Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2016-17 April 2, 2017

Thisara, Jayasuriya earn T20 call-ups


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Fernando: Selectors seem to want Kusal to focus on ODIs, Tests

Kusal Mendis has been omitted from Sri Lanka's T20I squad for the two-match series against Bangladesh, while spin-bowling allrounder Shehan Jayasuriya has been called up. Also in the squad is Thisara Perera - who had not been in Sri Lanka's recent T20I squad to Australia - and opener Danushka Gunathilaka, who returns to the T20 XI after recovering from injury.

Kusal Perera has also been named, but his participation is subject to recovery from a thigh strain that ruled him out of the ODIs. If he fails the fitness test, Sandun Weerakkody - the batsman who made his debut in South Africa - will take his place. Upul Tharanga leads the side in Angelo Mathews' continued absence.

T20s have been Mendis' least successful format - he averages 9.25 with a strike rate of 123 in eight T20 international innings. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said he may not be picked in T20s in the near future, so that he can concentrate on the longer formats, in which he has begun to excel. Mendis was the player of the series in the recently-concluded ODI series against Bangladesh. He was also the player of the tournament during the tri-series in Zimbabwe last year, and has played at least two match-winning Test innings over the past year.

"Kusal Mendis has got a long career ahead of him and we do not want to burden him with too many things," Jayasuriya said. "He had a very good Test and ODI series against Bangladesh and at this stage we don't want him to alter too many things in his game."

Thisara's reinclusion is thanks largely to his good performances with the bat in the recent ODIs, in which he struck two half-centuries in three matches. Jayasuriya meanwhile, has been playing for Sri Lanka's Emerging Team in the ACC competition currently being played in Bangladesh.

The first of two T20s - both to be played at R Premadasa Stadium - is scheduled for April 4.

Sri Lanka squad: Upul Tharanga (capt.), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (subject to fitness), Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dasun Shanaka, Vikum Sanjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya.

On standby: Sandun Weerakkody

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • priyan1472870 on April 4, 2017, 18:08 GMT

    Tharangas captaincy is far better than Mathews ....

  • D on April 4, 2017, 11:28 GMT

    Kusal Mendis is a test player. Not suitable even for the ODI format. He must be kept out of T20s. So is Chandimal and Tharanga who are only Test and ODI players. Not suitable for T20s.

  • julpro7523207 on April 3, 2017, 15:38 GMT

    shehan jayasuriya has been given multiple chances & always failed at this level.Way above what he deserves and again he has been brought back! Also Sandakan cannot bowl/bat or field and should not be selected for this format at this level at all! Are these selectors making these selections in their sleep? What a bunch of jokers! They are stumbling from one mistake to another at the cost of SL cricket. Or is there something else going on with these selections which we are not privy to?

  • Sarath on April 3, 2017, 15:34 GMT

    Mathew is a good player, but his fitness is the problem. It is time for him to think and get fit or retire.

  • Mafas Mafm on April 3, 2017, 13:43 GMT

    s. jayasooriya is not a most important player like malinga to represent SL to play two different countries in 2 days with this busy chedule and his statistics is telling rest. weerakody is better than him.

  • bhanuk7302721 on April 3, 2017, 12:37 GMT

    shehan will arrive tommorow morning...

  • Mafas Mafm on April 3, 2017, 12:06 GMT

    s. jayasooriya is playing u23 final in Bangladesh today. he will have no chance to play 1st t20. selectors are joking. weerakody should be in the playing xi instead of jayasooriya. samaravikrama asalanka should consider for odi in near future

  • Ashwith on April 3, 2017, 12:00 GMT

    @CRICUSER - Aussies and SA are weak against spin, but same is not the case with BD. since the retirement of Jayasuriya, Sanga and Jayawardane, Murali and Dilshan, they are yet to find a player who can even match up to half their class. This has really left a huge void in their team. In their backyard, Lankan will surely beat the overseas team, but against the subcontinent team, it will be a different ball game all together. Though the rain helped the BD's to draw the ODI series, they have proved that they are at Par with this Lankan team. And unless Malinga gets back into his groove, BD might end up winning this series. Cheers!

  •   cricfan30676341 on April 3, 2017, 11:57 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER i agree with you.specially dana is putting massive pressure by scoring some runs at very low strike rates.we can also see that there is no special power in their shots.dana,chandimal are those players.however mendis is not like them.he trying score runs with good rates.even though he start very slowly he end his inning with good strike rate somwhere like 90 to earlier there was player called kandamby who hasnt score a six odis.strike rate is very factor

  • Mafas Mafm on April 3, 2017, 11:54 GMT

    Tharanga should play only odi, weerakody far better than s.Jayasooriya, future t20 xi: thikwela k. perera munaweera weerakody methwes gunaratne tissara presanna malinga kulasekara/sanjaya aponso/m.pushpakumara

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