Kulasekara back in Sri Lanka T20 squad
Nuwan Kulasekara has been named in the Sri Lanka squad for the Twenty20 series against South Africa after missing the ODI leg of the tour, while Jeevan Mendis has also earned a place. Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Perera and Angelo Perera, all of whom played in the ODI series, have also been included.
Kulasekara had been sidelined for three weeks by a finger injury he sustained in the tri-series in the Caribbean, while Mendis' exclusion from Sri Lanka's squad for recent ODI assignments was due to his poor form. Mendis played in Sri Lanka's last Twenty20, against Bangladesh in March.
Two players who were present in that XI but could not find a place in this squad are T20 specialist Dilshan Munaweera, and fast bowler Shaminda Eranga. Munaweera's axing may be because he has been unable to provide the starts for Sri Lanka that he has promised in his domestic performances, while workload management may have played a role in Eranga's exclusion.
Rangana Herath has not found a place in the side either, with Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake taking the specialist spinners' spots.
Neither Angelo Perera nor Kusal Perera prospered in their one innings in the ODI series, but have been earmarked as explosive talents, largely because of their domestic exploits. Lakmal, however, took 3 for 24 in his only appearance in the series.
Dinesh Chandimal will resume his T20 captaincy, with Lasith Malinga as his deputy. Sri Lanka will attempt to maintain the top ranking they have held in the format since October last year in the three-match series which begins on Friday in Colombo before the teams move to Hambantota for two games.