Uncapped Siriwardana, Pathirana in ODI squad
Uncapped left-arm spinning allrounders Milinda Siriwardana and Sachith Pathirana have been called up to Sri Lanka's squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Test spinners Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal have been left out, as have seamers Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad.
In addition to the new allrounders, Sachithra Senanayake and legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna serve as the squad's frontline spin options. Nuwan Pradeep, who has played two ODIs, most recently in 2012, joins Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal to form the quick bowling line-up. Seam bowling allrounder Thisara Perera has also been named.
The batting contained few surprises. Kusal Perera is in the squad following his stellar performances against Pakistan A. Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Ashan Priyanjan have also been named while captain Angelo Mathews and opener TM Dilshan are almost certain to play. Opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who had been in Sri Lanka's original World Cup squad, has been left out.
Siriwardena, 29, had an outstanding domestic season this year, hitting 1144 runs at an average of 67.29 across 19 first-class innings. He has also been a dependable bowler in domestic cricket. Pathirana, 26, is more of a bowler, and has been chosen on the back of several solid domestic seasons. He has taken 86 List A wickets at 22.58.
This series will be Sri Lanka's first ODI foray since the World Cup. It is also their first series without Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Other players who featured in the World Cup campaign but have not been chosen include Jeevan Mendis and Dushmantha Chameera. The first match begins on July 11, in Dambulla.
Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardana, Ashan Priyanjan, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Seekuge Prasanna, Sachith Pathirana