Lanka picks 4 spinners against Australia

Sri Lankan selectors picked four specialist spinners in a provisional 15-man squad for the first test against Australia beginning Monday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Galle:Sri Lankan selectors today picked four specialist spinners in a provisional 15-man squad for the first test against Australia beginning Monday. In the Sri Lankan selection, leg spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi was recalled to aid star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, off spinner Kumar Dharmasena and leg spinner Upul Chandana at the southern city of Galle. The Galle pitch traditionally favours spinners and has been a good hunting ground for Muralitharan. The squad will be formally announced later today after the sports ministry gives its approval. The selectors also called up left-arm fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa after an impressive comeback during the last month's one-day series. He is expected to share the new ball with Chaminda Vaas. Opener Avishka Gunwardene, who scored 70 against Australia in its recent practice match, returns after a long absence from the national team. Sri Lanka are expected to play seven batsmen in its final playing XI, including Kumar Sangakkara, who will keep wicket, plus four specialist bowlers, at least two of which will be spinners. Aus troubles The Australian team, meanwhile, was having a selection problem with Brett Lee in doubt because of an ankle injury and too many inform batsmen vying for selection. Lee, who hurt his ankle in a 3-day warm-up match yesterday, was suffering from pain in his left ankle. "I won't put myself in a position where I don't feel 100 per cent to go into a test match. If I do the right things hopefully I'll be ready by Monday but it not, then the second Test," Lee said. Sri Lanka and Australia are to play three Test matches in Galle, Kandy and Colombo. Sri Lanka won the last series between the two teams 1-0 in 1999. Sri Lanka squad from: Hashan Tillakaratne (captain), Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Avishka Gunawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Dharmasena, Upul Chandana, Kaushal Lokuarachchi. (AP)

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