Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2014 August 11, 2014

Karunaratne returns to Test squad

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been called up to Sri Lanka's Test squad following a three-match layoff after the England tour. Binura Fernando, an uncapped 19-year old left-arm seamer, has also been added to the squad for the second Test against Pakistan. Sri Lanka team management had earlier said Fernando was essentially in the squad only to perform 15th man duties, but a selector has since said he will be considered for the XI.*

The pair are replacements for fast bowlers Nuwan Pradeep, who had twisted his ankle during a training session, and Suranga Lakmal, who had been ruled out of the series with an ankle injury. SLC said Shaminda Eranga had also been "nominated" for the match, subject to his managing a hand injury sustained during the Galle Test against South Africa.

Karunaratne's inclusion leaves Upul Tharanga's place at the top of the order in doubt, after Tharanga hit only one half-century in the six innings since he replaced Karunaratne in the side. Karunaratne had made 127 runs at 31.50 on the tour of England before he had been dropped. Angelo Mathews had said the selection panel had been disappointed Karunaratne had not converted his starts into bigger scores, during his time in the team. He averages 30.47 in Tests after 25 innings.

Eranga bowled 45 overs in the first Test against Pakistan, but was seen receiving treatment on the boundary after many of those overs. He had needed eight stitches between the thumb and index finger of his bowling hand, after he split the webbing there while fielding.

Though he will not play, Fernando has largely been picked on the strength of his performances for DS Senanayake College and the Sri Lanka Under-19 team. Known for his ability to generate awkward bounce from a height of 6'7", and swing the ball, Fernando has been among the leading schoolboy-cricket names over the past two years, claiming 84 wickets in the 2013 season.

*August 12, 2014 0425 GTM: Article has been amended to reflect new information from SLC

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SLExpat on August 14, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    With all the negative remarks in this article shading the progressively visible positive side of Thararanga's batting, glazed with blazing cover drives, straight drives, cuts & glances picked at will, intercepting fielders (12 BOUNDARIES) was the best opener's inning that we saw since Dilshan retired from Test Cricket!

    Reconsidered for Test Cricket after Seven years, Tharanga has already showed his potential with TWO blazing innings (92 & 84) in just 7 innings, against world's best pace & spin of SA & Pak.

    It is worthwhile pointing out, NONE of the other OPENERS, Kaushal Silva/ Dimuth Karunarathne have managed such scores since January this year, appearing in many more innings than Upul Tharanga.!!! After all, Tharanga is the only youngster among openers in SL, with a proven solid track record at international level (in ODIs). He has been a match winning player in ODIs. If given a long stay in the squad, he will sure to be a match winner in TESTS as well. It is up-to the SLC.!

  • SLExpat on August 14, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    With all the negative remarks in this article shading the progressively visible positive side of Thararanga's batting, glazed with blazing cover drives, straight drives, cuts & glances picked at will, intercepting fielders (14 BOUNDARIES) was the best opener's inning that we saw since Dilshan retired from Test Cricket!

    Reconsidered for Test Cricket after Seven years, Tharanga has already showed his potential with TWO blazing innings (92 & 84) in just 10 innings, against world's best pace & spin of SA & Pak.

    It is worthwhile pointing out, NONE of the other OPENERS, Kaushal Silva/ Dimuth Karunarathne have managed such scores since January this year, appearing in many more innings than Upul Tharanga.!!! After all, Tharanga is the only youngster among openers in SL, with a proven solid track record at international level (in ODIs). He has been a match winning player in ODIs. If given a long stay in the squad, he will sure to be a match winner in TESTS as well. It is up-to the SLC.!

  • MarcusPerera on August 14, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    Why not compare Upul Tharana with Karunaratne their performances during the last one year and it will be Upul Tharana who will come out well on top

  • dummy4fb on August 13, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    Bat & Bowl

    Team

    Opposition

    Ground

    Match Date

    Scorecard Last 4 matches of Dimuth Karunarathna has done nothing for this selection in Local matches or in International Matches. Should have recalled Dinesh Chandimal would have been more realistic and justifiable.

    Last 6 matches of Dimuth 16 runs Troopers v Rulers Colombo (SSC) 28 Jun 2014 T20 1 Run Troopers v Yaal Blazers Colombo (SSC) 27 Jun 2014 T20 28, 45 runs Sri Lanka v England Leeds 20 Jun 2014 Test # 2126 38, 16 Runs Sri Lanka v England Lord's 12 Jun 2014 Test # 2124 1, 38 runs Sri Lankans v Northants Northampton 5 Jun 2014 FC 1 run Sinhalese v Nondescripts Panagoda 3 Apr 2014 FC

    Last 6 matches of Chandimal

    119*,runs Sri Lanka A v Eng Lions Worcester 11 Aug 2014 LA 15, Runs Sri Lanka A v NZ A Bristol 9 Aug 2014 LA 73 Runs Sri Lanka A v Eng Lions Taunton 6 Aug 2014 LA 100, Runs Sri Lanka A v Yorkshire Leeds 31 Jul 2014 LA 1, 0/3, 38 Sri Lankans v Northants Northampton 5 Jun 2014 FC

  • hman144 on August 13, 2014, 2:18 GMT

    Why Welagedara select for Test squad, if he will not consider for last 11. It is unfair. If he is not good for first 11, he should be with SLA.

  • slinger77 on August 13, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Please don't do to Binura, what we have done to the Akila Dananjaya. Akila is not even select for SL A team. We should not expect miracles from players. Sometime we can find exceptional players, and they should have fast track to the National team. But Prepare them physically and mentally first to fit for task.

  • slinger77 on August 13, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    I don't understand way our cricket management and selectors works. Binura can be our leading fast bowler in the future. But why are they going to destroy him like this. give him some international exposer first. Including him in to the 15 men is OK, then he can practice with National team and build up his confidence. but selecting him to last 11 is not wise. Please work with set program and develop them properly. don't take decisions base on some cricket fans fantasies.

  • krashlite1975 on August 12, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    It's nice to fantasize about new players like Binura but here are the facts: Binura is NOT an allrounder. Yes he was involved in a 100 odd last wicket partnership but so was Malinga, and hopefully even the optimists here don't consider him an all rounder. Binura batted at no. 11 for the under 19 team. How can a guy who batted at no. 11 for the u19 team be considered a TEST all-rounder?? That is ridiculous. He has promise, but will not play in this game. I'm glad he was selected though, because he'll have the opportunity to work on his bowling with Vaas for the next few days.

  • banda2014 on August 12, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    Good choice. I hope Binura can bowl well with Prasad in SSC. Dimuth also a good stylish open batsman. Sri Lanka need good left arm seamers. So its a good choice to get young Binura and I hope you can select left arm seamer Isuru Udana as well. He bowl well in SLPL and in many premier leagues. Vass will surely help Binura. Good luck to the young man and for Dimuth. Lets do it SL!

  • nickexplore on August 12, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    With Lakmal and Pradeep out injured, and Eranga still nursing his hand injury, now may be just the time to introduce Binura Fernando to open the SL attack with Prasad at the SSC. A left/right arm opening combination might unsettle the strong Pakistan batting line-up and make life easier for the spinners Dilruwan and Herath. Sanath and his fellow selectors pulled a surprise with Dickwella's inclusion last time out at SSC, and might be preparing another with Fernando's inclusion this time round.

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