Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011 September 21, 2011

Samaraweera dropped for Pakistan Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dinesh Chandimal has been recalled to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the series against Pakistan in the UAE and is one of four wicketkeeper-batsmen in the 16-man party. Middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera, 34, and spinner Ajantha Mendis are the major omissions from the squad that lost 1-0 to Australia at home, while legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna was also left out.

"Thilan will not come into the reckoning in our long term plans," Duleep Mendis, the chairman of selectors, said. "We intend giving youngsters an opportunity while the seniors are around. He might be considered on a short-term basis."

Apart from Chandimal, who was part of the Test squad in England this summer but did not debut, fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep and another wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva were the two other uncapped players called into the side. Chandimal has played 12 ODIs and seven Twenty20s, though, and is presently representing Ruhuna in the Champions League Twenty20 in India. Neither Pradeep nor Silva has any international caps.

Samaraweera scored only 86 runs at an average of 21.50 in the first two home Tests against Australia and was dropped for the third match at the SSC. Sri Lanka adjusted to his absence by batting the captain Tillakaratne Dilshan in the middle order while Lahiru Thirimanne opened with Tharanga Paranavitana. Dilshan is likely to continue batting in the middle order.

Mendis did not play any of the Tests against Australia because of a back injury he sustained during the preceding ODI series and he remained unavailable for selection. Prasanna made his debut in the second Test in Pallekele and took 0 for 80 in the match.

The squad contained five fast bowlers in Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Dammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga and Pradeep and only two specialist spinners - Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv. Angelo Mathews was selected as a batsman because he was not yet fit to bowl.

"Angelo has gone to Australia for treatment for his left knee and we will not risk bowling him in the series," Mendis said.

Sri Lanka play three Tests against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah starting on October 18.

Squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vc), Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Dammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Kaushal Silva (wk).

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kosala on September 24, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    This is like a joke, Samaraweera is a better test batsmen than many others, even than captain.he should have given more chances. Is there anything else going on back of the screen? NOT FAIR!!

  • Dummy4 on September 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    this is gonna be a cracker of a series waiting to see the action

  • Shehan on September 23, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Strongly condemn samaraweera's omission. Yes he performed badly in one series. But Mr. Mendis if you are looking at the future please make me understand the reason for 4 keepers in the side. No disrespect to prasanna but he could have been sacrificed for chandimal. Not samaraweera. This is a guy who has saved Lanka in many test matches. Ridiculous thinking to say the least!

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    Good move by the Selectors to give a Chance to Chandimal Rather than including Samaraweera whose poor form against Australia. Good luck for CHANDIMAl

  • Rajesh on September 22, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    You got to be kidding to drop a batsman with an average of 52 in Tests whatever the reasons...................

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    drop prasanna...make chandimal thse test wk, no 7

  • Arun on September 22, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    dont understand the logic behind dropping Samaraweera..and that too against Pakistan..! He averages close to 60 against them and even got his highest Test score a couple of years back against the Men in Green..

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    will be a cracker of a series

  • Ramesh on September 22, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    What is this fuss about wicket keepers? prasanna is the best wk around and he did really well England. Not to forget he was the man of the seies in England. He got starts in the last two matches but couldnt convert them to big scores. i dont see any reason why he should be dropped. B'coz it will be a waste of his keeping talents. the problem is our top order is not consistent not with wicket keepers. i dont know why people are talking about keepers when we have so many issues in top order.

  • Anishka on September 22, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Samaraweera should not have been dropped... one of our best test batsman to play the game. My team would be 1) Paranavitana 2) Chandimal... it might be interesting to see him open 3) Sangakarra 4) Mahela 5) Dilshan 6) Mathews 7) Silva 8) Randiv 9) Herath 10) Eranga 11) Lakmal (though i also want to see if Nuwan Pradeep is as good as advertised) Kaushal Silva should definitely be given a match though

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