Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13

Sri Lanka name best-available squad for first Test

Andrew Fidel Fernando

March 4, 2013

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Jeevan Mendis celebrates a wicket, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Pallekele, November 6, 2012
Jeevan Mendis has won a call-up to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the first time © AFP

Sri Lanka have picked their best-available squad for the first Test in Galle after the contracts crisis that threatened to derail the home series against Bangladesh was brought to a swift resolution. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, who facilitated the resolution, and his panel, has chosen four uncapped Test players in the squad of 16, in keeping with the panel's vision for building a young team.

Batsmen Kithuruwan Vithanage and Kushal Janith Perera, both 22, have been named in a Test squad for the first time, as has legspinning allrounder Jeevan Mendis. Nineteen-year-old offspinner Tharindu Kaushal is the other uncapped player in the squad, though he had been in a Test squad once before, without playing a match. All four players have been in form in Sri Lanka's ongoing first-class league, while Vithanage sealed his place in the squad with an unbeaten 168 from 165 balls against a full-strength Bangladesh attack, in the tour match in Matara.

Ajantha Mendis, who last played a Test in May 2011, has also been recalled to the side.

All but one of the 23 players who had been locked out for 24 hours by Sri Lanka Cricket over the weekend have on Monday, signed the original contracts SLC had issued to them. Only Mahela Jayawardene has not yet signed, but he is expected to do so as soon as he returns to the country. Jayawardene was not considered for this series as he is nursing a fractured finger, while fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep also misses out through injury.

Thilan Samaraweera has been omitted from the final squad, despite having been drafted into the preliminary squad after Jayawardene's injury ruled him out of the series. Samaraweera had a woeful tour of Australia, scoring only 79 runs in 6 innings, but has since been prolific in first-class cricket. He has made 464 runs at an average of 92.8 in four matches in the Premier League Tournament.

Offspinner Suraj Randiv is the other major omission, having been Sri Lanka's second Test spinner for throughout 2012, but indifferent form at the top level has resulted in him losing his place. Ajantha Mendis, who replaces him, has also had recent success in domestic cricket, while Kaushal's debut domestic season has been phenomenal in all formats. He leads the league with 41 wickets from five matches at 14.02 apiece, and has six five-wicket and two ten-wicket hauls to his name.

Among the new batsmen, both Perera and Jeevan Mendis have made double-hundreds in the last three weeks, while Vithanage has an average of 75.25 over five innings.

Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad cannot find a place in the squad, having played two Tests on the tour of Australia, but Suranga Lakmal, who arrived as a replacement, retains his place. Shaminda Eranga and Chanaka Welegedara have also been named.

The two-Test series against Bangladesh will be Angelo Mathews' first assignment as Test captain. The first Test begins on Friday March 8, with the second to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-capt, wicketkeeper), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shaminda Eranga, Kushal Janith Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

mind u guys bangladesh won the 5 match odi series against full strentght west indies team and wt20 champions , and their was no sakib , so it wont affect bangladesh at all insha allah , young guy like anamul riyad gazi will destroy srilanka insha allah just watch

Posted by lukecannon on (March 6, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

@All_The_Way- I'm a decent fan of all Cricket. Sri Lanka was good enough to win a WC just after 13 years of full membership. BAN did have it's moments with WI and a couple of fluke wins over India and Sri lanka to get to the Asia cup finals. Mind you SL and India both were tired after months and months of cricket in AUS and SL didnt even have a day to relax and get themselves together after they arrived in BAN. Also SL was hit with many injuries: Mathews, Perera. and had to cope with people like Maharoof who didnt provide the same flare. I dont see you have the capabiity of achieving a feat to shake off the minnows tag yet. So you might have a few wins here and there and a couple of series wins over minnows but i honestly dont see BAN becoming what SL was after 13 years of test cricket NOW. Sorry dude. What your team needs is unity like Arjuna provided for SL. I dont see a leader like that in your unit. It's not all about talent you know.

Posted by Mahaanama on (March 6, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

I'm so impressed with decisions made by new selection committee headed by Jayasuriya. They have given opportunities to youngsters who are in form while keeping some seniors as well. This is something former selection committees should have done. But they always gave opportunities to their favorites like Kapugedara, Chamara Silva, Dilhara Fernando and never wanted to see talents of young blood. Since this is a tour against Bangladesh this is the best chance to give opportunities to youngsters. So no point playing Samaraweera here. We should always play Sanga as he's our best batsman anyway Dilshan can be only considered for short format games. When Mahela returns to the team only Sanga and Mahela can be played along with young batsmen in test team. My XI for the 1st Test- : 01) Dimuth, 02)Dilshan, 03)Sanga, 04)Thirimanna, 05) Mathews, 6)Kithuruwan Vithanage, 07)Chandimal, 08)Kulasekara, 09)Herath, 10)Eranga, 11)Tharindu Kaushal

Posted by LIONS_ROARR on (March 5, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

A team consisting of players averaging 23 yrs old scored 400+ runs against BD. What else is there to say??

Posted by SL_kamal on (March 5, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

My Sri Lankan team for the 1st test: Dilshan, Karunaratne, Sangakkara, Thirimanna, Mathews, Chandimal,Jeevan Mendis, Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Herath, Welagedara

Posted by Kingzzzz on (March 5, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

@Baseball-Sucks - Yeah that's why are batsman took your future bowlers with ease like it was a T20 game. Don't get too confident us Bangladesh fans don't joke around and mean what we say that this Bangladesh team is changing and that :)

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (March 5, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

Yeah guys... Bangali Tigers will give SL's a fight... They wont give up till the end... SL is a weak side without the big names.... Sanga might hit 200 but other's will go down to Gazi Magic... Next best spin bowler in the world after shane & murali....

Posted by lukecannon on (March 5, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

Wow. I m so not watching this series. The results are already imprinted and i doubt a Shakib-less unit can cope with SL in SL. The tournament is a whitewash guys. Save the excitement for the Champions trophy in England. Can't wait for SL to arrive here. I also think Mahela and Dilshan should be rested from this entire tour and Kumar dropped from Limited Overs Cricket.

Posted by Ventana on (March 5, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Well, a sweet reminder: this promising side of "minnow Bangladesh" didn't let SL & India go into the final of Asia Cup. It's not ancient history. I admit the test record of BD team is poor. It's really weird SL fans being mean to a neighbouring cricket nation! Whereas I have noticed that SL players got very decent attitude. Obviously SL will win but I'm expecting a good contest for the sake of Cricket!

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (March 5, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

I think it's best chance for Vithanage to make his debut. He made Bangladeshi bowlers worked hard to bag his wicket & eventually they failed to dismiss him. Btw, BD can fight back against Lankans despite there's no hope for Test win for tigers.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2013, 4:26 GMT)

This SL team can not match with this below par minnow BD team on tour. Expect ONE SIDED contests. May be a good experience for BD team but nothing to gain for SL team. Anyway GOOD LUCK for both teams!

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

Loss of Shakib = loss of Mahela Jayawardane ( for Bangladesh) + loss of a spinner, .... anyways waiting for a good fight. Bangladesh team are young but talented. Tamim, Mushfik, Mahmudullah, Nasir are the 4 main batsman, Ashraful is a trump card, may flash or fade. Anamul, Mominul and Marshal Ayuub will be exxciting to watch. Sohag Gazi and Elias Sunny for Bangladesh and Herath $ Mendis for Srilanka going to play the most imp role Bangladesh pace attack is very weak and once again Shakib's absence will hurt........

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

i don't mind if they will rest dilly, sanga n herath, just feel all three are not at best n young team can do it better.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

Sana's forward march definetely pluck fruitful results.Fine selections , Hats Off 4 Dear Sana & Team.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

Don't expect Bangladesh to be so soft as you think. I still cannot forget Sri Lanka going five wickets down for a lowest score.

Posted by KingOwl on (March 4, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

All is well that ends well! I am glad that Mahela got injured. There is no point him playing and making loads of runs at home against BD. We needed him making runs in Aus. Same with Thilan - although he did make runs in South Africa against an even better fast bowling attack than Aussies. So, I am in two minds about Thilan. Sanga is great against all teams in all places - he just needs a bit of time to adjust. So it is fair that he is back in the team after injury. Good to see all the youngsters. Hope they perform well, although one cannot say much based on performances at home against BD.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Those opportunists who took Jayasuriya's appointment as Chief Selector to sling mud at SL are in for a surprise: Jayasuriya will breed a team of no-nonsense: like the 1996 squad. Enough of the seniors belonging to Sri Lanka's "high-class".

Posted by Nur_nsu on (March 4, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

Wow, lot of SL fans coming really harsh. Is there any reason for it? Without question Bangladesh is less of a team compare to SL. Recently we have been playing good cricket and that is making a lot of BD die-hard fans going overboard with the expectation. SL will dominate, understandable, but I think BD will not be like before too. They might give a good contest. Then again, it's in SL's own arena, so I am not really counting on it. A reasonable tour will make most of us happy. There is nothing too embarrassing for 3 day loss... recently a couple of big teams had 3-dayers while visiting SA or Aus. :-) ... Again, there is no reason to be mean or so. I think after SL itself, BD is the country where they have their most fans.

Posted by rajithwijepura on (March 4, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

Where is worlds best wicket keeper batsman PJ... Why dont he deserved a place in test after doing so much when there was no one to take the wicket keeping responsibilities. I dont think he is injured. He is OK with his injury that kept him off in AUS

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

To my dear Srilankan fans , it's really sad to see that some think that Bangaldeshi fans were happy knowing that their team will play with a weak team due to some contract issues, which is hopefully solved . What I want to say is, all the bengali fans were upset knowing this , they want competition , experience and see their team playing with Sri Lankas attractive squad with players like Sanga, Dilshan etc . Winning is not everything . Bd team is really young , they need to learn from them , infact a lot . Expecting a good series . We always respect Sri Lanka and their people for their class ,gentleness and good character :)

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

Nightmares for BD fans..herath,ajantha plus kaushal along with galle pitch..match will be over in 3 dayz.

Posted by shajw on (March 4, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

My playing XI would be: Dilshan, Karunaratne, Sangakkara, Thirimanne, Vithanage, Mathews, Chandimal, Herath, Eranga, Welagedara, Kaushal. 12th Man Jeevan Mendis.

Posted by Karnain on (March 4, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

15 good selections & 1 not so good (Suranga Lakmal). 5 very good omissions (Paranawithana, Randiv, Thilan, Prasanna, Dammika). So whom will take MJ's place? Jeewan Mendis is the front runner for me for the Galle pitch. Hope Kaushal will be selected ahead of Mendis & Kithruwan will get a look in for the ODIs. Contest on for the second fast bowler's spot between Kula & Welagedara. Well done Sana. Let's hope rain will keep away

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (March 4, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Dont think Bangladesh will beat Sri Lanka considering our bowling attack is quite weak at the moment. Anway expecting a close test series.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

Sana have done the right thing for SL cricket....this squad is very good and hope we can make a great team out of these 16 players...unfortunate for Samare and Prasanna, but Kiththa and Kushal are great additions....Kaushal will definetely play and hope Kiththa will too be playing...My team 1.Dilly 2.Dimuth 3.Sanga 4.Anji 5.Thiri 6.Kiththa 7.Chandi 8.Kula 9.Herath 10.Shaminda/Welagedara 11.Kaushal

hope Anji will bat in top 4....

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (March 4, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

Now I feel bad for the BD players n fans who got their hopes up. :))) . Now a total annihilation is inevitable for them. On the other hand, by looking at their performances against our Emerging team, even a second string team would crush them.

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (March 4, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

For the Galle match, 1. Karunarathne 2. Dulshan 3. Sanga 4. Thiri 5. Mathews 6. Chandimal 7. Kushal Perera 8. Kula 9. Herath 10. Ajantha Mendis/ Kaushal 11. Eranga. I think Vithanage can get his double century in Premadasa which is more favorable for batting :).

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Kittha to debut please..he deserves that break his innings of 168 against the Bangladeshis proves it hope he gets this chance.

Posted by Dannymania on (March 4, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

Srilankans are gonna beat the bangladeshis no matter what team they play.Its good to see that the whole team was selected though,good because it puts an end of the contract contraversial problem..It'ld be bangladesh's good luck if they dont lose by an innings!

Posted by Htc-Android on (March 4, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

I am dissappointed with Samaraweera getting dropped from the team. They should have chance to announce his retirement. nevertheless this squad should be good enough to handle BD. 1. Dilshan 2. Dimuth 3. sanga 4. thirimanne 5. Kithruwan 6. mathews 7. chandimal 8. nuwan 9. herath 10.Eranga 11.Kaushal

Posted by Lakpj on (March 4, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

really good squad, deserving youngsters have been given a chance hope they would grab the opportunity. only concern is welagedara and lakmal they have the talent but haven't delivered enough in the international games that they had played. not sure whether SL would opt for turning tracks or wickets with some grass. either way they have the bowlers to exploit it. Prasanna is the best keeper in the country but unfortunately for him, there are few youngsters in the country who are good with the gloves and very good with the bat.

Posted by sameeratharanga on (March 4, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

This is well balance squad. well done Sana & Team. hope youngsters will perform well.

Posted by Tweety20 on (March 4, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

This is really good news.Now we can focus on more important things like playing cricket.So glad that the dark cloud is gone.BTW many thanks to Sanath for personally taking on the task of resolving the issue with the players.LET THE GAMES BEGIN...!!!!

Posted by Lankanforever on (March 4, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

For all those who are second guessing about Prasanna he has not kept wickets since the injury in Australia. he played in the premier league as a pure batsmen and he is not good enough (IMO) to play purely as a batsman in the national team.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

So the big question is who will play number 6. We can go for 5 bowlers but in Galle you will most definitely need the extra batter. form what I see its a 3 way battle between Jeewan, Kithruwan and Kushal. Wonder who will get the final call. My money is on Jeewan as he can bowl some useful leggies.

Posted by saifur.raffael on (March 4, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

Well done Sana ..Best of luck to both the team, may the best team win..[From a BD Fan]

Posted by UAETigers on (March 4, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

looks like a strong Team!!! Tough time ahead for BD players as they are not very good players of Quality bowling whether fast or spin!

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Not Bad eh......Great opportunity for the youngsters to show what they got

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

good squad! luk like they focusing on future very well! sry 4 paranawithana & prasanna jayawardhana! but they didnt played well in last few series!

Posted by shihan12 on (March 4, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

I dont have any issue with the squad..but little bit concern over Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal because both seems to be not doing much with the bowl.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Good job Sanath. Wish you luck in your capacity as the Chairman of selectors. Patience conquer nations.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

Surprisingly wicketkeeper batsman Persana Jayawardene is not in squad. Is he injured or he isn't selected for 15 member squad. He has made some hundred's coming at no7. Chandimal is not bad but persona should be no1 choice with gloves. Hope he wasn't dropped from squad.

Posted by SL_Boy on (March 4, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

This shows why you need authority ... if Sana was not there we would have seen ugly lock up, well done Sana & team

Posted by Romanticstud on (March 4, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

It seems like a ploy to me ... Mahela out injured ... like Kallis the other day against Pakistan ... Both brilliant cricketers ... both needing a resurgence of form ... both injured ...

Posted by wijitha_srilanka on (March 4, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

Very good squad! Omitting Samaraweera and Paranawithana is the best thing in this. Good opportunity for youngsters. Well done Sanath and the Co...

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