New Zealand in Sri Lanka 2009

Fit Murali returns to Test squad

Cricinfo staff

August 11, 2009

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Kumar Sangakkara chats with Muttiah Muralitharan and coach Trevor Bayliss, Colombo, July 12, 2009
Muttiah Muralitharan missed all three Tests against Pakistan © AFP

Muttiah Muralitharan has returned to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the series against New Zealand after recovering from injury. However the selectors have retained his replacement left-arm spinner Rangana Herath as well as Ajantha Mendis. Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who also missed the series against Pakistan because of injury, and his replacement Tillakaratne Dilshan were named in the 15-man squad.

Dilshan kept against Pakistan before getting injured in the third Test and consequently missing the ODI series.

Herath's selection means the pressure is on the under-performing Mendis, however Sri Lanka could decide to pick three spinners against New Zealand, who have been traditionally weak against slower bowlers. The form of their fast bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara, also in the squad along with Dammika Prasad, makes that an unlikely possibility.

The fringe players Surav Randiv, Suranga Lakmal and Kaushal Silva have been dropped.

Sri Lanka squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Malinda Warnapura, Tharanga Paranavitana, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dammika Prasad, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Rangana Herath.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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