Sri Lanka shuffle squad for final two ODIs
Four Sri Lanka players, including Kumar Sangakkara, will be replaced in the squad for the two final ODIs against India, as the selectors seek to test fringe players with the World Cup on the horizon.
Dhammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Upul Tharanga and Sangakkara will be withdrawn after the third ODI, and Shaminda Eranga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Ajantha Mendis will enter the squad in their stead. Of the four withdrawn players, only Sangakkara and Prasad were being rested, team manager Michael de Zoysa said.
Thirimanne and Chandimal arrive in the side with some match practice, and form, having recently played against West Indies A, on their tour of Sri Lanka. Thirimanne hit three fifties in four innings during that tour, while Chandimal hit two half centuries in his four outings. Chandimal may also keep wickets against India, in Sangakkara's stead, though Kusal Perera is also capable of filling that role.
If he plays, Eranga is expected to add pace and experience to the pace attack, which has seemed flat and out of ideas in the first two matches. He has not played an ODI since July 2013, however. Ajantha Mendis' inclusion comes days after he was named in the ICC's ODI team of the year - the only Sri Lanka player to make that side.
Tharanga's ODI career appears on hold once more, having already been dropped, and now replaced, after a mediocre outing in the first ODI. Kusal had done no better in Tharanga's place when he collected a duck in the second match, but with Thirimanne now in the mix for the last two matches, Sri Lanka have yet another opening option available.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando