With many injury concerns to the Sri Lankan fast-bowling arsenal, the national selectors have picked uncapped fast-bowling duo, Kasun Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara for the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe to commence on the 29th of this month.
Fast-bowler, Lahiru Gamage and middle-order batsman Asela Gunarathne have also been picked for the first time in the 15-man Test squad which will take wing to Zimbabwe on Monday night. Gamage has played five ODIs for Sri Lanka after making his debut against India in 2014 while Gunarathne played one T20I earlier this year.
Former Trinity College and Sri Lanka U19 seamer, Lahiru Kumara was called up to the Sri Lanka ODI squad against the Australians but did not play. He was exceptional in England with the U19 team taking 13 wickets in two Youth Tests and made his first-class debut against West Indies A recently.
Madushanka, a proud product of St. Servatius’ College, Matara has played 48 first-class matches and has taken 136 wickets. He represents Sinhalese Sports Club in the SLC Premier League Tournament. Gunarathne, averages 42.77 with the bat in first-class cricket for Army SC and his off-cutters could prove to be handy in Zimbabwe.
Vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal was not selected for the tour as he has not recovered from the operation to his thumb. He sustained this injury to his finger while playing a mercantile match on the 19th of September. Nuwan Pradeep who has led the fast-bowling unit several times has also not been picked due to a hamstring injury.
The selectors have picked three spinners, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan in the squad. As expected, Dimuth Karunarathne retains his place as opener after an excellent performance in two Sri Lanka A matches while wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has also found a place in the squad. Roshen Silva who was a part of that historic squad which clinched a 3-0 whitewash against Australia has been left-out of the touring party despite not playing a single game in the aforementioned series.
Sri Lanka has not played Test cricket with Zimbabwe since 2004.
Sri Lanka Test squad
Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dimuth Karunarathne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunarathne, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Madushanka.