Exciting pacer Dushmantha Chameera makes yet another comeback to the Sri Lankan side after being named in the squad for the third Test against India, scheduled to start on Saturday (August 12) at Pallekele. Fast-medium pacer Lahiru Gamage, who made his ODI debut against India in 2014, has also been called-up.
The squad for the final Test of the series has been pruned to 15 with the omission of Danushka Gunathilaka. Rangana Herath – Sri Lanka’s second highest wicket-taking spinner – had earlier been ruled out with a mild back injury.
Chameera, who can bowl consistently in the high 140kph range, has often been plagued by injuries. He was ruled out of the England series in 2016 after sustaining a stress fracture to his lower back. He played the opening Test at Headingley before heading home. After being selected for the South Africa series later that year, he just played the lone Test at Port Elizabeth and was bowling well below his best – dropping 15kph in pace. That resulted in him being benched for the next two Tests as his side was whitewashed 0-3.
Chameera was not a part of the squad when Bangladesh visited the island nation for a two-match series, but was included in the extended squad when Zimbabwe came for a one-off game. There were murmurs of him being selected for the India series, but the selectors decided to overlook the 25-year-old. However, with Nuwan Pradeep being ruled out of the third Test due to a hamstring injury, Chameera’s got the nod.
Gamage, on the other hand, is uncapped in Tests and has just the five ODIs to show for. He was previously called up to Test squad for the second match against Pakistan in 2014 after Shaminda Eranga injured his hip.
It will be interesting to see what combination Sri Lanka go in with, considering Herath isn’t available. The squad has the mystery chinaman bowler in Lakshan Sandakan along with other spinning options in Dilruwan Perera and Malinda Pushpakumara.
Sri Lanka, who trail 0-2 in the ongoing series, will be hoping to avoid an ignominious whitewash at home for the first time since 2003-04 when a Shane Warne-inspired Australian side won on these shores.
Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (C), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Gamage, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan.