Angelo Mathews, who was removed as Sri Lanka's ODI captain this week after the national team's poor show in the Asia Cup, has been dropped from the 15-member squad to take on England in the upcoming five-match ODI series, starting on October 10. Dinesh Chandimal will lead Sri Lanka for both the ODI and Test series versus England.
The all-rounder has been left out of the squad despite being in good nick in recent times. The seasoned campaigner has amassed 1597 runs at an average of over 48 since the 2015 World Cup. Mathews, though, has been retained in the 16-man Test squad for the three-match Test series against England, commencing on November 6.
Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made his ODI debut last year against Pakistan, has been included in Mathews's place. The top order batsman amassed 296 runs at an average of 59.2 in List A games for Galle District in the Provincial 50-over tournament this season. He also notched up his highest individual List A score (130) during the course of the tournament versus Colombo District.
Suranga Lakmal, the experienced pacer, and Kusal Mendis, the right-handed batsman, have also been left out of the set-up. Lakmal played just one game in the Asia Cup, versus Bangladesh, picking up a single scalp. Meanwhile, Mendis couldn't score a single run in the two games he played in the Asia Cup.
In Lakmal's place Nuwan Pradeep has earned a recall. Pradeep, who has struggled with a variety of injuries in the recent past, last played an ODI in January this year. Lakshan Sandakan, the chinaman bowler, who wasn't included in the squad for the Asia Cup, has made a comeback to the ODI set-up in place of Dilruwan Perera. The spinner has played 13 ODIs and bagged 16 wickets in his brief career so far. Shehan Madushanka, Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay are the standbys.
In the Test squad, Danuskha Gunathilaka, the opener, hasn't been included. The 27-year-old is still recovering from a back injury. In July, Gunathilaka was also suspended for six international matches by SLC, for an alleged breach of code of conduct regulations.
Meanwhile, Kaushal Silva, the veteran opener, has been picked for the Tests. Silva, who has accrued 2058 runs in Tests, last played for the national team against Pakistan in Dubai in 2017. Malinda Pushpakumara, the left arm spinner, who has an impressive record in first class cricket with 668 scalps at an average of just 19.46, has also been selected. Even during the current season he has been in terrific form, snaring nine wickets at 10.44 in first class games. He played a couple of Tests against India last year, taking five scalps at an average of 47.6.
Lahiru Kumara, the tearaway fast bowler who impressed in the Test series against the Windies this year, snaring 17 scalps, has been selected subject to fitness. Sri Lanka are set to play five ODIs, three Tests and one T20I against England, with the matches spread over a month.
ODI squad: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Kusal Perera.
Test squad: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara*, Lakshan Sandakan, Niroshan Dickwella.