Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14 December 23, 2013

Prasanna Jayawardene returns to Sri Lanka Test squad


Wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardene will return to Sri Lanka's 16-man Test squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan, after being left out for the home series against Bangladesh in March. The squad features a raft of young and inexperienced places, as Sri Lanka work towards replacing its seniors over the next 18 months.

Kaushal Silva has also been named, ostensibly as a replacement for the retired Tillakaratne Dilshan, as an opener. Left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando has been named in an international squad for the first time, despite missing out on both A team tours in the year. Offspinners Sachithra Senanayake and Dilruwan Perera are the other uncapped Test players in the squad, though both have played ODIs and Twenty20s. Ajantha Mendis was omitted, after he had been part of the squad for the Bangladesh series.

Fast bowlers Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep will make a return to international cricket as well. Eranga had been omitted from the limited overs squad in the last two series, while Pradeep has not played for Sri Lanka since the New Year Test in Sydney. Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Kulasekara also find places in the squad, but there is no room for Thisara Perera. Chanaka Welegedara was unavailable for selection, as he remains in rehabilitation for his latest injury.

Prasanna Jayawardene had played club cricket for Woodhall Spa in England during the summer before returning to Sri Lanka for the four-day triangular tournament in October. He has had good scores in the past few months, and if he plays, will also add experience to Sri Lanka's batting order in Dilshan's absence. There are two other wicketkeeping options in the squad however, with both Silva and Dinesh Chandimal also capable of taking the gloves.

Silva has been prolific in first-class cricket over the last year, topping the run-scoring lists in the Premier League Tournament and as well as in the unofficial Tests against New Zealand A at home. He had played three Tests in 2011, but was unable to secure a place, averaging 14. He has hit 8489 first-class runs with 27 hundreds, and is likely open alongside Dimuth Karunaratne, who is already in the UAE with the ODI side.

Fernando, a whippy opening bowler who plays for Bloomfield Cricket Club, has not achieved outstanding results in domestic cricket so far, but has been chosen largely on potential.

Rangana Herath and Mahela Jayawardene will also both join the team in the UAE after they had ruled themselves out for the limited-overs legs of the tournament for personal reasons. The first of the three Tests begins in Abu Dhabi on December 31.

16-man Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Prasanna Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tharindu on December 29, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    My team: Strong Batting: ------------------- 1.Dimuth 2.kaushal 3.Mahela 4.Sanga 5.Mathews 6.Thirimanne 7.chandimal(WK)8.Kulasekara 9.Sachithra 10.Eranga 11.Rangana

    Strong Bowling: ------------------- 1.Kaushal 2.Chandimal(WK) 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Thirimanne 6.Mathews 7.Kulasekara 8.Sachithra 9.Lakmal 10.Eranga 11.Herath

  • Dummy4 on December 26, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Dimuth Karunaratne , Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara , Mahela Jayawardene , Dinesh Chandimal , Angelo Mathews , Dilruwan Perera / Prasanna Jayawardene / Lahiru Thirimanne , Sachithra Senanayake , Nuwan Kulasekara , Vishwa Fernando /Suranga Lakmal , Shaminda Eranga /Nuwan Pradeep , Rangana Herath

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    dimuth no future.nothing any special talent such as paranavithana, vandort.should be one horse games in test matches.

  • Ali on December 25, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    I guess both are equally balanced with srilanka having experienced batting lineup and spin attack. Pakistan having advantage of strong versatile bowling line-up.

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Tharindu Kaushal & Kithruwan even Dilruwan would still not get a game since Herath & Senanayake will play all 3 games. 1. Dimuth 2. Kaushal 3. Sangakkara 4. Mahela 5. Thirimanne 6. Chandimal 7. Mathews 8. Senanayake 9. Herath 10. Eranga 11. Pradeep/Kulasekara. How would kithruwan fit in? & I hope P. Jayawardene doesn't get a place in the XI unless either Chandimal or Kausal fails, it would be stupidity giving him direct entry.

    & about Vishwa Fernando, Our bowling coach Vaas has listed him and a very few bowlers willing to learn and analyse footage. so Vishwa is a thinker and stats dont always predict a player, he has only played few FC games and with the likes of Kulasekara and co. along with Vaas this tour. He could gain alot of knowledge. justification could also be that the rest of the pacemen are right arm quicks so the SL batsmen could practice batting with the angle the lefties produce since Pakistan strike bowler is junaid khan.

  • Oshan on December 24, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Vishwa Fernando hasn`t good records for Test Selection,Selectors should be considered enough Skills and experience before giving chances to play in National Team,there are so many talented guys in queue

  • Prashan on December 24, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Well the main worry is with the bowling as our bowling is now getting well know for giving form to out of form batsmen as just shown by Hafeez who had a dreadful year against Steyn but using our bowling attack to get back into cracking form. Unless this problem is addressed, we will be famously known as "run leakers". This is a worrying trend. I think the tests should be exciting indeed.

  • Kumara on December 24, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Good team selection except the inclusion of Dilruwan Perera. Thaindu Kaushal is easily the most deserving player for that place but my guess is they are waiting to unleash him in a more important test series probably against a non-SC team first (like next Eng tour).

  • Mesith on December 24, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Look who is commenting?? The indians!! After getting hammered by SA in the ODI's(whitewash, lucky the rain came during the third match) and almost losing the test they are preaching us how to win games LOL. It's a pity they still haven't learn their lesson these indian fans+their over rated flat track team. I can guarantee u South Africans will definitely beat indians by an innings or by a big margin come the next test match!

  • Rohan on December 24, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @ first_slip : Enough to worry about?!? We would always be concerned for our SL brothers, they have always been with us throughout the India in Zim series, Aus in India series, WI in India series... Though its sad that we are only to give back a very little part of what we got but I always appreciated Blade-Runner, ThilankaK, yorkslanka and others to be there during our good times.

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