Sri Lanka have announced T20I squad for the 3-match series against South Africa which does not include ace seamer Lasith Malinga who suffered from dengue before Christmas which in turn slowed his attempt to regain match fitness.
He won’t feature in the T20Is and ODIs and will look to make a comeback during the three-match T20 series against Australia which is scheduled to begin on 17 February 2017. The 33-year-old hasn’t played an ODI since November 2017 and he played his last T20I during the Asia Cup in February 2016.
Uncapped batting all-rounder Thikshila de Silva has been selected in the squad for the T20 series which starts from 20 January in centurion. Young spinner Lakshan Sandakan was also named in the squad having played ODIs and Tests but hasn’t played T20Is yet.
Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay who impressed in the World T20 last year has been omitted and leggie Seekkuge Prasanna has been picked up. The selectors have recalled Isuru Udana and Nuwan Kulasekara whereas Thisara Perera who is currently playing in the BBL, hasn’t found a place in the squad.
Kulasekara would be pleased with his return after giving a glimpse of form with the ball during the ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe. After struggling for some time, Kulasekara was dropped in 2015.
Their batting is packed with power hitters like Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva and Asela Gunaratne among others. Captain Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal are also back in the squad after missing out limited overs cricket in late 2016 due to injuries.
Sri Lanka’s T20I squad:
Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Seekkuge Prasanna, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Thikshila de Silva, Nuwan Kulasekara, Isuru Udana, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Lakshan Sandakan