South Africa in Sri Lanka 2013 July 31, 2013

Kulasekara back in Sri Lanka T20 squad

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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.

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  • POSTED BY DilumSL on | August 2, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I don't think Mahela and Sanga should be in this squad. There are plenty of youngsters who are waiting for an opportunity. May be the management is thinking about the our current rank in ICC t20 rankings. But the best decision is to let the youngsters get some experience. Munaweera, Withanage, Shehan should have included in this team. Even Kapu deserves another go cause I still believe he is one of the best t20 players in the country. Thirimanne also not an T20 player also both sanga and thiri cant be in the same playing XI. My squad Dilshan,Kusal,Chandimal,Mathews,Malinga,Kula,A Perera,Thisara, Sachithra,Mendis,Lakmal/Eranga,Munaweera,Kapu,V Perera/C de Silva,Thiri/K withanage In the given squad my playing XI 1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Lahiru/Sanga 4.Mahela/A perera 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kula 9.Sachithra 10.Mali/Suranga 11.Mendis

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Hey, Good Selections yet bad sense. How come Thirimanne who cannot score more than 3 runs per over in the squad. Is he a allrounder? Do you need somebody to Kill the Overs in a T20 match. I am lost on this logic. He is only a Test Batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Kusal Perera.....This guy is a marvellous batsman. If we have patience we will get our next Sanath. on the other hand we may not see another Sanath for next 20 years. But if you ask me, I want to give Kusal few more chances.

  • POSTED BY tdslbuwa on | August 1, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Looks like selectors want to play a full strength team in all 3 matches...But I would like to see just 2 big guns playing while other one resting in each game...If Dili opens with Kushal then Mahela should be rested...If Mahela opens with Kushal then Dili should be rested...While Sanga batting at 4...Also Angelo Perera should be selected ahead of Thirimanne...Thirimanne is a good test batsman and T20 is not his game...Also Jeevan should perform if he gets a chance otherwise there is no point in playing him while better spin bowling all rounders like Chathuranga De Silva not getting selected...My team : Kushal,Mahela,Chandi,Sanga,Angelo Perera,Mathewes,Thisara,kula,Sachi,Mali,Ajantha....Good luck SL....

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    I need to preparation for world cup.its less than 18 months now...we are no way near for that..My team

    1 Kusal 2 Dilshan 3 Sanga 4 CHandi 5 Mahela 6 Thiri 7 Thissara 8 Nuwan 9 malinga 10 Sachith 11 Ajantha

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    changes i would make: mahela, sanga, dilshan and j. mendis out; maharoof, dananjaya, vithanage and kapugedara/munaweera in

  • POSTED BY Ramansilva on | August 1, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Some fans still have faith on Kusal Perera despite his series of failures. We are yet to see Sanath in him or at least he himself.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Jayasuriya is making some good selections. He seems to be on the right path. I thought he would be biased towards certain people when he was appointed, but he has done really well so far. Bravo!

  • POSTED BY yohandf on | August 1, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Not happy at all . if there is format to unleash young blood , that is T20 . So i expected one senior to be rested . An opportunity to guy like Vithanage , Munaweera , Angelo P ( i don't see him playing with this squad ) would have been fine . anyway lets hope SL win here and retaining Rank 1 .

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Good combination of players. Hopefully SL can make a clean sweep after the wonderful performances in the 1 day series. Kusal Perera must learn to play for the team from now on and contribute effectively at the top without trying to imitate great players of the past and throwing his wicket away if he wants to survive in International cricket. Take a cue from indian opener dhawan who has established himself in a short period of time with consistent performances. Good luck SL for a great series.

  • POSTED BY DilumSL on | August 2, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    I don't think Mahela and Sanga should be in this squad. There are plenty of youngsters who are waiting for an opportunity. May be the management is thinking about the our current rank in ICC t20 rankings. But the best decision is to let the youngsters get some experience. Munaweera, Withanage, Shehan should have included in this team. Even Kapu deserves another go cause I still believe he is one of the best t20 players in the country. Thirimanne also not an T20 player also both sanga and thiri cant be in the same playing XI. My squad Dilshan,Kusal,Chandimal,Mathews,Malinga,Kula,A Perera,Thisara, Sachithra,Mendis,Lakmal/Eranga,Munaweera,Kapu,V Perera/C de Silva,Thiri/K withanage In the given squad my playing XI 1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Lahiru/Sanga 4.Mahela/A perera 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kula 9.Sachithra 10.Mali/Suranga 11.Mendis

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Hey, Good Selections yet bad sense. How come Thirimanne who cannot score more than 3 runs per over in the squad. Is he a allrounder? Do you need somebody to Kill the Overs in a T20 match. I am lost on this logic. He is only a Test Batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Kusal Perera.....This guy is a marvellous batsman. If we have patience we will get our next Sanath. on the other hand we may not see another Sanath for next 20 years. But if you ask me, I want to give Kusal few more chances.

  • POSTED BY tdslbuwa on | August 1, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Looks like selectors want to play a full strength team in all 3 matches...But I would like to see just 2 big guns playing while other one resting in each game...If Dili opens with Kushal then Mahela should be rested...If Mahela opens with Kushal then Dili should be rested...While Sanga batting at 4...Also Angelo Perera should be selected ahead of Thirimanne...Thirimanne is a good test batsman and T20 is not his game...Also Jeevan should perform if he gets a chance otherwise there is no point in playing him while better spin bowling all rounders like Chathuranga De Silva not getting selected...My team : Kushal,Mahela,Chandi,Sanga,Angelo Perera,Mathewes,Thisara,kula,Sachi,Mali,Ajantha....Good luck SL....

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    I need to preparation for world cup.its less than 18 months now...we are no way near for that..My team

    1 Kusal 2 Dilshan 3 Sanga 4 CHandi 5 Mahela 6 Thiri 7 Thissara 8 Nuwan 9 malinga 10 Sachith 11 Ajantha

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    changes i would make: mahela, sanga, dilshan and j. mendis out; maharoof, dananjaya, vithanage and kapugedara/munaweera in

  • POSTED BY Ramansilva on | August 1, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Some fans still have faith on Kusal Perera despite his series of failures. We are yet to see Sanath in him or at least he himself.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Jayasuriya is making some good selections. He seems to be on the right path. I thought he would be biased towards certain people when he was appointed, but he has done really well so far. Bravo!

  • POSTED BY yohandf on | August 1, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Not happy at all . if there is format to unleash young blood , that is T20 . So i expected one senior to be rested . An opportunity to guy like Vithanage , Munaweera , Angelo P ( i don't see him playing with this squad ) would have been fine . anyway lets hope SL win here and retaining Rank 1 .

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Good combination of players. Hopefully SL can make a clean sweep after the wonderful performances in the 1 day series. Kusal Perera must learn to play for the team from now on and contribute effectively at the top without trying to imitate great players of the past and throwing his wicket away if he wants to survive in International cricket. Take a cue from indian opener dhawan who has established himself in a short period of time with consistent performances. Good luck SL for a great series.

  • POSTED BY shyamalsp on | August 1, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    My Team 1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Mahela 4.Sanga 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Jeewan 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekera 10.Malinga 11.Ajantha

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | August 1, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    @ hotcric01 ; Hambanthota is not a slow pitch by any means. During the T20 WC 2012, Steyn said that he felt like it at Centurion in Hambanthota. Its a pacy n bouncy pitch. SA have the upper hand in Hambanthota in terms of conditions. But Sri Lanka are " best T20 side in the world" n shouldn't have any problems with winning the series 3-0.

  • POSTED BY Ruban_Varathan on | August 1, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Suprise to see #Eranga out from the T20 squad....He may leak runs but vital in taking wickets during crucial times......

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    plz give an opportunity to Akila dhananjaya.kusal janith must open the innings with dilshan.sanga should bat @ no.3.mahela's role seems to be finisher.i think herath is suitable to this format because he is very accurate...

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | August 1, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    My XI: 1.Dilshan 2.Mahela 3.Sanga 4.Mathews 5.Dinesh 6.Jeevan 7.Thisara 8.Kule 9.Sachithra 10.Ajantha 11.Lasith

    However I will pick Kusal for Dinesh (if he's not the captain) on any day for a T20

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Keeping Kusal Perera is the Best thing selectors have done, good job, Sanath. I am certain he will emulate you, soon. Few failures does not mean Kusal is bad.

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | August 1, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Sri Lanka is the best T20 team in the world at the moment and also the best ODI side along with India.They have a great mix of experienced players with young talents than any other team.In most teams,seniors are not playing for a long time because being injured,ignoring by selectors,being out of form,retiring so early or some reason.But Sri Lanka has been so lucky as they have fit,in form group of seniors Dil,Mahela,Sanga,Upul,Mali and Kula.Herath and Mendis are also experienced.Although Youngsters should improve further,likes of Angelo,Lahiru,Thisara and Sachithra have already shown their potential.SA should try to win at least one game as their t20 squad looks even more unbalanced and inexperienced.In slow pitches likes of R.premadasa and Hambanthota they would more struggle.

  • POSTED BY asithaSL on | August 1, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Plz drop two of big three in every match n give more experience for younger guyz like Dimuth, Angelo n Akila @least in T20's. Sachitra is a good investment for da future, n Mendis in superb form. keep playing them.... Chandimal should perform well in T20 squad for keep his place in playing 11.

  • POSTED BY Maduwantha on | August 1, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Sri Lanka is performing well and blending new talent and experience better than all the other teams. I can not understand why people so worried about seniors when they perform well. It is something like a tree and we try to cut them when it gives the best harvest. We did the same mistake with Aravinda when ever we put him to the side he scored but most of the time we drop him to groom youngsters. We were succeed with this strategy in 1988 when we get a new set of players. But it took around 8 years to produce results. That time it is ok as we are not a top side. If we drop all the seniors we will have to start from the begining. Now we are a top side and why should we go to zero. Therefore we always should play best possible side. We may rotate few youngsters. Should give them exposure in A sides and Board XI etc. If we drop seniors targeting 2015 world cup and loose all current matches and if we could not win the world cup then what is the purpose. No need of any descrimination.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    A very good selection or the T20

  • POSTED BY Udendra on | August 1, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    really? Chandimal is a T20 player? you must be kidding.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    I don't even think Chandimal should make it to playing 11. What a joke he is being the captain. He can't even hit a 6 properly out of the ground yet. Malinga would make a better captain than both Matthews and Chandimal. He has the knowledge, skill and experience for it.

  • POSTED BY ndmm on | August 1, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    I don't understand why kusal is getting more and more chances ? now he has got 7 innings and scored 25 runs .why don't you try dilshan munaweera he gets in T20 only 1 chance ,if he couldn't performed he is out from the squad. must give more chances for young guys to get in touch,

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | August 1, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    Forget about resting seniors. We need to play our best eleven at all times. If there are quite a few seniors in the best eleven, then so be it. All this talk about giving young ones opportunities has a limit to it. It has to be done while winning matches. Winning is the critical thing. Everything else is subsidiary. It is plain stupid to lose now so that we can win later!

  • POSTED BY Hg1987 on | August 1, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    WOW yay! yay! Kula back :D

  • POSTED BY SHER-A-PANJAB on | July 31, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    SRI LANKA still has Sngakara ,Mahela,Malinga in t-20 squad..it means they feel insecure still against inexperienced and losing SA squad meanwhile they play in S.Lanka...this series both teams has a big difference according streng....SA need aggression ...more aggression to win .....they lack it ...good luck SA

  • POSTED BY Karnain on | July 31, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    How unlucky Angelo Perera is. In the 3 international matches he played only got one innings to bat (under difficult circumstances) & only got one over to ball. SL should only play 2 of the 3 senior batsmen in each game. Kusal & Anjelo Perera must be picked for all 3 matches and there shoud be 2 front line spinners always.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    good selection 1 dilsan 2 mahela 3 sanga 4 mathew 5 candimal 6 sachitra 7kulasakara 8 ajantha 9 malinga 10 tisara 11 jeevan mendies ( all rounder) this my team

  • POSTED BY sanath100 on | July 31, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    1. Kusal, 2. Dilshan, 3. Sanga, 4. Mahela 5. chandimal, 6. Thirumane, 7. Mathew 8. Perera, 9. Kulasekara, 10. Satcha, 11. Malinga

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | July 31, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    When we have our T20 rank no.1 position on the line, I think that its foolish to rest all over key players n deploy an inexperienced bunch against a strong team like South Africa, as many experts suggest here. Its imperative that our senior players should play along side with young players n set examples by winning games. As a die hard SL fan, I wanna see our team win n I'm not ready to take no for an answer. Giving opportunities to young bloods doesn't mean that we should send 11 inexperienced cubs against a strong opposition n later watch 'em getting massacred. I think (so does SLC ) that we should deploy our strongest n most balanced team for 1st 2 games. Of course there will be some spots to be filled by some of our young guns. I hope we will win this T20 series 3-0. Go Lions !!!!

  • POSTED BY 6pack on | July 31, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    I honestly believe Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela should be rested for the T20s... not just to give the younger guys a real look-in, but also to rest them. At their age (36,37) these guys need to be managed if they are to last until the next World Cup. In a 20 over game, having these guys bat at the top generally means the younger guys come in with rarely any time at all to adjust, hence more often than not the younger batch of guys fail to score any runs at all.

  • POSTED BY kevepere on | July 31, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    jeewan and angelo should be given to bat higher up the order. hope these two would get picked regularly for odis aswel. It's time the youngsters get the responsibility. Play 2 of the big 3 always to groom the youngsters 1. Mahela/ Dilshan 2. Thirimanne 3. Chandimal 4. Sanga/Mahela 5.Jeewan 6. Angelo 7. Mathews 8. Thisara 9. Sachithra/Herath 10. NKule/Herath 11. Malinga/N Kule This will help the youngsters to play more. And this would help sri lanka more when the big 3 retires...

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    Team 1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Chandimal 4.Sanga 5.Mahela 6.Thisara 7.Mathews 8.Kulasekara 9.Malinga 10.Herath 11.Ajantha

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 31, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    Don't understand why Malinga is made VC for T20s these days. He never captains anything, anywhere else. When Mathews sat out first 2 ODIs against SA, Thirimanne was made VC to Chandimal. Since Thirimanne is also in the squad, why was he ignored now? Also, despite his mediocre performances in CT and in WI, Jeevan Mendis is back in the team. He was given umpteen chances over the years and never delivered. Rest of team pretty much selects itself.

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  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 31, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    Don't understand why Malinga is made VC for T20s these days. He never captains anything, anywhere else. When Mathews sat out first 2 ODIs against SA, Thirimanne was made VC to Chandimal. Since Thirimanne is also in the squad, why was he ignored now? Also, despite his mediocre performances in CT and in WI, Jeevan Mendis is back in the team. He was given umpteen chances over the years and never delivered. Rest of team pretty much selects itself.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    Team 1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Chandimal 4.Sanga 5.Mahela 6.Thisara 7.Mathews 8.Kulasekara 9.Malinga 10.Herath 11.Ajantha

  • POSTED BY kevepere on | July 31, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    jeewan and angelo should be given to bat higher up the order. hope these two would get picked regularly for odis aswel. It's time the youngsters get the responsibility. Play 2 of the big 3 always to groom the youngsters 1. Mahela/ Dilshan 2. Thirimanne 3. Chandimal 4. Sanga/Mahela 5.Jeewan 6. Angelo 7. Mathews 8. Thisara 9. Sachithra/Herath 10. NKule/Herath 11. Malinga/N Kule This will help the youngsters to play more. And this would help sri lanka more when the big 3 retires...

  • POSTED BY 6pack on | July 31, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    I honestly believe Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela should be rested for the T20s... not just to give the younger guys a real look-in, but also to rest them. At their age (36,37) these guys need to be managed if they are to last until the next World Cup. In a 20 over game, having these guys bat at the top generally means the younger guys come in with rarely any time at all to adjust, hence more often than not the younger batch of guys fail to score any runs at all.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | July 31, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    When we have our T20 rank no.1 position on the line, I think that its foolish to rest all over key players n deploy an inexperienced bunch against a strong team like South Africa, as many experts suggest here. Its imperative that our senior players should play along side with young players n set examples by winning games. As a die hard SL fan, I wanna see our team win n I'm not ready to take no for an answer. Giving opportunities to young bloods doesn't mean that we should send 11 inexperienced cubs against a strong opposition n later watch 'em getting massacred. I think (so does SLC ) that we should deploy our strongest n most balanced team for 1st 2 games. Of course there will be some spots to be filled by some of our young guns. I hope we will win this T20 series 3-0. Go Lions !!!!

  • POSTED BY sanath100 on | July 31, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    1. Kusal, 2. Dilshan, 3. Sanga, 4. Mahela 5. chandimal, 6. Thirumane, 7. Mathew 8. Perera, 9. Kulasekara, 10. Satcha, 11. Malinga

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    good selection 1 dilsan 2 mahela 3 sanga 4 mathew 5 candimal 6 sachitra 7kulasakara 8 ajantha 9 malinga 10 tisara 11 jeevan mendies ( all rounder) this my team

  • POSTED BY Karnain on | July 31, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    How unlucky Angelo Perera is. In the 3 international matches he played only got one innings to bat (under difficult circumstances) & only got one over to ball. SL should only play 2 of the 3 senior batsmen in each game. Kusal & Anjelo Perera must be picked for all 3 matches and there shoud be 2 front line spinners always.

  • POSTED BY SHER-A-PANJAB on | July 31, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    SRI LANKA still has Sngakara ,Mahela,Malinga in t-20 squad..it means they feel insecure still against inexperienced and losing SA squad meanwhile they play in S.Lanka...this series both teams has a big difference according streng....SA need aggression ...more aggression to win .....they lack it ...good luck SA

  • POSTED BY Hg1987 on | August 1, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    WOW yay! yay! Kula back :D