Kusal Perera back in Sri Lanka ODI squad
Kusal Perera, who has not played international cricket since injuring himself in the Champions Trophy, is back in the Sri Lankan ODI squad for the three-match series against India starting December 10.
Test captain Dinesh Chandimal did not find a place in the 16-member touring party. Neither did Kusal Mendis, who was rested for the Test series. Meanwhile, Asela Gunaratne, the allrounder who won big at the SLC annual awards last month, was included, having recovered from thumb surgery in July. Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep will get some game time as well after Sri Lanka preferred not to play him in the Test series as a means to manage his workload.
Dhananjaya de Silva also returned to the squad, having not played ODI cricket since the Champions Trophy, on the back of impressive performances for the Sri Lanka A team, while the return of a fit-again Angelo Mathews will also be a boon to a side lacking in experience.
Sadeera Samarawickrama retained his place in the squad having come in for the suspended Danushka Gunathilaka during the Pakistan tour. Gunathilaka sans suspension was also been included. The rest of the batting line-up is made up of captain Thisara Perera, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, former captain Upul Tharanga, and Lahiru Thirimanne.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, look to have named their strongest possible pace attack, with Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera joining the returning Pradeep, while Mathews and Thisara will also share the burden. However, there was no room for left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando.
With the exclusion of legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay, Sri Lanka's spin department might be a little light with Akila Dananjaya the only specialist spinner in the squad. However, the return of left-arm spinning allrounders Chaturanga de Silva and Sachith Pathirana could provide adequate cover.
The players who are not already in India are expected to fly out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, after they were asked to disembark from the plane meant to fly them out to India on Monday. The SLC press release that included the squad had this as explanation: "due to delay in submitting the list of selected players to the ratification of the honourable minister as per regulations of the Sports Law owing to a long weekend, the selected players were unable to travel to India yesterday as was originally scheduled, and will depart today instead."