Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12

Ajantha Mendis included in Test squad for SA

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 22, 2011

Comments: 83 | Text size: A | A

Thilan Samaraweera clips through the leg side, England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Rose Bowl, June 20, 11
No place for Thilan Samaraweera, again © Getty Images
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Ajantha Mendis has been included in Sri Lanka's 16-man Test squad for the tour of South Africa in December ahead of the offspinner Suraj Randiv. There was no place for the experienced batsman Thilan Samaraweera, who continues to be ignored after having been axed for the Pakistan series as well.

The squad also includes fast bowler Dilhara Fernando - who last played a Test on the England tour - in place of the injured Dhammika Prasad. Fernando, Chanaka Welegedara, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal complete the Sri Lanka pace attack with Rangana Herath the second spinner.

Mendis missed the home Test series against Australia because of a back injury he sustained during the preceding ODI series and also missed the UAE tour. Randiv played the Sharjah Test against Pakistan, taking 2 for 95.

Samaraweera's omission for the second straight tour puts a question mark over his career. Duleep Mendis, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, had earlier said Samaraweera would not figure in the long-term plans of the selectors who intended to give more opportunities to youngsters. Sri Lanka adjusted to his absence against Australia by batting the captain Tillakaratne Dilshan in the middle order while Lahiru Thirimanne opened with Tharanga Paranavitana. They persisted with the same combination for the first two Tests against Pakistan, before Dilshan returned to the top as Thirimanne was dropped for the Sharjah Test.

Wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva, who made his Test debut in that series, has been included in place of the injured Prasanna Jayawardene. Allrounder Kosala Kulasekara lost his spot to Thisara Perera while the batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was also included.

Sri Lanka play three Tests in South Africa followed by a five-match ODI series. The first Test starts in Centurion on December 15.

Sri Lanka squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TharinduKoralage on (November 25, 2011, 9:51 GMT)

I don't know whether we are seeing another Chaminda Vass scenario with Samaraweera. I don't mind if Sri Lanka give rests to senior players & play more & more youngsters in ODI's or T20's. But tests I think experience is a key factor. Just look at Indian test team, they are consisted most by the most experience players. For example Raina made his test debut after about 100 ODI's sure he's a real talent. But India persist with their old blogs with more experience in Tests.

Also I don't get what the Sri Lankan Cricket says, they want to win a test match & performance in batting is not good but they also want try youngsters when they're leaving out a man whose bat avg. is over 52 & I consider he's the backbone of the test team relieving most of the pressure from Sanga & Mahela.

So Samaraweera's out from the SA tour means we'll see another pathetic display by SL team. Hope they will do better than the Aussies in 2nd Inns of the 1st test.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:58 GMT)

This is rubbish..If they are dropping Samaraweera a youngster like Chandimal should replace him..If youngsters are not getting selected (Chandimal will be the water boy for whole tour) what`s the point of dropping Samaraweera ? True he struggled a bit out side asia but same with Mahela..not to forget that SL dont get too many chances to play in Aus & SA for UNKNOWN reasons.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:48 GMT)

I ma expecting a 3-0 & a 5-0 defeat for SL as a Sri Lankan..If we can win at least a 1 ODI that would be a HUGE achievement..My only wish is BIASED selctors will give a chance to Mathews,Chandimaol,Lahiru,Dimuth & etc

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (November 24, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

Result would undoubtedly be TEST 3- nill, ODI 5- nill. Please give the captaincy to Anjelo Matthiews if you r looking for long term plans

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (November 24, 2011, 3:52 GMT)

Oh my my... just go through Samaraweeras stats... Do we have a better batsmen when it comes to the longer version of the game???? He is as good as Dravid, Kallis, Hussy... What the hell is wrong with these stupid selectors???? why is Dilshan captaining the side again???? havent he done enough to ruin our game???? how many more series do we need to lose for our selectors to realize that we need a change???? Chandimal is digging his own grave... Please change the captaincy... Dilshan is not suitable for the job... he is not a natural leader.. and he doesnt learn from his mistakes either.. Look at the downfall of SL team after Sangas era....

Posted by orangtan on (November 24, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

Let's not be so pessimistic, S.Africa's attack is basically all pace except Imran Tahir, unlike the varied Pakistan attack. If the opening burst can be seen off, the likes of Sanga and Mahela could do well, but the question is whether the Lankan openers can cope with the fury of the opening burst. As for the bowling, the S.Africans are not such good players of spin , see how even the inexperienced Nathan Lyon picked up veterans like Smith and Prince. Randiv should definitely have been chosen.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 23, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

Do you think we'll win the warm up match in South Africa? That's all I care about....pls. win the warm-up match, it will go down in history. No-one will remember the Tests.

Posted by Sageleaf on (November 23, 2011, 18:50 GMT)

Are you kidding me? Is this the team going to face South Africa? Our front line batsmen cannot face Pakistan bowlers and will they survive with Stern, Morkal and the South African pace bowlers. I have feeling the test matches will not last more than 4 days and the limited overs will be one sided. Only Sanga might play well but our openers, Dilshan and Mahela will struggle. Dinesh Chandimal was very disappointing. Why Dilshan is made captain when he has not contributed? I have feeling most of senior players will have to retire after the South African tour. Our ratings in test and ODI has come down n will go down further after this tour. Tilan should be in the team. Why do you take Chamara Silva for limited overs? Don't we have someone better? Please let Sanga captain the side.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (November 23, 2011, 16:17 GMT)

Poor Samaraweera. He must have had an argument with an important person. I hope that maybe Dilshan/Mahela can snap back in form and Mendis bamboozles South Africa. Honestly, those guys along with Sanga are our only hope of not being embarassed

Posted by SamAsh07 on (November 23, 2011, 15:51 GMT)

Guys before bashing around Samaraweera's exclusion, think for a moment, there must be a reason he is not getting picked, his form is fine, so what could it be?? Maybe some exchange of words? Discipline? Something??

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 15:42 GMT)

like all subcontinent teams srilanka will struggle on green tops of southafrica......only sanga and mahela will survive somehow...but be prepared for green tops!!

Posted by mautan on (November 23, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

Surely they don't expect Thilan Samaraweera to retire at 35?? Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ponting etc are all around 38 and still playing. Thilan, people may not believe, but falls in the same level as those greats with an avg of 52 in 68 tests! Sri Lanka could have reaped benefits similar to what India has got in the last 3 years with Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar...with Sanga, Jayawardena and Samaraweera...but alas, selectors have their own bais. Same with Katich...I just hope Thilan does not retire without getting another chance. I am a Indian...however if I was a Sri Lankan, I would have started a petition to get him back. Very unjust.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

ya dude iknw he is srilankan wall as a indian i alsoluv malinga sanga great cricketers after rahul and sachin sanga is asia greatest batsman

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

Thilan samaraweera most value player in test. but Sl SELECTION DONT KNOW? WHAT TO DO

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 12:37 GMT)

Reasons behind not considering Thilan are obvious. He will provide stability to middle order at No.5 and there will be no place for Dilshan to hide when he fails as an opener. Further Thilan with his solid test match temparement and years of captaincy experience will be a threat for captaincy of Dilshan. Age is not a barrier in test cricket. I know Duleep Mendis from my school days. Sometimes when he bats he suddenly go mad and play an uncalled for extravagant stroke and gets out in spite of many great innings he has played for the country. It is obvious that he is influenced from the top who has vested interest in everything else except cricket. Thilan may not have the ideal technique to score runs in fast bouncy seaming wickets but he is a fighter and has the capability to stick in there and battle it out as he showed in England tour when both Mahela and Sanga (except last innings) were failing. Good luck to out of form captain and self centered vice captain!

Posted by orangtan on (November 23, 2011, 12:36 GMT)

Samaraweera's exclusion from all forms of the game is indeed sad, and obviously not a merit-based decision. Look at his 52+ average in Tests, his 27+ average in ODIs albeit with a 68 strike rate, and a very decent average even in T20s with a strike rate of 138. The middle order ballast that he provides is sorely lacking, Mathews, in my opinion, is over-rated and Chandimal is not yet Test material.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

Reasons behind not considering Thilan are obvious. He will provide stability to middle order at No.5 and there will be no place for Dilshan to hide when he fails as an opener. Further Thilan with his solid test match temparement and years of captaincy experience will be a threat for captaincy of Dilshan. Age is not a barrier in test cricket. I know Duleep Mendis from my school days. Sometimes when he bats he suddenly go mad and play an uncalled for extravagant stroke and gets out in spite of many great innings he has played for the country. It is obvious that he is influenced from the top who has vested interest in everything else except cricket. Thilan may not have the ideal technique to score runs in fast bouncy seaming wickets but he is a fighter and has the capability to stick in there and battle it out as he showed in England tour when both Mahela and Sanga (except last innings) were failing. Good luck to out of form captain and self centered vice captain!

Posted by madras_boy on (November 23, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

Dono where SL team is heading !!! Although an Indian fan, i feel sympathy to this team. Barring Sanga and Mahela, this team cannot win test matches. Samaraweera is a good technical batsman who cannot be asked to sit out in SA, Oz and Eng tours. Hard to believe !!! Steyn and Philander gonna make merry. All they need to make sure is to get rid of Sanga and Mahela early... Watch out !

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

given chance to young players is good but they need experiene.they dont have that.we needto lose the africa tour also.let them to do.dilshans captancy badly affcet for the team.my test team is 1.dilsan 2.para 3.sanga 4.mahela 5.thilan 6.mathew 7.chandimal...........

Posted by DilshanRocks on (November 23, 2011, 10:41 GMT)

hello everyone dilshan has to be the capt cause mathews isnt ready remember his 1st ton? dilshan was never captain material but mathews must wait

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

Prepare for another thrashing! There is absolutely no chance for SL! Hopefully, a couple of the young ones will show some class and another Kumar or Mahela will be born. Other than that I have absolutely no hopes for SL on this tour.

Posted by asithaSL on (November 23, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

it's totally unfair named Tharanga as special ODI batsman. Coz, He more like special test batsman in ODI's. I like Tharanga plays open roll with Dilshan. Samaraweera must be there. look @ great indian side, they never give younger batsmen a chance in test unless he is best or injuries of senior guy. Why dis Dulip Mendis so much worry abt "AGE". Chandimal has good enough domestic First-class average to play SL test side over Thirimanne or Karunarathne. Y Dilshan n management don't give him a chance in test cricket...?

Posted by Romenevans on (November 23, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

Erased in England....Assassinated by the Aussies at their own backyard....Now Punched by Pakistan....and will be slammed by the South Africans. And then the blame goes to IPL again...LOL!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

Whenever Indian team go to places like South Africa, England and Australia Rahul Dravid becomes the most essential unit of the group and his 600 plus runs in Australia and England in 2002-03 and match winning performance at Perth in 2007 talks about the caliber of of the man. Thilan Samarveera may not be as big a player as Dravid. But he applies himself very much like Dravid. he should have been there in the team especially on tours to South Africa. That lower middle order looks very skeptical.

Posted by anver777 on (November 23, 2011, 6:37 GMT)

I can't understand & puzzled a player like Thilan is omitted again for tests.....specially after some poor recent middle order efforts by the team, he should be there in the team.... some thing wrong somewhere !!!!

Posted by ikmal--syd on (November 23, 2011, 6:20 GMT)

well, i just wanted comment on the squad and how bad it is, but everything i wanted to say has summarized been said in all the above comments. So "All of the above". Well done my fellow Sri lankan fans . Hopefully the team will come good

Posted by VEGHA on (November 23, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

I think Samaraveera is technically sound batsman and he is an ideal choice for Middle order.Chandimal is not able to do as Samaraveera did so for . I think Dilshan is making mistake by not opting Samaraveera

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 6:00 GMT)

i accept ur cooment ajay renganathana.infact he didnt win a single series under his capaincy....well better to give angello matthews the captaincy.....

Posted by Cynthia25 on (November 23, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

Unfortunately during te upcomings whitewash in SA, Sri Lanka cannot blame the IPL.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

Why is dilshan the captain when the selectors want to give youngsters a chance?? It makes no sense at all...In other 2 years or more dilshan will retire....

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 3:43 GMT)

tony grieg said once that whatever the scenario the best eleven should feature in the match....unless players are injured or it is a dead rubber match...and samaraweera is easily the best no.5 test batsman at the moment.and nuwan kulasekara easily beats dilhara fernando.....and thisara perera is not test player material :P and upul tharanga is better than paranavithana so it should be 1.tharanga 2.dilshan 3.sanga 4.mahela 5.samaraweera 6.matthews 7.p.jayawardena 8.herath 9.mendis/pradeep 10.welagedara 11.lakmal/kulasekara

Posted by Rasee on (November 23, 2011, 3:28 GMT)

Drop Dilshan from captancy & give it to Mathews. He'll take the responsibility.

My test team 1. Dimuth Karunarathne 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Chandimal 5. Mahela 6. Mathews 7. Kaushal Silva 8. Herath 9. Mendis 10. Suranga Lakmal 11. Welagedara

One day team: 1. Dilshan 2. Tharanga 3. Chandimal 4. Sanga 5. Mahela 6. Jeewan Mendis 7. Mathews 8. Perera 9. Prasanna 10. Malinga 11. Suranga Lakmal

Posted by Mandernew on (November 23, 2011, 2:02 GMT)

Where is Eranga? is he still injured .Pitty to see him got injured after such promising debut.And Senanayake ,Heard that he had god through from that throwing accusation.When can we see him in the team? those two are enough to strengthen the bowling lineup by 80% . And the one who should be left out from the team to give opportunities for new guns is DIlshan not samaraweera . Blind selectors!!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2011, 1:53 GMT)

with this team s.lanka going to get white wash anyway.

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (November 22, 2011, 22:52 GMT)

Duleep Mendis talks of long term plans. If this is so why is Dilshan continuing to captain? It defies logic. Angelo Mathews will be an ideal candidate to take on the responsibility as he has come through the ranks as captain. SA have always appointed young captains and they have fared well and should learn from them. SL are fortunate that they have Kaushal Silva as a proper batting wicket keeper, instead of the wicket keeper batsman. I truly hope Silva excels. Chandimal is still a worry after having had chances. I hope he does not turn out to be another Kapugedera. If the selectors are truly thinking of the future, their choices should do the telling as they are till hanging on to Dilshan who is only showing signs of slacking in his batting. Fernando, is not fit for tests as he is injury prone. SL are fortunate that there are many capable youngsters who can walk in to the test squad to match the new players in the squad. Future looks good if only the SL Cricket can change too.

Posted by bMike on (November 22, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

What Dilhara Fenando is still doing there? I'm quite sure he'll be benched for the whole test series (or will be benched after playing the 1st test lol). Why Randiv can't replace him?(at least Randiv is a good fielder).Samaraweera must be considered at least for South Africa series.I agree that young players should be given opportunities but South Africa might know that they only need a plan to get Sanga out & all the other SL batsmen will throw their wickets away. South Africa will also get a good opportunity here to test their school teams' batsmen in the middle order because they will be much better than our so called middle order batsmen like Mathews who can't play any proper cricket shot and he gives more opportunities to SL number 11 batsman to face opposition's best bower by taking a single for the first ball of the over every time when he plays with tail enders.

Posted by jezza25 on (November 22, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Jezza 25- Re SLC - My test side for now and not too far into the future would be - Tharanga, Dilshan (show a bit of guts open the inns. and 'open out' again- be agressive), Sanga,Mahela, Samaraweera, Matthews, P.Jayawardene (if fit)/K.Silva (wk), Herath, Welegedara, Mendis/T.Perera, Lakmal. Rajapakse and De Mel on the edge of selection. ODI can come later. As for Matthews what if wrong with his bowling/fitness. Did he not make a name as a bowling allrounder? If he wants to be a batsman bat for the team and the situation. He appears to have an allround game, defend or be aggressive, but he seems to be all defence at present and just wants to build up his average. Another 'son of Marsh' ? Bring back DAV. or without sounding stupid what about Sanath (agressive person with all round game-bat/bowl), just to create some inventiveness, and have a positive effect, even for 1-2 yrs. I want SLC to regain respect. They were I think no.2 just 12-18 months ago !!!

Posted by WALRUS79 on (November 22, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Why bother bringing Thilan back? He is just as useless as what we have now. Better off giving someone new a chance and persist with them even if they fail, which they most certainly will do in SA. Too many changes and tinkering this team. We need to persist, have faith and realise that there will be more heavy defeats. The younger players will eventually earn their stripes and deliver consistent performances, although it will take time...

Posted by jezza25 on (November 22, 2011, 21:51 GMT)

Jezza25. Expat SL in Aust. No Samaraweera. Cannot believe it. Funny that Marsh being such a dour player in his time cannot throw his support behind Sam. who also appears to have that type of spirit. He is easily SL's best Mid.order bat - no.5 - as has been proven over the yrs. Not performing outside the East has nothing to do with it. Forget the past. He has the mental and psychological temperament to succeed at test level. Double centuries don't just happen. So politics again rules SLC with Mendis the culprit or is there someone else pulling the strings. Or maybe Mendis who was just a basher, does not understand the 'style' of test cricket. SLC has to regain respect in the Test arena. Then ODI. 20/20 is rubbish. As I had stated previously Marsh is not the right choice. Perhaps too negative (was as a player) as a person. Look at the 2 openers. They bat with the same style. Mainly to survive. And I had mentioned Rajapakse. Also perhaps De Mel as a quick from the U'19s.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

Samarweera is an absolute rubbish of a player. He is only a player of home conditions. I was looking at his record: avg of 52 olryt but look against whom.Against bangladesh he averages like 60 odd. In aus he averages 23. in england he averages 27. even in the batting conditions of India he averages a horrible 24 Sangakkara, Jayawardene are the real deal. Not samarweera..

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 21:03 GMT)

Mr.Dulip Mendis have seen what happened to our team in UAE or U are u still in the bed with nice dreems .If not Can you justify the non inclusion of Tilan samaraweera as same as you done before the for UAE tour.Your argument is Tilan is not in our future plan to give the oppertunity to youngsters.So have you all given a single chance to young Chandimal in test cricket .So again you named him as the water boy.In this tour Dilshan is not playing as a middle.So except for Mathews who are middle order batsmen??????? LOL Lahiru,para,dilly,Dimuth and Chandimal all are opening batters.However my best bet as opener for the south african condition is Upul Tharanga.Mr.Mendis Can you justify the continous ommision of him for tests.I d not think our blind slectin commitee is not have any memories of the Kapugedaras performance in last SA tour.Thisara can be handy for SA conditions .1.Dilly 2.Para 3.sanga 4.mahe 5.Angi 6.Silva/Chandimal 7.Thisara 8.Heara 9.Ajantha 10.Wela 11 dihara

Posted by athusri71 on (November 22, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

Stupid selection.Bring Thilan.There are four openers in the team.please drop Dilshan.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

Do you really need wicket keeper Silva? Why cant Chandimal keep wickets?Isnt it better for long term Sri Lanka cricket ?you really want to blend youngsters by giving them match experience or not? You can strengthen the middle order easily that way by bringing in a specialist batsman. With these kind of selections it looks like youngsters who get picked to the squad have to carry the drinks always and then get dropped for another new drink carrier.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 19:48 GMT)

Its one thing to commit a mistake and then pay for it. But its a sin to repeat it again !!! Mr Mendis seems to have forgotten what happened to the famed SL batting in the dustbowls of UAE ??? Bring Samaraveera back at 5/6 and let Dilshan dominate and intimidate the oppn at start .

Posted by lankavigi on (November 22, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

SL preparing for another series loss and this time a thrashing. SL played with the same squad in SL and in the middle east. These conditions were familiar to them and they still went down 1-0. The SA conditions are different and difficult to play on. The SL selectors want to continue with Dilshan as captain, which is the worst descision they've made for this tour. They don't want Samaraweera, another poor descision, considering the fact that they've collapsed many a time without him. SL don't want to move on. They want to continue losing and embarass all their supporters and the nation at large. Many teams including Bangladesh would want to play SL, so as to win easily and improve their rankings. You can't say anything proud about this team. If you are an SL fan, you just get embarassed at your place of work or school. SL, A TEAM THAT ONLY KNOWS HOW TO LOSE.

Posted by Deepfreezed on (November 22, 2011, 19:13 GMT)

Is there any way to cancel this tour of SA? What is the point of the tour really? Sri Lanka is going to lose very badly and they are not going to learn anything either. May be SA can give a chance for the under 19 players.

Posted by Shar77 on (November 22, 2011, 18:19 GMT)

Not again !!! Clearly when we need to strengthen our middle order still dropping Thilan ??? Expected Thilan to be back in the team specially after the batting collapses in the current series against the pak ... Yes we need to bring our younger generation into the game but not in a series like SA .... good luck for them (Chandimal, Thirimanne, Karunarathne) ... we just saw how the Aussies were shot out for 47 on a lively track .... and poor Randiv never got a fair chance ... he would have been handy as he gets lots of bounce and itl help specially in SA tracks ... I have no problem of having Thissara Perera in the team ... but what will happen if he didnt perform ??? they will drop him for ODI as well as they did to him in the last English tour ... he played 2 test matches in England and then was not selected even for ODIs again till the recent matches in UAE ... Thissara is a ODI specialist ... but good for him if he can perform it test as well ...

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (November 22, 2011, 17:59 GMT)

@ Apoorv Pandey: mate, I mentioned him "THE SRI LANKAN WALL". yes.Sri Lanka too has Walls.

Posted by Bruisers on (November 22, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

Surely their bowlers will fail miserably against SA in their backyard. Time for a complete change in the fast bowling unit.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

Samaraweera seems like an impressive character, but his record outside Asia is mediocre. It's a shame that his final test innings outside Asia perhaps hinted at a promise that may now not be fulfilled (a match saving 87* in England).

Posted by shajw on (November 22, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

I'm taken aback at this vitriol, but not surprised - Sri Lankans, as a nation, tend to lead with the heart and not the head... I think this is a balanced side, taking into account future planning and accommodating for injury. Now that SL cricket has taken a bold step in squad selection, let's hope similar courage is shown in team selection on Test Match day: for me, the first-choice team on SA wickets is Paranavitana, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Mahela, Mathews, Silva, Perera, Herath, Mendis, Dilhara, Welagedara; encouraging Silva and Perera to put their hands up as genuine all-rounders. I suspect though, that the selectors will give in to insecurity and bat Dilshan at 5, with Thirimanne opening and no place for one of Thissara or Dilhara, which would be a step backward for us. The only other criticism I have is the non-inclusion of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, whom I (despite being a staunch Thomian!) consider to be the brightest prospect for SL cricket since the advent of Kumar Sangakkara...

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (November 22, 2011, 17:22 GMT)

How long is Duleep Mendis going to be allowed to drag SL cricket into oblivion? Ever since he became chief selector SL have lost, lost and lost. SA must be licking their lips at the prospect of facing Fernando and bowling to the ageing SL top order. Thirimanne & Parana....the worlds slowest opening pair will block bad balls as long as they survive, which isn't going to be long against Steyn, Philander, Morkel, Kallis at the bowlers end. SA 3, SL 0 is my tips. The ODI's 4/1 to SA.

Posted by chandau on (November 22, 2011, 17:20 GMT)

LOL dont worry guys, Sam will be on the plane at sometime during the tour. how many watched the SA v OZ series? Steyn was breathing fire and Morkle and Philnder were also quick. Only good hing for SL is Thahir is not a good test leggy - even Afridi is better than him Also Kallis is not the same bowler of a few years back. But there will be plenty of snorters and even our best would need plenty of protection - consider body armor. "2 openers in the team as it is likely Dilshan will be afraid to open. Seriously the way SA pacies were bowling someone with very good technique needs to open and face the red cherry. Also despite adverse commens Dilhara ma do well on those wickets. After all he the only experienced pacie we have to bowl at 140+. Other guys are pedestrian and SA batters will feast on the likes of CW and TP serving buffet ball at 130+. in the last series cummins and jhonson at 140+ were successful against SA batters. we dont have that kind of firepower without Malinga.

Posted by 3rd_man on (November 22, 2011, 17:14 GMT)

D.Mendis stupid or what?? Thilan same age group as rest Sanga ,Mahela and Dilshan. I cant see any point medis saying he is not long term plans for SL?? is this guy out of his mind? Thilan played magnificent 2 double centuries against pakistan, then did well against West Indies, while other experience guys fail. then did much better than Mahela in England. I mean honestly guys,,, I can't justify this selection process. only thing I can think of is Mendis trying to stick to his decision even though it didn't work out against Pakistan. He should admit he done blunder specially droping someone did very well against pakistan. he treat different players differently. Thilan is mentally tough... tougher than Mahela. with MJ weakness against pace bowling I think SL will be in big problem against SA. My gut feeling is MJ will not tour to SA, then selectors give this chance to Thilan. MJ knows if he fail that would be hurt his position in the side.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 17:06 GMT)

If SRI LANKA want to lose and/or draw TEST Matches, then are best placed to leave him out of the starting XI.

Dilshan can open, and THILAN SAMARAWEERA can be accomadated at no. 5.

India were the no.1 team, beacuse the likes of Dravid and Very, Very Special (VVS) Laxman do a wonderful job for the Indian Middle Order.

Trott and Bell do the job for ENGLAND.

deVilliers, Prince and Kallis do the job for South Africa.

Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke do it for Australia.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara is just not enough.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 16:51 GMT)

Dear Mr Duleep Mendis test cricket is always current. Yes 50 overs has a time span because of the world cup. In Test cricket the best xi should play and not someone who can become good. Marvan Attapathu's role too needs to be checked. You need people with strong mind/self confidence to coach. No doubt he was a star batsman.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 16:48 GMT)

neither srilanka can survive quality pace attack of south africa with any batting line up nor take 20 wickets to win a single test match

Posted by CRIC89 on (November 22, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

Stupid selection.......................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by rushan811 on (November 22, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

y this dilhara,wt is the capability to handle pressure situation from him.y selectors ignore mahroof.he is an all-rounder.wt will expect from this squad as selectors.any way all the best

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 15:53 GMT)

It's pretty clear that the only reason Thilan is not in the team is because Dilshan is afraid Thilan will be a challenger for the captaincy. Pitiful showing by the selectors. Dropping a guy who's in prime form, and averaging more than any other player in the Sri Lankan team (bar Sanga) is ridiculous. Once Sri Lanka gets massacred in that test series, let's at least hope for a change in selectors as well as the captain.

Posted by suraj71 on (November 22, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

Can't see any established and experienced player in that middle order ,mathews not in the greatest of batting forms so it will be a piece of cake for the strong south african bowling order.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

THEY LEFT BECAUSE SAMARWEERA IS A FLAT TRACK BULLY SHAME HE IS TERMED AS WALL DISGRACED TO RAHUL DRAVID SEE HIS RECORD OUTSIDE LANKA THATS WHY NOT SELECTED

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (November 22, 2011, 15:12 GMT)

I clearly understand Dulip Mendis's point of Samaraweera not being in the " long term plans", opportunities should be given to youngsters. That being said, considering how frail teh batting is right now, someone like Samaraweera is exactly what the middle order needs. True, he has done little to prove himself on pace wickets, but he'll hold up one end, and at least stop collapses. Anyways i don't think we'll get away with a 1-0 loss this series

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

WE HAVE DILHARA TO DESTROY SOUTH AFRICAN BATTING LINE WHO TOOK 16 WKTS IN HIS LAST 10 TESTS.?

Posted by zavahir on (November 22, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

BLUNDER !!!. SL cricket would be better without Duleep Mendis for sure.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 14:42 GMT)

I'm not happy with Thirimanne inclusion. SL should try Tharanga again. What you guys think?

Posted by Deepfreezed on (November 22, 2011, 14:32 GMT)

Multiple batting collapses and the selectors are clueless they need someone to plug the leak when it happen. No batsmen in Sri Lankan middle order is solid. Bowling is not the weakness, it is batting collapses that lost us all these games.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

This Is MY selection 11...

Dimuth, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal(wk), Mathews, Kaushal, Dilhara, Mendis, Welagedara, Nuwan Pradeep....Mathews Should be bowled in this series and Dilshan is Second Spinner...

batsman will put 350+ runs This Bowling line up can take 20 wickets. dilhara and mendis are strike bowlers... welagedara and mathews can get accuracy... Nuwan pradeep give variety of fast bowling....

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

we will going to loss 4 in row.. our poor batting will continue we need thilan. best middle order batsman

Posted by lananad on (November 22, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

It's a big mistake to drop Thilan. SL need his experience in the middle order,Specially playing a top team like SA. Thilan is the ideal test batsman and mentally he is very strong. SL need him for sure. Selectors please wake up,if not it will be an embarrasment. It will be hard for them to win test matches but by batting well they can save matches or put the team in a winning position. Also Thilan is not old he's the same age like Mahela and Sanga. Please bring him back for the sake of pride of SL cricket.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (November 22, 2011, 14:21 GMT)

Hmmm....so this is almost the end of THE SRI LANKAN WALL. what a bunch of selectors!

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 14:20 GMT)

Dulip Mendis have some problem with Samarawera? Tilan Samarawera is best middle order batmen SL have. Selectors are idiots.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

could not really understand the logic of the selector's......Why should someone with a batting average of over 52 being left out ( Thilan Samaraweera ) and if so the selector's are looking for younger players to take the responsibilities.....where will suraj Randiv fit in ? and who could fill the absence of Thilan?

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (November 22, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

"They persisted with the same combination for the first two Tests against Pakista, before Dilshan returned to the top as Thirimanne was dropped for the Sharjah Test." PAKISTA??? we only know PAKISTAN.

Posted by Cooljay_Sri on (November 22, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

Sri Lanka ODI XI: 1-Dilshan, 2-Tharanga, 3-Chandimal, 4-Sangakkara, 5-Mahela,6-Angelo, 7-Thisara, 8-Maharoof, 9-Malinga, 10-Prasanna, 11-Ajantha

Sri Lanka Test XI: 1-Dilshan, 2-Tharanga, 3-Chandimal, 4-Sangakkara, 5-Mahela, 6-Angelo, 7-Thisara, 8-Herath, 9-Ajantha, 10-Welagedara, 11-Dilhara

Give chance to: Bhanuka rajapaksha/Randiv/Lahiru as well

Posted by INDIKAOPC on (November 22, 2011, 13:49 GMT)

The bowling looks ok. (With the Resources we have ) But batting needs a solid Middle Order Player like Thilan. Its good to give youngsters opprtunities but at what cost? We have lost the last three series and that has not done any good to the confidence of the captain as well to the other players. Only Kumar Sangakkara was able to sustain the pressure and carry out a brilliant series in the UAE. So its time that SLC re think in their stratergies and team selections.Mahela/Dilshan/Kumar are in the same age group as Thilan, so why not give him an opprtunity to play in SA? In the past he has saved many matches for us. If other players fail, at least he will be there to support Kumar. Also what has happened to Angelo Mathhews? Is the Vice captaincy a too much of a burden for his performances?? SLC need to rethink and give a long sustaining solid solution. The fans have been let down so badly in UAE and this has been the practice for the last couple of series. We need to support our team

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

Still Dilshan Captain? OOOOOOPS....really shame....plz appoint a good captain...he cant win matches as a Captain...coz of............................

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

Why can't theses jokers understand that Randiv bowls well on bouncy tracks??

Posted by indianzen on (November 22, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

it will make no difference, people have started getting used to Mendis and all his variations... and quite in few days, people will get used to malinga as well... end of Lankan cricket soon...

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 13:30 GMT)

who cares abu srilanka. but still unfortunate

Posted by Vasum on (November 22, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

Why Dilhara Fernando? Find a better replacement.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

What happened to Thilan Thushara ????

Posted by Sachit1979 on (November 22, 2011, 12:58 GMT)

Still no Thilana Samaraweera. Strange!!!

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