Dimuth Karunaratne was left out of the 17 man test squad to the West Indies after being termed unfit with a fractured left index finger during training a fortnight ago. Instead, the selectors included uncapped 31-year-old batsman Mahela Udawatte who did quite well in the four day Super Provincial test tournament.
Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, and Asitha Fernando are also set to make their test debut in the three-match series. Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side and Mathews’ return will help him in terms of experience.
Sri Lanka Test Squad to West Indies
Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews (subject to fitness), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal (subject to fitness), Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando.
Dimuth Karunaratne was set to recover and return to play in the 2nd Test but the selectors cautiously decided against it in the last minute.
“Dimuth’s case was touch and go. The medical team was of the view that he could make it for the second Test. But we were keen to not to rush him like we have done with other players in the past and allow him to regain full fitness and be ready for the home series against South Africa,” said Graeme Labrooy. (Cricbuzz)
Moreover, the selectors may keep Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath out of the 3rd and final test as a measure to reduce the current workload.
“Rangana will be only playing two Tests. We will play him in the first Test and then take a call. Most probably he will skip the final Test, which will be a pink-ball game where seamers will come in handy. Rangana bowls around 30 overs per innings and it is quite tough on him. Suranga most probably will play two Tests as well. We want to protect him with the World Cup in mind,” added Labrooy. (Cricbuzz)
The first Test will commence on the 6th of June 2018 at Port of Spain. Sri Lanka has never won a Test series in the Caribbean.
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