Malinga omitted from ODIs against Pakistan due to poor form
Lasith Malinga has been omitted from Sri Lanka's squad for the Pakistan ODIs, while Angelo Mathews is again unavailable through injury. Sri Lanka Cricket said that Malinga was not considered due to his current form and in the context of Sri Lanka's plans in view of the 2019 World Cup.
Malinga has played only 13 ODIs since his return to international cricket in June this year, and his most-recent international match was the T20 against India, on September 6. In ODIs since his return, however, Malinga has clearly been a diminished force, averaging 62.30 for each of his 10 wickets, and going at six an over.
The other surprise was the omission of opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka, who averages 42.41 in 12 ODIs this year. Test captain Dinesh Chandimal found a place in the squad, as did Chamara Kapugedara.
On the spin-bowling front, Jeffrey Vandersay returned to the ODI fray after having been left out since February this year, pushing out left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan. Akila Dhananjaya was the other specialist spin option, while slow-bowling allrounders Seekkuge Prasanna and Milinda Siriwardana were also present.
Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera retained his place in the ODI squad, though he had been dropped for the Tests. Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep and Vishwa Fernando were the other frontline seam bowlers.
The first of five ODIs begins on October 13, in Dubai.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando