New chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya mixes youth with experience ahead of series against Bangladesh.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews has been thrust upon the responsibility of leading the Test as well as the ODI side against Bangladesh in the home series next month.
Story first published on: Thursday, 14 February 2013 14:19
Dinesh Chandimal has been named Mathews' deputy in Tests and one-dayers, while the young wicket-keeper batsman has been announced as the skipper of the Twenty20 side.
The appointments, made by Sri Lanka Cricket's national selectors on Thursday, will be for a period of one year, starting February 14, 2013 and definitely aimed at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Mathews takes over the captaincy from veteran Mahela Jayawardene, who was expected to step down after the tour of Australia. Mathews was touted as a future leader for Sri Lanka during the last couple of years. He has the experience of playing 31 Tests and 90 one-day internationals and 38 T20 internationals.
Interestingly, Lasith Malinga, a specialist in the shortest format of the game, was announced as the vice-captain of the T20 side for the above-mentioned period.
The selection committee, headed by former limited-overs veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, has named a 20-man squad for the two-Test series. The four new faces in the mix, yet to play international cricket, are batsmen Ashen Silva and Kithuruwan Vithanage, seamer Dushmantha Chameera, and offspinner Tharindu Kaushal.
The notable absentees from the Test squad are out-of-form Thilan Samaraweera, opening batsman Tharanga Paranavitana and wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene.
The experienced trio of Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakratne Dilshan have been retained giving the team the right balance of youth and experience.
Sangakkara's participation in the Test series is subject to his recovery from a fractured hand, an injury he suffered on the tour of Australia.
The fast bowling line-up looks familiar with Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera, Nuwan Pradeep and Shaminda Eranga. Off-spinner Ajantha Mendis has been rewarded with a recall to Test team.
Sri Lanka will play a total of 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and a lone T20I against Bangladesh with the first Test starting March 8 at Galle.
Test squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Ashen Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Kushal Janith Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Chanaka Welegedera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal.