Kusal Mendis picked for the England/Ireland ODIs

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Kusal Mendis

The exciting right-handed batsman Kusal Mendis has been picked in the Sri Lanka ODI squad for the England & Ireland ODI series’ which commence on the 16th of June.

After the conclusion of the three-match Test series, Sri Lanka will travel to the capital of Ireland, Dublin to play two ODIs before returning to England to play five ODIs and a single T20I game.

Mendis, 21, has been impressive so far on the tour of England, scoring heavily at the no. 3 position in the Test matches and will most probably make his debut at the no.3 position in the ODI team as well. With just 14 list A games to his name, Mendis averages only 18 in the shorter formants of the game domestically.

Left-arm fast-bowler Chaminda Bandara, hard-hitting all-rounder Dasun Shanaka and rookie batting all-rounder Dhananjaya De Silva have also been named in the Sri Lanka ODI squad for the first time.

Fast-bowling all-rounder Farveez Maharoof, opening batsman Upul Tharanga and off-spinner Suraj Randiv have earned recalls after long layoffs. Maharoof ended as the top wicket-taker in the Premier Limited Overs Tournament 2015/16 with 16 wickets from 5 matches at a superb average of 6.31. He last played an ODI for Sri Lanka in 2012 against Bangladesh.

Tharanga last played for Sri Lanka in 2014 against India but has been scoring heavily in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League, amassing 386 runs in 7 matches with 4 four half-centuries. Randiv, captained his hometown club, Galle CC, in the Premier Limited Overs Tournament and finished as their leading wicket-taker with 7 wickets in 5 matches. He last played for Sri Lanka in November 2014, touring India for a five match ODI series.

Sri Lanka last played ODI cricket in December, 2015 against New Zealand where the latter won the series convincingly, 3-1. Captain Angelo Mathews, Vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Pradeep, Danushka Gunathilake and Suranga Lakmal are the only survivors from that series defeat to be renamed for the England/Ireland ODIs.

Shaminda Eranga has also been named for the ODIs with the long injury-list of fast bowlers including Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera and Dhammika Prasad.

Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake and Thisara Perera, who have regularly featured in Sri Lanka’s limited overs teams are the notable absentees while Jeffrey Vandersay will sit out the series as he is still recovering from a finger injury he sustained prior to the England tour.

Milinda Siriwardana has also been left out due to his ankle injury which he sustained prior to the 3rd Test between Sri Lanka and England at Lord’s. The selectors have named 8 specialist batsmen, 2 spinners and 6 fast-bowlers in the squad.

Sri Lanka ODI squadAngelo Mathews (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal (Vice-Captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Danushka Gunathilake, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suraj Randiv, Dasun Shanaka, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Chaminda Bandara, Shaminda Eranga.

Sri Lanka vs England fixture