Sri Lanka women decided to stick with more or less the same squad that was whitewashed by England in the ODI series, making only a few tweaks for the three-match T20I series starting on Sunday. Hansima Karunaratne, Sugandika Kumari and Inoshi Priyadharshani retained their spots, having been brought in for the ODIs, while the uncapped 24-year-old Madushika Meththananda also found a place.
Making way were teenagers Tharika Sewwandi and Kavisha Dilhari, and the veteran pair of Prasadani Weerakkody and Udeshika Prabodhani. Weerakody and Prabodhani have played 93 T20Is and 106 ODIs between them, but poor form meant both players were left out of the playing XI by the end of the ODI series.
Following a forgettable T20 World Cup campaign in November, the Sri Lankan selectors had voiced their desire to give younger players a chance, which could bode well for Meththananda and the 17-year-old Umesha Thimashini.
Thimashini had been left out of the ODI squad but retained her place in the T20I setup where her offspin may be of more use. Meanwhile, Meththananda, who bowls right-arm medium-pace, has been part of several squads in the past is yet to get a game. With Sri Lanka's bowlers having thus far struggled to trouble England to any reasonable extent, and with the team playing just one seamer in the final ODI, Meththananda may find herself with some game time this time around.
Just like their ODI record, Sri Lanka's T20I record against England is not promising. The two sides have faced each other five times in T20Is with England emerging winners on each occasion.
All three T20Is will be played at the P Sara Oval.
Squad: Chamari Atapattu (capt), Umesha Thimashini, Anushka Sanjeewani, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Samarawickrema, Sashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Inoshi Priyadarshani, Imalka Mendis, Achini Kulasooriya, Madushika Meththananda, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe