Angelo Mathews and seamer Nuwan Kulasekara are back from injury for Sri Lanka, for the Asia Cup and the World T20 that follows. All three players were included in the identical 15-man squads named for both tournaments. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who had missed Sri Lanka's three-match T20 series in India, also made a return.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella has also been named, while the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne and Danushka Gunathilaka missed out. Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay, offspinning allrounder Shehan Jayasuriya, and seam-bowling allrounder Dasun Shanaka find places in the squads, but Seekkuge Prasanna and Kasun Rajitha - who played in the recent T20 series in India - have been overlooked.

The spin-bowling contingent features Herath, Sachithra Senanayake and Vandersay, while Milinda Siriwardana's left-arm spin and Jayasuriya's offspin is also available. The seam attack is spearheaded by captain Malinga; Kulasekara, Dushmantha Chameera and Thisara Perera are in tow.

On the batting front, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mathews provide experience to the top seven, but the XI also looks likely to feature batsmen as yet unproven in this format. Shanaka and Jayasuriya have played four and five T20 internationals respectively, and even Dinesh Chandimal has not established himself in the format yet, averaging less than 15 in 28 T20 international innings.

Dickwella, 22, has also played only two T20 internationals, and did not break through to double figures in those outings. He will be among those contending to partner Dilshan at the top of the order, with Kusal Perera suspended due to a doping charge. Dickwella is coming off strong domestic season, having hit 189 runs at a strike rate of 173.39, in six innings, during the recent Super T20 Provincial Tournament.

Thirimanne had played a significant role in the previous World T20 campaign, even top-scoring in the semi-final against West Indies, but the paucity of his recent Test results has seemingly seen him fall out of favour with the selectors. He had, however, averaged more than 43 in ODIs last year - though he did not play T20 internationals.

The selectors have also backed the experience of Herath, despite mild concerns over his fielding. With Malinga, Kulasekara and Senanayake also in the squad, much of the bowling unit that had been vital to Sri Lanka's 2014 World T20 victory, remains in place. Dilhara Fernando, who played his first international match since 2012 in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, does not find a place.

Sri Lanka begin their Asia Cup defence in Mirpur on February 25, and their World T20 campaign starts in Kolkata, on March 17.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • APGPA on February 24, 2016, 11:35 GMT

    1.Dili ,2. Chandi, 3. Shehan, 4.Kapu, 5. Anji, 6. Dasun, 7. Siriwardana, 8. Thisara, 9. Vanderse/Herath/Sachi, 10. Chameera, 11.Mali

  • LALITHKURUWITA on February 24, 2016, 11:16 GMT

    Hope SL get into semis. SL is heading south for last few months in T20. It is very difficult to replace Sanga/Mahela. Finalists will be Ban and Ind.

  •   Nilanka Mendis on February 24, 2016, 2:02 GMT

    01.Shehan Jayasuriya(Bat/Spin) 02.Chandimal (Wkt) 03.Milinda Siri (Bat/Spin) 04.Dilshan (Bat/Spin/Wkt) 05.Mathews (Bat/Seam) 06.Kapugedara (Bat/Seam) 07.Dickwella (Wkt) 08.Shanaka (Bat/Seam) 09.Tissara/Rangana 10.Chameera (Fast Bowler) 11. Malinga ( Fast Bowler )

    T20s winning with allrounders this is the team which contained with 9 bowlers,9 recorgnised batsmen and 3 wicket keepers,4 Spinners and 5 seamers....etc

  •   Nilanka Mendis on February 24, 2016, 1:18 GMT

    No use of openning with Dilshan if Ashwin is going to bowl from the other end,guys you have to be more serious specially when you're playing a country like india,cause you're not playing against with their top 11 players only,

    And Senanayake as a full time spin bowler,team required you to be more dedicated,the way you bowl and the way you appeal lousy indicate that you are not giving 100% effect,learn something from Ashwin cause everyday he does experiments and creating a new way of bowling...full time spin bowler should be like a scientist...

    Batting order must be change and do some fine tune,Chandimal and Siriwardene can open too,Kapugedara must come 1st down or 2nd down,

    01.Chandimal 02.Milinda Siri 03.Dickwella 04.Kapugedara 05.Mathews 06.Dilshan 07.Shanaka 08.Tissara 09.Herath 10.Chameera 11. Malinga

  •   Rashan Silva on February 23, 2016, 9:39 GMT

    What the current situation of kusal Perera problem.... If kusal can play world cup it's very valuable for our team. Sri lankan squad not bad... But they haven't big experience... mathews, chandimal, dilshan, malinga...need to play their role very well...Lion is always dangerous...show your talent and try to win world cup...best of luck

  • APGPA on February 22, 2016, 13:37 GMT

    Chandi should open the batting with Dili ......

  • VoteForRoastPotatoes on February 22, 2016, 3:48 GMT

    Dilshan was the 5th highest scorer in odi's last year fyi.

  • indianlankacricfan on February 21, 2016, 22:33 GMT

    dilly siriwardaa chandimal shanaka mathews kapu tisara kula sena malinga dushmanta. go with this lineup u gonna win the cup

  • SLV97 on February 21, 2016, 17:08 GMT

    1.Jayasuriya/Dickwella/Shanaka 2.Dilshan 3.Chandimal 4.Kapugedara 5.Mathews 6.Siriwardane 7. Perera 8.Kulasekara 9.Malinga 10.Chameera 11.Herath

  • SLV97 on February 21, 2016, 16:55 GMT

    Dilshan is the weak link, every match a wicket will fall by the 3rd over cos of him