Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2014 July 31, 2014

Chandimal, Mendis dropped for Pakistan Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Niroshan Dickwella retains his place after an impressive debut at the SSC © AFP

Sri Lanka have left out wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Ajantha Mendis from their 15-man squad for the Pakistan Tests starting next week. Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep returns to the squad after missing the recent South Africa Test series due to injury and youngster Niroshan Dickwella keeps his place as wicketkeeper after an impressive debut earlier this week. Lahiru Thirimanne remains the vice-captain, though he was dropped for the previous Test against South Africa.

Chandimal had lost his place in the XI for the second Test against South Africa after a poor outing in Galle, prompting a surprise call-up for the 21-year-old Dickwella, who had been in England with the Sri Lanka A side before having to dash back to Colombo to make it in time for his Test debut. Chandimal has joined the A squad in England. Prasanna Jayawardene, who was the first-choice wicketkeeper till he got injured before the second Test against England in June, was still not 100% fit.

Mendis' exclusion was not surprising after being the least impressive of Sri Lanka's three spinners in the SSC Test when they were denied victory by a superb stonewalling effort from South Africa. Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews had bluntly said, "He had a quite a bad game," after a wayward Mendis had match figures of 0 for 85 on a surface made for spinners.

Fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga have been included, but subject to fitness. Eranga had split his webbing in Galle and was left out for the SSC Test, while Lakmal had complained of soreness in his foot after the SSC Test.

The first of two Tests against Pakistan begins in Galle on August 6.

Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thrimanne (vice-capt), Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Shaminda Eranga (Subject to fitness), Suranga Lakmal (Subject to fitness), Chanaka Welegedara, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep

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  • Marcus on August 5, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    How can it be stated that Ajantha Mendis was the least impressive of the 3 spinners when he was given only 13 overs in the 2nd innings compared to Herath 85 overs and Perera 84 overs if he was given at least 30 overs we might have had a different result

  • Lalith on August 3, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    I wish MJ will do something special in his last Galle Test.

  • Ravin on August 2, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    Fair selection. Thought we might see Jehan Mubarak in the squad. Saw him on the field on and off against SA. He had a really good run in the Premier League matching Marvan Atapattu's all time record.

  • Amindha on August 2, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    cant see y mendis was in the side in the 1st place. he deserves to get dropped.. It is currently raining heavily in sri lnka with the start of the monsoon , if it stays like this for the next week we wont see much cricket anyway

  • manjula on August 2, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    Tharanga is lucky to make a comeback. It is unthinkable how he could not find a place in the ODI team after hitting 13 centuries. Chamara Kapugedera was touted as the next Aravinda de Silva. True, he was given a fair crack at the top. But one feels he could have guided properly to get the maximum out of his vast talent. Today at 27, Kapugedera is in the wilderness. So is Dilshan Munaweera. The youngster was brought in as an explosive opener and was soon dropped like a hot potato. Off spinner, Akila Dananjaya, who famously bamboozled the great Mahela Jayawardena in the nets, and got selected and played in the T20 World Cup 2012, is today spending time with his club. What is kithruwan doing for the team nothing,should have played thirimane ,he is good player.poor selections.

  • Janaka on August 1, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    If Sri Lanka wants to win, they should pick the right team, that is, the most talented guys in form. All talented but not in form guys should be kept in benches no matter who they are. Period.

  • MAHENDRA on August 1, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    if Sri Lanka wants to win they should prepare pitches for fast bowlers. Otherwise Shahid Ajmal will hurt. Ajmal could not get more wickets last time in UAE when these two teams met series ended in 1-1. Ajmal is a better spinner than Sri Lanka spin duo. He will get t more advantage of spin pitches and it will backfire. Pakistan batsman can play spin efficiently.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    Chandimal is the best young player after Aravinda De Silva. Give him a regular chance to bat in top order. Kithuruwan is never can be a national player, because he has no any technique. Thirimanne should go with Sri lanka A team for sometime.

  • MAHENDRA on August 1, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    Kusal Janith should replace for Thirimanna.

  • Nick on August 1, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Not surprised Suranga Lakmal has a sore foot after 42 overs in Galle and 27 at SSC. With 5 pacemen to choose from this time (injury permitting), the 2 chosen should be able to rattle the Pakistan top-order, and Herath and Dilruwan in good form, complete a balanced SL attack.

    So it's Thirimanne or Vithanage for the extra batting position, while Chandimal gets back to form in England with SL A.

    Advantage SL having played the two Tests already at Galle and SSC vs South Africa, even though Pakistan holds the trump card in Saeed Ajmal.

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