Sports

SL ODI squad named for Windies series

The Sri Lanka ODI squad for the upcoming series against West Indians was announced by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Wednesday (19). A few big names are making a comeback.

SLC initially named a 20-member preliminary squad for both the ODIs and T20Is against the Windies.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, and Kusal Mendis are returning to the squad after almost seven months. They last appeared in ODIs against Bangladesh in July 2019 and thereafter skipped the last Pakistan ODIs citing security reasons.

According to the Chairman of selectors Asantha De Mel wicket-keeper batsman Dickwella will not play the 1st ODI as he has been diagnosed with fever. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis are the other wicket-keepers in the squad.

Thisara in after decent BPL performance

Thisara Perera who performed decently in the Bangadesh Premier League, is making a comeback to the national setup after he was dropped from the squad last August for the New Zealand T20Is.

But Perera will have to compete with Dasun Shanaka for a spot in the playing XI. Seamer Nuwan Pradeep, who was sidelined due to a knee injury, has fully recovered and will share the new ball with Lahiru Kumara and Isuru Udana

The centurion of Sri Lanka’s last ODI, Dhanushka Gunathilaka will miss the ODI series as he is suffering from a back injury. The Captain of that ODIs in Pakistan, Lahiru Thirimanne, also failed to find a spot in the final 15.

There were some concerns as to why Upul Tharanga, who batted well in the first practice match against the West Indies this week to score a century, has been omitted from the squad. Apparently the opener has no spot available in the present squad and his evident form will only pressure the top-order batsmen in the squad to perform better if they are to retain their places in the future series.

Sri Lanka ODI Squad

Dimuth Karunaratne (Capt.), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Shehan Jayasuriya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, and Lahiru Kumara

So far, the two countries have met each other 57 times in ODIs and West Indies has won 28 times against Sri Lanka’s 26. Last time the West Indies visited Sri Lanka, they were whitewashed 3-0 by the hosts under the captaincy of Angelo Mathews.

Schedule

1st ODI – 22 February – SSC

2nd ODI – 26 February – Hambantota

3rd ODI – 01 March – Pallekele