Zimbabwe in Sri Lanka 2017 July 12, 2017

Dhananjaya de Silva dropped for Zimbabwe Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side for the first time in Tests, after Angelo Mathews resigned © AFP

Allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva has been dropped for Sri Lanka's one-off Test against Zimbabwe, which begins in Colombo on Friday. Batsman Kusal Perera and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep will miss the game with injuries, while fast bowlers Vishwa Fernando and Dushmantha Chameera return to the squad.

Limited-overs opener Danushka Gunathilaka, meanwhile, made his first entry into a Test squad, thanks largely to his excellent ODI form over the past six weeks. Gunathilaka scored 323 runs at an average of 64.60 to top the run charts in the recent Zimbabwe series, and had also made 76 in Sri Lanka's Champions Trophy victory over India, at the Oval.

Angelo Mathews, who missed Sri Lanka's previous Test series - against Bangladesh at home in March - due to a hamstring injury that kept him out for several months in the first half of the year, also returned to the squad. Having quit as captain in all formats on Tuesday, Mathews will not be leading in a Test for the first time since 2013. It will be Dinesh Chandimal's first Test as captain.

De Silva's exclusion is surprising on two fronts. First, he had suggested he was a batsman of substantial promise when he top-scored in Sri Lanka's triumphant series against Australia last year. Second, he has prospered against Zimbabwe in the recent past, making scores of 25, 64, 127 and 9 in four Test innings against them in October and November last year. De Silva was said to have suffered an ankle injury in the recent past, but is now fully fit and available for selection.

Despite Pradeep's absence, the return of Chameera adds an edge to the seam attack. Between him and Lahiru Kumara, Sri Lanka have, for the first time in years, two bowlers who can consistently clock 145kph on the speed gun. Suranga Lakmal is the sole experienced hand from among the quicks, with left-armer Vishwa Fernando having only played one Test as well.

The spin attack, meanwhile, bore no surprises. Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan made up the frontline contingent. Asela Gunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka also provide slow-bowling options.

Niroshan Dickwella is likeliest to take the gloves, with Chandimal now captaining the side. The one-off Test begins in Khettarama on Friday, and follows Sri Lanka's 3-2 defeat to Zimbabwe in the ODI series.

Squad Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lal on July 14, 2017, 18:17 GMT

    ZIM already grasped the opportunity to break ice in test points in matter of another four days earning either win or draw. SL has to struggle to avoid another humiliating defeat. If Pushpacumara was picked, another four wickets taken and SL would have been in driving seat. No surprise either, Vishwa is benched too. Not much captain can do about it. Because all time worse selectors &co have not stepped down after sliding SL to 8th in ODI ranking and guiding SL to be 9th after WI-ENG series and SL-IND series. Enjoy Caribbean vacation package!

  •   cricfan25036796 on July 14, 2017, 2:55 GMT

    I dont want to see mathews as captain for any format,

  • Jury on July 13, 2017, 12:09 GMT

    Where're those selectors? Can anyone tell me why they don't select Malinda Pushpakumara at least for one test match after being the highest wicket taker from almost every year 2012/13/14/15.. DO SL HAVE BETTER BOWLERS than him at the moment to continuously ignore him like this. WHAT A SHAME. Just look at his records ... http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/50205.html Unbelievable....

  • Arooz on July 13, 2017, 11:58 GMT

    Since last year Malinda Pushpakumara's name is popping up in the comments. Why SLC is not trying him.

  • Cricinfouser on July 13, 2017, 11:34 GMT

    As an interested Englishman, why the omission of Malinda Pushpakumara? He must feel very hard done by,

  • johanan on July 13, 2017, 9:13 GMT

    As all stated below Dananjaya is a quality test batsman at 5/6. but in the last Zim tour he failed thrice and scored a 100 in 1 ings. he should be in the test squad permanently bz he adds that spin option,since we dont have a Dilshan to bowl part time spin. his technique is good than many. I think he will is slightly unfit right now and will be selected for the IND tests. yes, he was wrongly used in the SA Tour. he is never a T20 Player. pls dont select him for T20s. a Domestic 100 in few balls doesnt mean he /any other batter can whack the ball in international crkt bz the standard is very high & loose balls are very less. if SL team misses catches like this ,imagine how many catches will be dropped in our domestic games. UT & Chandi also not real T20 Players. there is Munaweera,Sriwardena etc for T20s. Pls plan for the future at least from now. to buld up teams instead of chopping & changing often. also dikwella is not a test player .poor selection.

  • hthisu3298425 on July 13, 2017, 7:04 GMT

    Dilruwan started as batsmen and ended up as a bowler, not the other way round. There can be any number of right arm spinners but two left arm spinners are the issue, another stupid logic. Even though Rangana is not in the ODIs M.Pushpakumara is not get selected.

  • Sahan on July 13, 2017, 6:39 GMT

    Where on earth is malinda pushpakumara

  • hirron on July 13, 2017, 4:52 GMT

    I cannot belief that SLC board still think DC has a place in Sri Lankan cricket after poor outing and domestic tour.He has to improve his game yet he was drag back to Sri Lankan team.We are going to Loose the Test match to Zimbabwe

  • Lakmal on July 13, 2017, 3:54 GMT

    1:Karunaratne 2:Gunathilake 3:Mendis 4:Chandimal 5:Mathews 6:Garunaratne 7:Dickwella(Wk) 8:Dickwella 9. Herath 10:Lakmal 11:Chameera

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