Sri Lanka v South Africa, 5th ODI, Colombo July 30, 2013

Kusal Perera, two uncapped players in SL squad for fifth ODI

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka have recalled Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne and have named two uncapped players in the squad for the final ODI against South Africa in Colombo on Wednesday. Three senior players have been rested while and two other players have been dropped. With the series safe after the victory on Sunday, the Sri Lanka selectors have turned their focus to blooding emerging players, which has been a priority for the panel this year.

Karunaratne, left-arm spinner and allrounder Chaturanga de Silva and left-arm seam bowler Vimukthi Perera are the new additions to the squad. All three recently travelled to the West Indies with the A team, with Karunaratne in particular, excelling on the tour. He has been Sri Lanka's Test match opener since November last year. Karunaratne last played an ODI in 2011 on Sri Lanka's tour of England and Scotland

Upul Tharanga is the most high-profile exclusion from the squad, after two successive failures with the bat in the series. Tharanga had been recalled to the side for the recent tri-series in the West Indies, and had struck his highest ODI score of 174 not out on the trip, but failed to recreate that form in the following matches. Middle-order batsman Jehan Mubarak has also been left out.

Mahela Jayawardene, Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga will be rested for the game and Nuwan Kulasekara continues to be unavailable as he recovers from a finger injury. Sri Lanka leads the series 3-1.

Squad for fifth ODI: Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Angelo Perera, Vimukthi Perera, Chaturanga de Silva, Shaminda Eranga, Ajantha Mendis, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal.

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  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat

    Current time: 14:27 local, 08:57 GMT | Match begins in: 0:03 Sri Lanka team

    MDKJ Perera, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara†, HDRL Thirimanne, LD Chandimal, AD Mathews*, AK Perera, NLTC Perera, SMSM Senanayake, RAS Lakmal, BAW Mendis

  • Tony on July 31, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I really think now or next year should be the time for Sanga or Jaya or even both to retire. The opportunity is there to take it while they are on a high and no point bringing in two 38 year olds and a 39 year old in Dilshan for the world cup I mean seriously? Just imagine 3 players in their late 30's in the most important part of the batting order running between wickets in a world cup. Time I think for Sri Lanka to start picking players on performance and not on potential. Sorry Mathews.

  • sachit on July 31, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Ah poor Tharanga must have been thinking that 174 gave him a place in the side for at least three months...

  • Sanjay on July 31, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    SL boys have played themselves into a great situation in the series, largely due to the seniors, to now experiment with some investments for the future. Having witnessed Dimuth's batting in Sydney last year I thought he should be a regular in the team even for ODIs. Getting him in is a step in the right direction. Kusal deserves another chance as well. However, how Lahiru continues to find favour with the selectors defies any reasoning.One cannot fathom his role in the team in the way he plays.If he is the 'Gurusinghe' of this team then why does he come so low in the order ? I am afraid Lahiru is fast turning into another Kapugedara.Good to see 'Washington born' Mubarak being axed as well, he is a spent force. But don't be surprised if he is brought back again, as that is the nature of SL selection. Another important area SL has to improve on is death bowling in tight finishes. Lasith,though could be lethal, is too unpredictable and we all saw how Eranga was reduced to rubble by Dhoni.

  • Tharindu on July 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    spot on Lalindu. I don't knw the chief selector SanathJ acts as an mentor to the team or not but one thing noted in Kusal Perera's batting is that he not only makes some strikes like Sanath but also his dismissals are similar to Sanath. Despite his recent failures, I am impressed with Kusal Perera because he is a power hitter. If something he should learn from SanathJ is to make those match winning innings, not to satisfy fans' expectations of him batting very similar to Sanath J, because Sanath J has gone in a legendary path that no one can follow.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I think best eleven of srilanka is 1. dilshan.2.kusal perera 3.sanga.4.jaybardane 5.tharanga 6.chandimal 7. mathews 8. thisara.perera 9.R herath/eranga 10.L malinga 11.Ajanta mendis

  • Kasun on July 31, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    I think they should try Kusal in the lower middle. Like the role Mike Hussey played. He is in the caliber to attack, but I don't think he could do much damage top of the order. He played an anchor role in the middle in AUS, why not let him find his feet there. Just something captain and coach could think of.

  • Leonard on July 31, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    FINALLY, they should never have been in the squad in the 1st place. On one hand the selectors and powers that be preach a "We must groom youngsters" policy, on the other hand they keep bringing in these old time favourites, e.g. Charmara Silva who are past their due date, or have never really performed for reasons best known to them. Have a goal and vision and work towards it, don't digress to please pals and cronies

  • Steve on July 30, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    Tharanga was always a hit/miss type player who comes good once every 10-12 matches. Even after many yrs of international cricket, he could not be counted upon as a dependable senior player. Always, iffy. Mubarak is also in the same boat. SL is better off grooming new players in their place.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    please give Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Perera, and Vimukthi Perera a chance. I would say that Kusal was given many chances when u take in to account that he was opening for the Bangladesh series and the champions trophy. If u compare Dimuth has not been given any chances at all not even in the west indies series :( hes a much better opening partner for dilshan.