Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011 September 21, 2011

Samaraweera dropped for Pakistan Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff
125

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

  • KosalaDeSilva 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!!

  • on September 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT

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

  • hawkeye30 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!

  • 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...................

  • on September 22, 2011, 21:13 GMT

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

  • kopruz 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..

  • on September 22, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    will be a cracker of a series

  • ranilranathunga 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.

  • carbandpunk 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

  • KosalaDeSilva 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!!

  • on September 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT

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

  • hawkeye30 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!

  • 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...................

  • on September 22, 2011, 21:13 GMT

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

  • kopruz 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..

  • on September 22, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    will be a cracker of a series

  • ranilranathunga 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.

  • carbandpunk 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

  • mhk21 on September 22, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    looks like pak are in a good condition to win ........a good contest cumin

  • Habsi on September 22, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Give Samaraveera more chances. This is not the way you treat your champions

  • Happy_AusBang on September 22, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    I think SL will be swapping places again, this time with the PAK team.

  • on September 22, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    People.. Please stop saying we have picked 4 Wicket keepers... Sanga doesn't keep anymore at Test Level.. Chandimal is Picked purely as a batsmen and Middle order batting cover. Kaushal has been touring with the National team for the last year as Prasannas Understudy. 2 Wicket Keepers!! I don't think Samaraweera is done, he's a strong player he'll make it back.. but it's time to start rotating the seniors. Sachinthra Sennanayake you missed out again.

  • on September 22, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Samar veera avg 52 in test Ajanta mendis shuld have included in just concluded sereis against Aussies ,Australia havent played him and he is unknown quantity to them we all seen how the powerful indian batting line up became hare in front of him in 2008 series

  • sampi72 on September 22, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Surprise...surprise ..We are having 3 wicket keepers in the side namly sanga,Prasanna and chandimal.Chairman of selection commitee ,can U justify the adding of 4th wicket keeper Kaushal Silva.Instead of selecting Kaushal Silva better to select Upul Tharaga as an additional opening batsman.Unfair to seekuge Prasanna ignoring after just one game.Dear selectors you must remember the first match of greatest ever spinners of murali against England and sahne warne against India were even worst than Seekkuge Prasanna.So,he should have included to the side instead of Dhammika Prasad.Realy appriciate the inclusion of Sri Lankas future batting spreadsheet Dinesh Chandimal and young Nuwan Pradeep Fernando.I wish both of them may get at least one mach without been siting in the bench for whole series.Accepting the inclusion of the Suraj Randiv just because of the injury of Medis.All the best to Sri Lanka team.

  • Ahsan_Shere on September 22, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Some Indians gone mad demanding Angelo Mathews drop coz he denied them victory for the sake of his century. He played 17 balls after 9th wicket fell & before completing a century scoring 7 runs, played 13 balls after scoring a century to add just three runs so you can't say he was taking singles of the last or penultimate balls to keep the strike for his century because he did exactly this after his century too, as Srilanka were hoping to give Aus lesser chances of playing day 4, they wanted to spin the ball on day 5 thus getting them.

  • Balumekka on September 22, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Dulip Mendis is ruining the Sri Lankan Team with his selection blunders. For the 1st test against Aussies at Galle "Dust bowl", he omitted Mendis, whom would have been handful in that match. Now axing Samaraweera who has a wonderful record against Pakistan!

  • on September 22, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Boy some of you are unfairly tough. Mathews gets criticized for being irresponsible. Then he gets criticized for batting too slowly. Come on guys. He is our next big superstar. He is the real deal and still very young. Support the guy. I have always liked Samaraweera. He is a forgotten unsung hero who has been unceremoniously thrown to the wolves. What a shame. Dravid failed over and over again but was given a change to regain his form. Samaraweera with a solid proven track record is given just two test matches to fail. I agree with one of the others. Sri Lanka needs a good coach. It would be great to get Moody back, but he is doing just fine as a commentator, so it would be tough to get him. But he could really help turn the team around.

  • on September 22, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    I think its great to give youngsters a chance, but just because they are in the squad does not mean they ll play. We have seen both Chandimal and Kaushal Silva in the test squad before without getting a game. With Dilshan batting at 5 and Mathews at 6 I don't see either of them getting a game this series unless there is an injury. Therefore, there is no point of taking them on tour unless this was done to save Samaraweera some face (he would have been water boy had he gone on tour). I would like to see Nuwan Pradeep replace Welagedara. They should have left 1 of the fast bowlers behind and taken a spinning all rounder who can bat at 7. What has happened to Thilan Thushara??? He had more venom and swing that Welagedara and deserves to be in the squad unless injured.

  • on September 22, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    What on earth are these selectors thinking? Do they ever look into the stats at all? Samaraweera scored two half centuries including 87* in England, and has a proven record against Pakistan. Sri Lanka need a new captain and a new coach who can plan ahead and think wisely. It's good to blood new players into the team but not by sacking people who have performed well. Atleast they could have sacked Dhammika Prasad who isn't really a good test player.

  • on September 22, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    Thilan was bad in last two game against Aus.It is true. But he may score against pakistan.In last Test series in PAK 2008(abounded series due to terrorist attack)he make 200s also.

  • on September 22, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I just dont know the theory behind dropping ajantha mendis from the side, where he was not given any chance in the recently concluded test series against the OZ.I also dont why suraj randiv is give so much of oppertunities even when he's not performing.

  • Baundele on September 22, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    You do not replace a performing 52 avg batsman in the name of some long term plan. SL are declining as a team and the problem is with the management.

  • Mandernew on September 22, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Good relief to see nuwan pradeep is in the squad. I feel that Eranga is a well talented bowler than Welegedara and Lakmal. so he should remain in his position. while predeep covers the other end. well some may say they are still not experienced. but neither welegedara nor lakmal do.hoping to see senansanyake in the squad as soon as possible. chandimal should be our wicket keeper. of course prasanna can be the worlds best but his batting is not up to the standards of chandi. adding him wil give SL seven established batsmen.chandi is not a bad keeper.he should bat at 5 while Samaraweera on 6 and Mathews on 7 respectively.hope AM will be able to bowl in the near future. dilshan and thirimanne/paranavithana should open while herath and senanayake as spinners and pradeep and Eranga as fast bowlers. and should play the team unchanged (except bouncy tracks in SA where 3 genuine fast men are needed.) then sri lanka will have a great team till 2015 with no doubt.

  • on September 22, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    They should have dropped Matthews as he clearly doesn't bat for his team.

  • on September 22, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    Whats all this fuss about 4 keepers?? Chandimal and Kaushal are 2 of our best young batsmen.. Think of them as backup batsmen - who can cover if one of our No3-No7 batsman gets injured. They will ultimately replace PJ.. Still feel that Samaraweera was unlucky to be dropped for the SSC test - the place where he's made most of his runs..Maybe Dilshan was worried that Samaraweera would be the next Captain!

  • Mahaanama on September 22, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Samaraweera is a far better test player than Dilshan in any given day. I think Samaraweera should captain SL test side & Dilshan should be axed. But sometimes selectors take tough decisions. Great Aravinda was also axed when he was 34. Hopefully Samaraweera will be considered for next tour. Anyway now we can't change this selected squad. Chandimal could be a good replacement for Mathews if Mathews doesn't adapt to play for team spirit. In terms of keeping abilities Prasanna Jayawardene is considered as the best wicketkeeper in the world but I doubt whether SL need such a quality keeper if he doesn't give a good contribution with the bat. Kaushal Silva is the best option. This is my SL team for the first test match. Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vc), Kaushal Silva (wk). Rangana Herath, Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.

  • on September 22, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    They can pick anyone they want but it will make no differance without a coach, S.L. lost the aussie series becuase they had no direction ,no plan,no guidence, and no idea what they were doing in the one dayers and the test.The aus team are no more talented than S.L but they had a good coaching staff and a good plan.every team that has had success latley has had a good coaching staff, so dont take it out on the players ,sack the coaching staff, Bring in Geof Marsh or Tom Moody at what ever it cost and S.L will be champions again.

  • unbiased_benaud on September 22, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    Firstly, Ajantha Mendis is injured and not dropped. Secondly, Samaraweera's average last tour against Australia was pretty bad, in fact would have been much worse if the Aussies hadn't dropped him on nought! Thirdly, there are four wicket keepers in the SQUAD - not the starting XI.

  • cecil89 on September 22, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    Prasanna Jayawardene is an ordinary keeper-batsman, and its good to see the selectors are looking at new players in this role.

  • johnathonjosephs on September 22, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    Disagree with the comments that Thilan only played well in home. Look at the series against the powerful England in England a couple months back where he averaged slightly over 50 in seaming conditions against the England attack. Thats way more than any of the mighty Indian batsman could do (save for Dravid).... think this is a big mistake if they are dropping him because of his form, but if they are dropping him to make room to train a youngster for the future, I fully approve of it. Laxman might find the same thing happening to him sometime after the Australian tour. He would be smart to make that tour his last one, so he can retire properly

  • AnishBoy on September 21, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    Check his overseas batting records, it will show how good player he is. He is only good in home batting conditions. Youngster should be brought as Sanga and Mahela are getting old now.... I never liked Samara.. he rarely saves matches for SL.

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

    Hmmm this is really wierd... why do they hav so many keepers.. thilan should have been kept as a substitute... they should hav brought it some spinners... Duleep Mendis should be axed... I hope i see that soon...

  • Herath-UK on September 21, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Thilan's case is an example to some other players;he was a real Test player with sticking ability but changed his style of play to get into the ODI team;the result is he lost his Test temperement and now kicked out of the team. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • goldeneye075 on September 21, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    I feel sorry for Samaraweera, but some tough decisions need to be made. If Angelo is not available as a bowler , sri lanka should look for a replacement , SL should have a backup player who can act as an allrounder ; rem what happened in the WC final ??? he should stay in sidelines while he is fully recovered, and he can step in to the team at any moment. The position where he plays should be occupied by an alrounder , not by a specialist batsmen. Should try to groom many players as can.. with the opportunity. The team has given opportunity for new players, but which is lacking is a opportunity for a new spinner.. should have liked to see S. Sennanayake in the side as he has done well in the recent past.

  • on September 21, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    5 wicket keepers dilshan is also part time wicketkeper

  • on September 21, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    waiting for another series...........................?

  • CricketChat on September 21, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    Dropping Samaraweera is not fair. He did no worse than Kumar, Dilshan, Jayawardane on the Eng or early part of Aus test series. He was sacrificed just to accommodate Dilshan lower in the order because he failed at the top. Thilan was the most successful batsman in SL batting order not long ago. Hope he scores tons of runs and forces his way back as I think he still has 2/3 yrs of cricket left in him.

  • on September 21, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    four wicketkeepers... strange.

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    this is good specialy with four top order batsmen comin to the end of their careers....players lyk thirimanne, chandimal, kaushal shud be given a longer run....

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 21, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    I do not fully disagree but we should have looked for some good spin options as well. Randiv and Dilshan are below par bowlers. This selection is not ideally balanced. However, some good calls. What I find very funny is that, if Samaraweera had been given the many chances as it was given to Mahela, he would have been exceptional. Mahela always find some runs with good batting wickets, but to my knowledge he never had contributed for the country to win in difficult situations, on the other hand Samaraweera had had, in several occasions. I agree with 3rd_man. We should also think of some all-rounders. We very much lack people like Vaas, Kumar Dharmasena, Aravinda and Sanath Jayasuriya. They were very good in bat and ball. I think Randiv, Dilshan and Angelo are miles away from such players we had in the past. I also should mention their devotion to fielding and to win matches.

  • randikaayya on September 21, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    Its samare's birthday tomorrow. What a terrible piece of news this would be for him. To be declared 'not part of long term plans' by the chief of selectors. As much as Duleep is respected in SL for what he has given us as a player, he's not half the administrator that Aravinda is. Not insightful!

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    y ajanta mendis is axed don't expect too much from him he wont get u 8 wickets every match he is a good bowler he will fail sometimes though...n they are talking about future making dilshan captain is not a long term plan..

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    really unfortunate!!,agree his past few matches haven't been excellent ,but he deserved more."Thilan will not come into the reckoning in our long term plans,"-very sad indeed

  • pk2good on September 21, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    This should be a good series to to watch

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    This is not surprising at all: Samaraweera was always a flat track bully, but only against weak seam attacks. At no point of his career was he able to handle quality bowling attacks on seaming / swinging / bouncing tracks. he was kind of "protected" for a large part of his early career from tours to SA & Aus. But whenever he did play, he failed miserably. You only have to checkout his performance against Australia, SA & England, against whom he averages in the Twenties. This is in stark contrast to his overall career average of 50+, which were clearly botched up predominantly on Flat subcontinental tracks & against weak/ordinary bowling attacks.

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Leaving Samaraweera is not an amicable decision because Pakistan has been performing well in recent times both in Test and ODI especially in bowling area where they produced wickets out of no where....

  • datewithdestiny on September 21, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    What a sad piece of news to be delivered on someone's 35th birthday!!

  • Gupta.Ankur on September 21, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    It seems people here have not been following SL cricket.........Samaraweera has not been performing upto his own high standards for a while and it was only time that someone new was considered....

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Wong wrong ........... He was the heights run scorer at last Pakistan tour .. Sound not right anyway.. !!

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    i wish Nuwan Pradeep and Chandimal all the best. this is gonna be interesting!

  • Herath-UK on September 21, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Will SLC be intelligent enough to put in measures now itself to prevent Nuwan Pradeep & Eranga joining IPL.Otherwise it will be another Malinga story pretty soon.

  • on September 21, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    its really strange to know tht Thilan S is not in the side after only 2 failure and the reason given is age not justifying.He should be included in the side especially when SL is playing PAK in Dubai, Dead tracks. ANY 1 play in placeof TS wil score there and it will end the carrier of Thilan Samarweera.very sad!!!!!

  • on September 21, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    exellent decision taken by srilankan board

  • s1o9n9i0c on September 21, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    At last, Sri Lankan Selection Committee find the right path for their future. Good selection. I'm very happy about Chandimal & Pradeep called in. Best of luck to Sri Lankan Cricket !

  • azmaftab on September 21, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    I remember samaraweera batting in the last test series against pakistan and thinking "dammit first it was Attapatu and now this guy, why won't he get OUT?!" no doubt this is a setback for the lankans.

  • on September 21, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    ridiculous he iz da one of da best test cricketer around averaging almost 5o in test match iz nt a joke,,,,,,,if he dont deserve to b in a test side due to his age factor than dilshan n other senior player also should b axed frm da test side,,,,,there iz plenty of cricket left in samaraweera he iz far more better option in middle order than dilshan.......................................

  • Ahsan_Shere on September 21, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    To tackle Srilanka's bowling isn't much difficult & with the bunch of batsmen Pakistan has they are very competitive, especially against inexperienced attack. And since Samaraweera isn't playing, two wickets of Kumar & Mahela are the key & then they'll be good.

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Its a good decision, ya he has a good record but if you look at the age of SLs middle order.. sanga (33) , mahela (34), Samaraweera (35) Dilshan (34) .. they all will retire in a short space of time, and we need to bring in young middle order batsmen into the team.. chandimal, k silva, Bhanuka Rajapakse ... so we wont go through what australia is goin through.. with the likes of Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Gilli, Lehman retirin in a small space of time...

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Joke of the year "He might be considered on a short-term basis." doping specialist Test batsman and going to considered in short term....... Actually he need to axed from short term and should included in long term ... he is far better than Dilshan in Test cricket.

  • 3rd_man on September 21, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    I have seen Thilan playing grate innings and saving matches for srilanka when ever big guns failed. I thin selectors should give him same respect like mahela and sanga. if you look at Mahela he has obvious technical issue edging the ball to slips or keeper out side the off stump. I don't think Thilan have that technical issue. but mahela got runs here and there to keep him in the side. but when did he play some grate innings when it really matter? like saving a game or for winning a game.MJ did when he was captaining the side. but I have seen many good innings by Thilan which help SL to save games from very difficult situations. food for thought.

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    OMG !!! Whtz goin on in srilanka's selection panel .?..How can dey justify Samaraweera's omission ?.Cant accept 2 omit som1 like samara who has have over 52 avrg & just not perform only 2 test vs aussies ?.Very Crazy move..spin deprtmnt also in not stable..Sachithra Senanayake should include instead of Suraj..Mor over dey can test , Kaushal as d wk instead of prasanna in d final XI..Good luck SL..

  • Sarangarajan on September 21, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    It is indeed surpsrisiing that Samarweera has been dropped after just two faliures. Mathews was persisted for his" alleged allround ability" so long and now he turned the corner. After Jayawardena and Sangakara, it is Samarewwera who took care of the middle order on so many occasions.Samaweera to Srilanka is what Laxman to India. You donot discard some body of his class and stablitiy.The explanation of selectors is amusing.Age - some expalnation.

  • nwsk on September 21, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    good . dinesh is good selection. but parana withana also bned selection

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    yes india needs some help from outside to win, hehe, india is in the situation of adopting foreign playes for team upliftment..

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Thank god Samare is out..good to give Dinesh a chance :)) Also I'd suggest an additional spinner instead of a pacie..Prasanna should've been included

  • 3rd_man on September 21, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    Dropping thilan is a bit of shock. he did well in England and against Pakistan he did well in the past. still remember his 200 before he was shot in pakistan. basically he was over shadowed mahela with his cover drives and straight drives in that innings. Chandimal should not play as a keeper. T20 he can keep , but for ODIs and test matches he should play as a batsman. even Angelo should play as a batsman in test matches. these guys too good to be bit and pieces players. I like K.Silva as a wicketkeeper. this guy can even play a role of a batsman. PJ did well in England. but I think KS can be better batsman than him. PJ improved his batting but he can get out anytime during his innings. KS will be more solid option and can help to build partnerships with lower middle order.

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Angelo Mathews should also be dropped. He denied SL a chance to push for victory for the sake of his century.

  • on September 21, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Not sure how much thought went into this. Averages rarely lie.

  • jonesy2 on September 21, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    strange, yeah he failed against a world class australian bowling attack but dropping him is harsh.

  • yohandf1984 on September 21, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Dulip mendis got it utterly wrong. there shouldnt be no long term plan in test right now for Sri Lanka . they should try to win Pak series and try to do well in SA and see whether they can enter test championship. So hav to play your best test players like Thilan now and keep lthier long time plans after december 11' . Hav to clarify the matter of 4 wicket keepers actually there are two PG & Kaushal .other two are in team as specialist batters .IF thilan was selected over Prasad ,squad would have been ok

  • on September 21, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    Wht d hell our Cricket board officials r doin.... Wts d reason 4 dropping Samaraweera.. This is very poor decission making of SLC.. Instead of taking 4 keepers he shuld hv given a another chance... And whr r Dilhara & Kulasekara...?

  • passionate_cricket_follower on September 21, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    samaraweera has become the vvs laxman of sri lankan cricket. when there has to be somebody axed after a bad series, it was always laxman. take the example of the new zealand series of 2003, just before the world cup. laxman was all set to play for india in wc 2003 before that series. one bad series for all the players (ganguly, t'dulkar, dravid included). and laxman is axed for the world cup and dinesh mongia included!!! there has been innumerable such instanced. unfortunately for thilan, he is going the same way!!!

  • siriherath on September 21, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Samaraweera's test avg. is 52. Against Pakistan it's 58 and against India it's 65. And SL are playing Pakistan next month. He failed in just 3 innings. On the treacherous Galle pitch he almost saved Sri Lanka from a debacle. Why are the bigwigs so pigheaded as to chop a player that swiftly? The same applies to S. Prasanna as well. He was brought back from UK to test just once and discarded. All I can say is the selections are against the good judgement of any sane person who knows a thing about cricket, which includes most Sri Lankans. Knowing how to play cricket does not automatically confirm one's ability to think straight - D. Mendis may be a good example. I am really sorry for Samaraweera and the long suffering supporters of Sri Lankan cricket.

  • _MiddleStump_ on September 21, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Why do Sri Lankan fans fail to see the bigger picture??? Yes Thilan has done a good job in the past for SL in tests, but eventually you come to a point where a team needs to rebuild and look to the future. You are either the best team, or are busy building to BE THE BEST team. No point in being an average middle of the pack team. Which is what SL has been recently. You have to groom young players such as Chandimal, Bhanuka etc. while you still have great players such as Mahela and Sanga. You can't simply wait until they decide to retire and then bring in a whole bunch of new and experience players at once. Dropping Thilan was a necessary evil. Yes we might go one step back initially, but this is done with the vision of taking 2 steps forward! It had to be one of Thilan, Sanga or Mahela... and there is no way in the world either Mahela or Sanga would be dropped from any team.

    PS... before making comments about Ajantha being DROPPED... read the article people, he is INJURED!

  • lananad on September 21, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    My guess is the reason for dropping is his fielding.

  • Ahsan_Shere on September 21, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    Best Possible Playing XI (Tests): Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vc), Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkarra, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Rangana Herath, Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga

  • on September 21, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Get Rid of PJ, plz. chandimal is way better than PJ. chandimal is a real showman...

  • Ahsan_Shere on September 21, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    As a Pakistani I'm very glad that Samaraweera isn't going to play, although Kumar & Mahela are better bat than him but its very hard to get him after he stays for an hour or so on the wicket & of course way ahead Dilshan in any sense.

  • on September 21, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    wow...an avg of 50+ and axed after 2-3 failure. not sure what SL selectors were thinking or whether they were even thinking. he's done exceptionally well in the recent past and deserves his place in the team on merit which he does possess.

  • lansiya on September 21, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    My main grouse is that after such a long time you have a decent leg spinner who can bat and you dont encourage him. Prasanna did well in England with the A team and was given one chance. He bowled well and S/L should persist with him. But then thats the way selections are made in S/L - just chop and change without any system. Markie

  • on September 21, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    At the expense of poor performance of Dilshan as an opener, Samaraweera had to pay the price. This is not a good move . Dilshan's lack of confidence and the pressure as a captain will cost to Sri Lanka in Pakistan tour. Instead of 4 wkt keepers, Samaraweera should have given a chance. It is good to see that Thirimanne, Chandimal, Nuwan Pradeep & Eranga are included in the side . But where is the experience in bowling that Dilshan was commenting the reason to loose Australia series. Sl should have included Dilhara as well as another spinner instead of 5 fast bowlers. Where is SL cricket is heading to ???

  • Mahaanama on September 21, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    This is ridiculous.Pakistan will be excited to hear this news. Samaraweera was the highest run getter in the last Pakistan series with 2 double centuries & he's also the 15th ICC test batsman right now (Sanga is the only SL batsman ahead of him. Dilshan is in 29th place ). How fair dropping Samaraweera when they want to play Dilshan in the middle? Samaraweera's current test average is 52.61 & it's the second best all time test average for a SL batsman.(Sanga has the best) Samaraweera failed just in 4 innings (also dont forget that Galle pitch was a horrible one for batsmen ) & he scored 87* & saved Sri Lanka in his last test inning in England. What's the logic behind this selection committee? play Sanath at 42 & play Chamara Silva when he's continuously falling in 15 innings & dropping Samaraweera for just failing in 4 innings? If Pakistan selection committee gets an opportunity to select SL team for Pakistan tour they would have done the same thing that SL ridiculous committee did

  • Sachit1979 on September 21, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    This squad does not look like balanced at all. 4 wicket keepers, 6 fast bowlers (including Mathews) but just 2 spinners. As much as I know, pitches at UAE support more spin than fast. They could have tried out somebody like Sachithra Senanayake if Mendis is unfit and could have given one more chance to promising Seekuge Prasanna. Dropping Samaraweera also is not a great move. He may have had a bad series against Australia but he has been great against rivals within subcontinent so he should have been there in the squad.

  • Waseef on September 21, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    I think this is a bad decision. Samaraweera may not be a great player, but he is a solid middle-order batsman and has done well for SL in tests. They need someone like him to bat at number 5. I think Dilshan should open as he's done really well in that position since 2009. Samaraweera also has a terrific record against Pakistan and he's also a good player of spin bowling, especially off-spin, and I think he would've done well against Ajmal.

  • Lovetesh on September 21, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    What's the logic of having 4 WC-Batsmen and dropping your one of the best performing batsmen? From when did age starts to dictate the selection? After Katich it is the most baffling selection. It's an Australian bug and has just bitten the SL selectors. Good luck to SL in UAE.

  • MAC-Pak on September 21, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    cant understand why Kulusekra has been sidelined... is he injured? i would def play mendis even if he is half fit but then again he hasnt performed well againt Pakistan ever...

  • mautan on September 21, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    I am from India...but must say that this has to be the most cruel joke ( apart being the rudest way to explain by a selector!) of the year. Samaraveera has better record in test cricket than Laxman or Ganguly or Gambhir and similar to Dravid and Sehwag in many ways....and SL drop him after 2 bad tests!!!! Wish he could come and play for India...we need such experienced sound TEST BATSMAN...its a rare commodity now. Feel sorry for you Thilan...

  • indianzen on September 21, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    good to drop samaraveera, deserving dinesh gets it, I would say drop Dilshan too and let him play counties to improve...

  • chandau on September 21, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    HMMMM interesting. 4 wicket keepers and 2 specialist spinners. wonder what the logic is? maybe they are trying to say to PJ we have 3 other wicket keepers in the squad so do ur job or else we will drop u and play them all and then draw lots to see who takes the gloves LOL. someone here thinks Kaushal is PJs understudy ... could be - he is only 2 years junior and anything is possible in SLC. Chandimal is a good bat but still average as a keeper. The better young keeper is with ruhunu XI Kusal Perera. Samaraweera is the scapegoat for Dilshans failing early tour. Still they could have taken him along instead of Kaushal who i doubt will play in any match :) more worrying is empty spin cupboard ; having 5 half pacies will not compensate for lack of 4 good spinners. Anyway Mendis has always had a warped sense of balance when selecting a team. he left out Ajantha in galle and see what happened lol

  • on September 21, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Samaraweera axed? How can this be justified? He is the glue that holds that formidable batting line up together, the accumulator who perfectly compliments the more flamboyant Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakeratne Dilshan and does so while averaging over 50. Very strange indeed...

    It's also pretty clear that Sri Lanka needs to give Mendis an extended run in the test set up to adjust to the higher level of competition...

  • Percy_Fender on September 21, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    It is a pity that despite the popularity of Test match cricket being on the wane, the ICC continues to persist with this policy of sub continent teams playing each other so frequently. If it carries on in this way, this format will go even in India.

  • Ronsars on September 21, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Samara axed???Ridiculous move what has that poor guy done to deserve this...He is the backbone of SL middle order & is a class player........ @alikhan224 :When was the last time you saw SL play Pak or Ind play Pak in Tests ??Its only Ind & SL who have been playing with each other and that too willn't be seen from now on as per new schedule......

  • Shimark on September 21, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Selectors need to look into more talent from all corners of Srilanka. Also we need to search physically fit players rather than the players who come in and go out because of injuries. I can see only One test & One 50 over match in Sharjah. I think bulk of the matches should have been planned for Sharjah than Dubai or AbuDhabi. Any way excited to Sharjah getting back to International Cricket.

  • on September 21, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Sad to see thilan and S.Prasanna left out from the squad.Why they included Suraj , Dammika & P.jayawardane?. Another man i would prefer in this team who is Sachithra senanayake. If SL selectors will not pick right 11 for these test matches it would have been an another series SL lost. Please appoint a new captain to lead sri lanka as Dilshan has not been attacking to oppositions.

  • travelunlimited on September 21, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    Well Thilan Samaraweera has 52 Average in test matches , he only dint perform in last series against Aus and He is Axed. He will be Surely Missed

  • ikmal--syd on September 21, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    nuwan pradeep has the raw pace to do well in international cricket, especially tests. this and the selection of a seasoned batman in kaushal silva could be good for sl cricket. thilan is good but i believe the yougsters like chandimal and mathews are more talented and will suceed in the future. disappointing that senanayke wasn't picked, he's 26 and if we don't try him it would be a waste. As for the 4 wk batsman, i think they were all selected as they are some of the best batsman in sri lanka. new breed of sll cricketers are very exciting.

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    Good squad.. Harsh treatment on Samarweera but i guess he had it coming.. I honestly don't see 4 wicket keepers in this squad? OK so its true Chandimal is a WK but he's not picked in this squad for his WK is he? He is picked as middle order batting cover.. that's if the openers fail and TM gets back to opening. Kaushal is a good Cricketer and he will continue to be Prasannas understudy.. I'm still not convinced with Suraj Randiv tho, He's a very talented ODI cricketer but maybe a few years away from becoming a decent Test Bowler. Mendis you should have picked Sachinthra Senanayake.. For the last two years he has lead the A team Wickets tally... Against Aussi A he picked up 11 wickets at Brisbane, gave Pakistan A a tough time at home and even roughed up a strong English Lions squad in England.

    Starting 11: Tharanga,Lahiru,Kumar,Mahela,Dilshan,Angelo,Prasanna (WK),Herath,Lakmal,Chanaka,Nuwan.

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka is the only country where they drop a batsman who averages more than 50 and having one of highest averages among the contemporary batsmen. Ridiculous selections. Sri Lanka is continuously heading for the opposite direction ever since de Mel took over. Alas, Aravinda and Mendis have taken the same route.

  • WPDDESILVA on September 21, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    There is justice in the world!! Samaraweera's test career is over. Thank you lord.....Thank you!!

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    SAMARAWEERA WAS THE BATSMAN WHO MADE MOST RUNS IN LAST PAKISTAN SRILANKA SERIES PLAYED IN PAKISTAN ..... SO MAY BE GOOD FOR PAKISTAN

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    axing someone with a 52avg in tests is nothing but insane!

  • Voshitha on September 21, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Why not Chamara Silva this time?

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    mr.mendis what horrible thoughts.samaraweera who lost just 2 match & dropped.you should drop p.jayawaradhne &suraj rndiv.i give good solotion.sennayake &roshen silva.

  • Lees_Legends on September 21, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    although it says 4 wicket keeper batsmen Sangakkara and Chandimal are unlikely to keep. That makes Silva a back up for Jayawardene? Or have Chandimal as the back up to PJ and Silva can be a reserve batsman.

  • AMD. on September 21, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    Samaraweera dropped- Wow Good news ! (For Pakistan !!)

  • likeintcricket on September 21, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Don't understand the dropping of these two better players in Sri Lanka, Samaraweera ( a batsman with 50+ average in Tests and relatively young ) and Mendis ( Their main weapon just a few months back). Samaraweera is technically stronger than Dilshan and Mendis is much more dangerous than Herath. If they are not injured than its simply shocking!!!

  • visualdp on September 21, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @alikhan224: What was the last time SL & PAK met each other. Before commenting just search & do it mate!!!! Really poor logic behind you. Any way its really nice to see that Nuwan Pradeep in action. Would love to see this boy get some wickets.

  • Musny on September 21, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Samaraweera suppose to be there.

  • Sulaimaan91 on September 21, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    I think its a good decision, one of the three had to be dropped Sanga,Mahela or Thilan so as to groom a younger player and unfortunately for Thilan its him. But the exclusion of Mendis might be more due to the pitches that SL is going to play on in the UAE.During the last SA-Pak series, all were nothing but flat batting tracks. Since Herath is the leading spinner now, he has to get the nod ahead of Mendis. But Randivs inclusion ahead of Mendis is quite perplexing.

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Upul Tharang must include Pakistan Test series,

  • on September 21, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    please retun malinga. and no need to droop ajanta. coz murali is out of team.

  • DINESHCC on September 21, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    INSTEAD OF SURAJ RANDIV, SOMEONE ELSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PICKED.

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Crazy!!!!!!!!! 4 wicket keepers ...............for what?????????????

  • burner1985 on September 21, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Glad that Kaushal Silva and Nuwan Pradeep are included in the squad, good selection. However i feel that axing Samaraweera is quite unfair. The guy has always performed and I don't see a clear reason for it. Dammika Prasad though is a waste of space in my opinion.

  • WTEH on September 21, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Hope SL will handle upcoming bowler Nuwan Pradeep with care. If he was fit, should have played in the home series with the Aussies. Need to give him experience, but the team should realize that his potential being a devastating bowler in ODI format. Atleast give him enough rest between practice matches this time!!!

  • Bilal_Choudry on September 21, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    they are playing right into pakistan's hand ... samraweera is a class act and by omitting him SL batting would look more fragile than ever .. secondly only herath offers a challange

  • crickstats on September 21, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Nuwan Pradeep will be interesting, just returning from injuries...

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    why did they drop him only coz' of a lousy tour?

    they should have dropped Prasanna Jayawardene instead

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    4 wK batsmen... !!!! Thats very surprising...

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Selectors doing biggest mistake dropping Tilan and Ajantha...

  • alikhan224 on September 21, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    its once again one of the poor series involving 2 asian countries...really have got fed up of watching ind, pak and srilanka involved with each other...cant we have some good series, other than these 3 countries...please ICC.

  • CricketPissek on September 21, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Great to see Nuwan Pradeep is back from injury. Our new slinger had an awesome game against the England Lions before he broke down. Hope he stays fit and we can see what he can do in the UAE!

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    great stuff by selection comittee. this will be a great chance to our duplicate malinga ( pradeep) and our future star chandimal.

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  • on September 21, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    great stuff by selection comittee. this will be a great chance to our duplicate malinga ( pradeep) and our future star chandimal.

  • CricketPissek on September 21, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Great to see Nuwan Pradeep is back from injury. Our new slinger had an awesome game against the England Lions before he broke down. Hope he stays fit and we can see what he can do in the UAE!

  • alikhan224 on September 21, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    its once again one of the poor series involving 2 asian countries...really have got fed up of watching ind, pak and srilanka involved with each other...cant we have some good series, other than these 3 countries...please ICC.

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Selectors doing biggest mistake dropping Tilan and Ajantha...

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    4 wK batsmen... !!!! Thats very surprising...

  • on September 21, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    why did they drop him only coz' of a lousy tour?

    they should have dropped Prasanna Jayawardene instead

  • crickstats on September 21, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Nuwan Pradeep will be interesting, just returning from injuries...

  • Bilal_Choudry on September 21, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    they are playing right into pakistan's hand ... samraweera is a class act and by omitting him SL batting would look more fragile than ever .. secondly only herath offers a challange

  • WTEH on September 21, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Hope SL will handle upcoming bowler Nuwan Pradeep with care. If he was fit, should have played in the home series with the Aussies. Need to give him experience, but the team should realize that his potential being a devastating bowler in ODI format. Atleast give him enough rest between practice matches this time!!!

  • burner1985 on September 21, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Glad that Kaushal Silva and Nuwan Pradeep are included in the squad, good selection. However i feel that axing Samaraweera is quite unfair. The guy has always performed and I don't see a clear reason for it. Dammika Prasad though is a waste of space in my opinion.