Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2014 August 19, 2014

Randiv picked for Pakistan ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Offspinner Suraj Randiv has been recalled to the Sri Lanka squad three years after he last played an ODI, as part of a new-look spin attack for the three-match one-day series against Pakistan. Opener Upul Tharanga has also been named in the squad, thanks largely to his good returns in the Pakistan Test series, while Dinesh Chandimal returns to the ODI fray, following a successful one-day stint with Sri Lanka A.

Legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna finds a place as well, alongside Dhammika Prasad. Allrounder Thisara Perera has also been included, after leaving the squad early during ODI series against South Africa, citing mental stress.

Randiv and Prasanna have effectively been named in place of Sachithra Senanayake, who is currently undergoing remedial work on his action after being banned from international cricket, and Ajantha Mendis, who has been dropped. Rangana Herath is also in the squad, but given his extraordinary workload in Tests this year, he may be sparingly used.

Randiv had for some time been pigeon-holed as a Test bowler, despite his 33 ODI wickets at 30.54, but a successful stretch in first-class cricket has paved way for his return. He dismissed 43 batsmen at 26.48 in the Premier League Tournament earlier this year, and had also taken eight wickets in an unofficial Test against England Lions in late February. His last ODI had been in August 2011. Prasanna's performances with the A side have contributed to his comeback. He had last played for Sri Lanka in the World T20.

Two hundreds and a fifty in five completed one-day innings with Sri Lanka A, has been Chandimal's springboard back into the top team. He was axed and sent to England following a failure in the first Test against South Africa, but began to score heavily as soon as he had joined the A side. Lahiru Thirimanne has also been named in the ODI squad as vice-captain.

Like Tharanga, Prasad also regains his ODI place because of his Test exploits. He was the leading quick bowler in the recent series against Pakistan, and had also been instrumental to Sri Lanka's victory at Headingley, where he took five second-innings wickets. Suranga Lakmal was unavailable for selection thanks to the ankle injury he sustained during the South Africa Tests.

A hamstring injury to opener Kusal Perera had forced him to return from the A team's tour of England late last month and keeps him out of this series as well. He and Tharanga have been competing for the second opener's position for the past 15 months, and Tharanga's 92 and 45 in Colombo have been enough to see him return to ODIs. Middle order batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage has also been left out, but Ashan Priyanjan is in the squad.

Vithanage, Priyanjan, Chandimal, Thirimanne, Randiv and Thisara are all also set to play in the tour match against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka squad : Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardena, Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Seekuge Prasanna, Suraj Randiv, Thisara Perera

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  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    no doubt thirimanne is one of the most talented players we have today but unfortunately having a very bad period at the moment. let`s hope & cross our fingers that he will come up with some positive match wining performances in this series

  • Sajith on August 22, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    There is a opener named Dhanushka Gunathilaka who performed very well in last Sri Lanka A tour of England... He should be in the team of last ODI... Or why can't MJ open batting while his place can be given to ashan priyanjan... Whatever happened, thisara perera should be in team because WC is nearing...

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Jeewaka Chandana Gamalath: I agree that Kithruwan deserves a place more than Thirimanne. However, having watched Kithruwan batting on TV, at the grounds and at the grounds with TV in front of me, I have noticed that he has got a lot of work to be done on his defensive technique. He is a big hitter who can clear the boundary with ease. That is ok for T20s. But in ODIs there are certain phases of the game where a batsman get tied down by good accurate bowling. Under such circumstances the batsman has to play straight and defend his wicket. At the same time he should be able to rotate the strike through singles obtained through deflections here and there. That is only possible for very good batsmen with correct technique.

  • Marcus on August 22, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    Please check the statistics of Sachithra Senanayake and it will be realized that he is neither young or a strike bowler as the media and captain Mathews states for he is elder by one month to Ajantha Mendis and AJ bowling strike rate is about 50 % less than S.S

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Really don't know how thirimanne got selected over Vithanage ?????

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    @Prem2248 - Are you out of your mind to say that chief selector's reckless hitting was a complete flop in 96 WC? He was declared player of the tournament and won two MoM awards and was the one who turned the semi finals in our favour with his bowling. The scenario in 1996 was different. We had a solid batting line up after the openers. Therefore openers were given the license to blast. That worked at times and did not at times. When it worked it demoralized other bowling attacks. When it failed there was Aravinda, Gurusinghe etc. to take us out of trouble. ODI scenarios have changed a lot from what it was in late 80s and early 90s. Those days 250 was a match winning score. Now with the advent of T20 cricket, even 300+ is not an assured winning score. I once again reiterate the fact that preferred batting positions should be earned through performance rather than granted for nothing.

  • Buddhika on August 21, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    @ Compton-Effect At age of 30 Mahela,Sanga,Tharnaga became a mature because they selected national side in very young age and played top order from the beginning Mahela(20 y),Tharanga(20y),Sanga(23) But now no player get selected from those young ages and they have wait 28-30 to play his first match. Even existing youngsters also playing wrong batting position(Chandi) and some are dropped while they performing considerably well(Kusal,Thisara,Chathuranga). If this selection policy continues no youngster get matured when he come to 30.

  • Ted on August 21, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    @Ratne: You can't blame it on Tharanga or Dilly... In a 50 over game 20 balls @ the beginning of an inning is insignificantly crucial to the outcome of a game ! The Openers may have found some kind of difficulty in the wicket @ the initial stage of that final. I reviewed it & noted, in the beginning of 5th over (just before Tharanga got out), even Dilshan had managed just 4 runs facing 12 balls! We all know, normally how aggressive these 2 openers are (Dilly & Upul)!

    But don't forget Tharanga's valuable unbeaten 102* Vs England in the quarter finals & his overall total contribution (395 runs @ an Av 56.42 with 2x100+50 scores) in 2011 WC..! His strike rate was 83.68 & he has the 5th best ranking in 2011 WC overall batting record. So I think he had done his part in that WC.

  • Ron on August 21, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Chandimal had the lowest strike rate of anyone in the PAK game. I don't think he's done anything remotely worthy of justifying taking over the #4 spot, which might be the most important ODI batting position. He has to earn his way to it. Personally, I think Sanga should give him the gloves and have him as the wkt-keeper/bat in the side, coming in at #7. IF we have a batting collapse and lose 3 wkts in the first 15 overs, Chandi can go in at #5.

  • Buddhika on August 21, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    @ krashlite1975 Chameera and Gamage played very well all along the Eng A tour. In Moratuwa match also Chameera got 2 wickets and Gamage got very important wickets of Afridi even though both were expensive. Hammering is regular issue with seemers u might forget how Mali and Kula hammered by last ODI from SA and Eng batsmen. Your guys don't have any issue Randiv directly come to National team after 3 years without having single A team match and Welagadara coming after 2 years and got only 1 wicket .

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