Sri Lanka has made two changes for the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe starting at Harare Sports Club on January 19 with fast bowler Suranga Lakmal returning to the fold. Lakmal missed out the last Test series in Pakistan in December due to dengue contraction. He replaces young fast bowler Asitha Fernando.
Meanwhile, wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera has been omitted while the rest of the squad remains unchanged from the one that toured Pakistan.
Skippered by opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, the squad took wing for Zimbabwe on Tuesday, January 15. Sri Lanka will meet Zimbabwe in the first test in Harare from January 19-23 and the second test from January 27-31. The Tests are not part of the ICC Test Championships.
The Lankan squad is a mixture of youth and experience and the presence of former captain Dinesh Chandimal, who returned to big time cricket with a bang scoring a century against Pakistan following a longtime sidelining, is significant while interestingly left hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne too has retained his place. Kusal Mendis who has had a very lean run has been given another chance.
It will be a testing tour for Zimbabwe who last played a Test match in November 2018 when they did well to draw a two-Test tour against Bangladesh. Zimbabwe will be led by Sean Williams will against Sri Lanka having taken over from Hamilton Masakadza who retired after the series against Bangladesh. He has subsequently been appointed the director of Zimbabwe Cricket.
Zimbabwe cricket has been hit by sanctions imposed on their cricket board by the ICC for. Zimbabwe returns to big time cricket following a three-month suspension by the ICC over government interference.
SRI LANKA SQUAD:
Dimuth Karunaratne (Capt.), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Candimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha Lskshan Sandakan.
By Srian Obeyesekere