Jayasuriya, Wellalage picked ahead of Jayawickrama, Embuldeniya for Pakistan Tests

Jayawickrama, Embuldeniya were the main spinners in the original squad against Australia

Prabath Jayasuriya struck twice in an over, Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test, Galle, July 11, 2022

Prabath Jayasuriya had a memorable Test debut against Australia  •  Getty Images

Left-arm spinners Praveen Jayawickrama and Lasith Embuldeniya have been left out of Sri Lanka's 18-member squad for the two-match Test series against Pakistan starting July 16.
The more inexperienced left-arm spinners, Prabath Jayasuriya, who picked up a record 12 wickets on Test debut against Australia, and uncapped Dunith Wellalage, who were drafted in the Covid-hit squad ahead of the second Test last week, have been included.
Both Embuldeniya and Jayawickrama have been dropped on account of modest form. Embuldeniya claimed only one wicket and went for 177 in his last two Tests, Jayawickrama went wicketless and conceded 155 in a Test in Dhaka, in May.
Although 19-year-old Wellalage has not played a Test, he was the top-wicket-taker in Sri Lanka's ODI series win against Australia. He also offers some batting down the order.
In selecting the squad, Sri Lanka have also taken the unusual step of naming two wicketkeepers - incumbent Niroshan Dickwella, as well as Dinesh Chandimal, who has played as a specialist batter in the last two series.
There are no real surprises on the batting front. Kamindu Mendis secures a place after having made a half-century in his first Test innings this week.
The first Test will be played from July 16 in Galle, followed by the second from July 24 in Colombo. The series will be part of the World Test Championship, in which Sri Lanka are placed third and Pakistan fourth.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Prabath Jayasuriya, Dunith Wellalage, Jeffrey Vandersay