Chandimal, Akila, Dilruwan in contention for Test squad

Dinesh Chandimal plays the ball square
Sri Lanka news August 07, 2019

Dinesh Chandimal and spinners Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera are contending for a return to Sri Lanka's Test squad, after being picked in the 22-man preliminary squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand. Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and fast bowler Lahiru Kumara also earned recalls with two uncapped players - batting allrounder Shehan Jayasuriya and fast bowler Asitha Fernando - also in the mix. This squad will be trimmed to 15 over the next week.

Angelo Mathews, who had missed the Tests against South Africa earlier this year with a hamstring issue, was also picked.

Chandimal had been dropped from the South Africa Tests, which Sri Lanka won 2-0, to regain his batting form after his poor run against Australia. He then went on to score 223 runs in five innings at an average of 55.75 in Sri Lanka's domestic domestic one-day competition, the Premier Limited Over Tournament.

Dilruwan, too, had been dropped from the South Africa tour and now returns after a stint with Colts Cricket Club in the domestic circuit, although in T20s and one-dayers. It remains to be seen whether he will make it to the final 15, however. With spinners Lasith Embuldeniya (who has been in outstanding form for the Emerging team over the last few weeks), Akila, Lakshan Sandakan and even the improving offspin of Dhananjaya de Silva to contend with, Dilruwan's place is by no means secure.

Milinda Siriwardana, who last played a Test in December 2016 and had been picked for the South Africa tour, has been left out without getting a chance on the tour.

Akila has been picked in the Test squad after he had been suspended from international cricket for an illegal action late last year. Dananjaya remodelled his action earlier this year and then played the ODIs and T20Is in South Africa before being left out of the World Cup squad.

Sri Lanka will host New Zealand for two Tests starting August 14 and 22 in Galle and at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, respectively.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando

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