Sri Lanka leave out Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera for New Zealand T20Is

Angelo Mathews last played a T20I in August 2018
August 24, 2019

Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are among the most high-profile omissions from Sri Lanka's squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, along with the likes of Suranga Lakmal and Dhananjaya de Silva. The selectors have named a youthful squad, with only two players above the age of 30 - captain Lasith Malinga and seam bowler Isuru Udana. Niroshan Dickwella, who was not picked in the World Cup squad or for the home ODIs that followed, has been named vice-captain of the team.

The selectors are understood to have dropped Mathews on account of what they felt was a modest scoring rate at the beginning of his innings. Concerns about his running between the wickets also persist. Thisara, meanwhile, had a poor World Cup and is believed to have lost form considerably following an excellent year in 2018.

The squad features no fewer than five frontline seam bowlers - Malinga leading a cohort that includes Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and the recalled Lahiru Madushanka, in addition to Udana. Akila Dananjaya has also been named despite a big cloud hanging over his head, in the form of a biomechanics assessment that he must pass in order to avoid a year's suspension. Left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan and legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga are the other spinners.

Avishka Fernando, the 22-year-old batsman who impressed at the World Cup, is among the top-order options in the squad. Middle-order hitter Dasun Shanaka has been recalled as well.

The three T20Is will all be played in Pallekele, the first on September 1.

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