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News

Jeffrey Vandersay named in Sri Lanka Test squad for Australia series

Having missed the Bangladesh Tests through injury, opener Pathum Nissanka also returns to the Test fold

Jeffrey Vandersay finished with match figures of 8 for 167, Sri Lanka Board President's XI v Pakistanis, third day, Colombo, June 13, 2015

Jeffrey Vandersay has never played a Test, but is an experienced hand in first-class cricket  •  Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images

Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay has broken into Sri Lanka's Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia on the back of his performances in the ODIs. Having missed the Bangladesh Tests through injury, opener Pathum Nissanka also returns to the Test fold, and is expected to slot back into the starting XI.
Allrounders Kamindu Mendis and Chamika Karunaratne have also been retained, having been with the Test side in Bangladesh. There are no major omissions. Uncapped players Kamil Mishara, and Suminda Lakshan, who had both been in the squad for the previous series, are the ones who make way for Vandersay and Nissanka.
Vandersay has never played a Test, but is an experienced hand in first-class cricket, with 233 wickets at that level, at an average of 26.92. He took five wickets across four matches in the ODI series just-concluded. But Dunith Wellalage, who took a series-topping nine wickets, has not quite made it into the squad, only finding a place in the standby list. Nineteen-year-old Wellalage has only 11 first-class games on his ledger, however.
Vandersay is the only wristspinner in a squad featuring left-arm spinners Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama, and Ramesh Mendis. On the seam bowling front, Sri Lanka have Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando, who had been penetrative in Bangladesh, as well as left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando. Dilshan Madushanka, the uncapped left-arm seamer, is in the squad as well.
The batting contingent contains no real surprises. Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka are likely to open. The rest of the top order is likely to be comprised of Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Dinesh Chandimal, with Niroshan Dickwella likely to take the gloves and bat at No. 7. With Chandimal also capable of keeping in a Test match, Sri Lanka do have options, however.
Both Tests will be played in Galle. The first one starts on July 29.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt.), Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Jeffrey Vandersay

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf