Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle June 19, 2012

Perera, Kulasekara in Sri Lanka Test squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Allrounder Thisara Perera and fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara have been included in Sri Lanka's 15-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan. Allrounder Jeevan Mendis, who is yet to earn a Test cap, has also been picked. Angelo Mathews has been named vice-captain, replacing Thilan Samaraweera who was the second in command in Sri Lanka's last Test series, against England in March-April.

Left-arm fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara, who was ruled out of the second Test against England in that series with a groin injury, also returns. That means Sri Lanka will field a new-look pace attack: Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Shaminda Eranga - who had come in for the injured Welegedara - have not made it to this squad. Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne has also missed out.

Perera had not played the Tests against England, the last of his five Tests being against South Africa in January. He was Man of the Series in the recently concluded ODIs against Pakistan, and this has seemingly prompted his inclusion in the Test squad. Following his six-wicket haul in the second ODI, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford had said that Perera could establish himself in the Test side, if he could replicate that bowling performance with more consistency.

Kulasekara has not played a Test since the rain-marred home series against West Indies in November 2010, while Pradeep has played just the one Test, against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last October. He was picked for the tour of South Africa that followed, but tore a hamstring during a warm-up game and had to fly home. He returned to competitive cricket in March, playing a first-class game for Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club.

The Test begins on Friday in Galle.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    feel sorry for thrimanna, he's currently in good form

  • Eranga on June 21, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    At the begining of the tour there were guys saying drop Angelo and Dili. then they changed voices to drop Chandi and Angi. Now drop Kumar. Once people were suggesting Upul as capt. then ANgi now Chandi. What is all this. Wait and see for two more years we'll find out who our next capt. is. and as far as dropping people at least be fair before chanting this. You can't perform every other game. and two series is not the end of world and most these guys were hits two series ago.

  • anjana on June 21, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    win or loss 4 sl wil depend on how well they bat,,,

  • shanthiwije on June 20, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Yes, let Angelo & Chandimal get trained for the leadership under the coolest, sharpest and the most talented captain in the world to-day. They are so fortunate to have a mentor of Mahela's caliber. More on Angelo. Many don't seem to realize the burden bestowed on himin most of the games. When or if the three seniors, Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan fails, the burden of preserving his own wicket and at the same time guiding the talented, yet inexperienced youngsters to the end successfully is eating into his own game. So please understand his plight and stand by him for god sake. i am sure he will deliver the goodsin no time. Take heart boy. People will realize. Well done JOSEPHIAN. (I am an old JOE.)

  • Lalith on June 20, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Win the toss bat first and put a score over 400. The rest will automatically take care of itself. Galle, the souther capital is the best venue for Lions as well as the best beautiful city in Sri Lanka.

  • Shaz on June 20, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Alright boys, you need to read the article before you jump your guns and start commenting. What are some of you going on about Thilan being dropped?? he has not been dropped, only been relieved as the vice captain.A squad has to be picked at the end of the day. They can't satisfy everyone, if Lahiru had been included and Paranavithana left out, another bunch of you would be screaming for him to be included. I think this is a pretty decent squad, especially with the inclusion of Nuwan. So relax and just take it easy!!

  • cricket on June 20, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    We love sanga but he cant keep and bat at 3.Thilan is the rock in the team how? can they not pick him for the one dayers.The stroke makers have a bit more freedom then.Where is vandort?Hope we can get some players from jaffna and trinco where there has being no cricket for 30 years.I bet you there will some uncut stones there.

  • sajan on June 20, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    its a good team selection. they can only select 15. luckey No dilhara, Hope selection committee will select good T20 squad as well including informed players like Chinthaka jayasinghe,Kusal janith etc.

  • Samapth on June 20, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Willing to see Jeewan Mendis in a test match....We all know how capable he is with the bat...It is sad to see Shamindra Ernga has been left out of the side without giving any oppertunity...Dear Chairman of selectors...What is the basis of leaving out of Eranga..and what is the basis of selecting Nuwan Pradeep.....

  • Dilin on June 20, 2012, 6:38 GMT


    If the Australian's were to take that mentality about not choosing a player as captain, due to injury concerns... Then Michael Clarke would not be captain. He has missed MANY a game, due to his contant back problems.

    What we need is a Leader/Captain that isn't scared to take the challenge up to the opposition.... Thats where Mahela is different from most other Captains that have Captained Sri Lanka. He uses what he has (bowlers or batsmen) to his advantage, and looks to put the opposite captain and team under pressure.

    Hopefully, being and understudy to Mehela, Angelo will learn these techniques. He and Chandimal will be the future of Sri Lankan cricket, and we they should be rubbing sholders with Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan etc. as much as possible before the current greats of the game step away.

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