Colombo: Thisara Perera, the allrounder who starred in Sri Lanka’s 3-1 win in the One-Day Internationals against Pakistan, and Nuwan Kulasekara, the paceman, have been named in the 15-man Sri Lankan squad for the first Test against Pakistan.
While Angelo Mathews, the ODI vice-captain, replaced Thilan Samaraweera as the vice-captain of the Test team too, there was a call-up for Jeevan Mendis, the allrounder who has yet to make his Test debut. Samaraweera, the veteran right-hand batsman, had been the vice-captain during Sri Lanka's last Test assignment, during the home series against England in March-April.
Chanaka Welegedara, the left-arm pacer who missed the second Test against England with a groin injury, also made a comeback.
The ones to miss out were Lahiru Thirimanne, the batsman, and Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad and Shaminda Eranga, the medium pacers.
Perera has played just five Tests for Sri Lanka till date, the last being against South Africa in January. But he was the standout performer in Sri Lanka's ODI series win against Pakistan, and that clearly prompted his inclusion in the Test squad.
Kulasekara was out of the Test arena since the home series against West Indies in late 2010, while Nuwan Pradeep, another paceman making a comeback, has played just the one Test, against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last October.
The first match of the three-Test series begins in Galle on Friday.
The squad: Mahela Jayawardene (c), Angelo Mathews (vc), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Parnavithana, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Chanaka Welagedara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis.