Jayan Kaushal Silva
May 27, 1986, Colombo
Right hand bat
A collected right-hand batsman with a firm technique, Kaushal Silva churned out hundred after hundred in first-class cricket until the sheer volume in his output could no longer be ignored by the national selectors. His erstwhile omission had largely been because of the surfeit of wicketkeepers in Sri Lanka's Test squad. He had perhaps made enough runs to vindicate place on his batting alone, but the nuances of balancing a side and the quest to groom young batsmen for the future had kept a Test spot out of reach.
Silva's voracious first-class appetite was finally rewarded when Tillakaratne Dilshan's retirement made an opening spot available in the Test XI. Silva had hit 27 first-class tons by the time he was granted an extended run in the side, and that in a position where he has not often batted in domestic cricket.
His grit and determination were evident in his tour of the UAE in January 2014, where he made two important scores of over 80 and a 95 against Pakistan. Equally encouraging has been the energy and enthusiasm he has brought to the team - perhaps virtues that sustained him during the long stretches knocking on the selectors' door. A maiden Test ton in Dhaka shortly after the UAE series added force to the notion that he could consistently bring stability to the top order.
Silva had played three Tests, largely as a fill-in wicketkeeper, in 2011, but was unable to capitalise on those chances. His cricket-coach father is said to have been a key influence on his cricket - something he shares with Kumar Sangakkara, who had been among Silva's champions before his emergence at the top level.
In April 2016, he suffered a mild concussion when he was hit on the head while fielding at short leg in a practice game in the lead up to Sri Lanka's season. He was airlifted to a Colombo hospital as a precautionary measure, before being given a clean bill of health a couple of days later.
Andrew Fidel Fernando
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