Off-spinner Ashian Daniel is the lone new face in an 18-member Sri Lanka squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series in India, the country's cricket board said on Monday. (More Cricket News)
All-rounder Dasun Shanaka was named the captain of the team that is largely similar to the one that played Australia in a five-match series there.
The visitors, though, will be without the services of batter Avishka Fernando, seamer Nuwan Thushara and spinner Ramesh Mendis as the trio returns home after suffering injuries during the just-concluded tour of Australia, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a release.
Sri Lanka, who suffered a 1-4 loss to Australia, will begin their tour of India with the first T20I in Lucknow on February 24, with the other two matches scheduled in Dharamsala on February 26 and 27.
There was be no room for middle-order batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who has again been ignored owing to fitness issues, even though his performance has been decent. Daniel has been rewarded for his excellent List A form. Daniel's inclusion is, however, subject to ministerial approval, the release said.
The team also boasts of Pathum Nissanka, who was the most successful batter in Australia, scoring 184 runs. Shanaka made 116 runs in the five T20s in Australia.
Dushmantha Chameera took seven wickets in Australia and will continue to lead the pace bowling attack for the Lankans. Maheesh Theekshana (5) and Wanindu Hasaranga (5) were the most successful bowlers during the tour Down Under.
Hasaranga was picked for a whopping 10.75 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recent IPL auction, while Theekshana was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 70 lakh and the duo will be expected to play key roles for the Lankans in India.
The squad was also approved by the country’s Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, the release said.
Sri Lanka T20 Squad: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka (VC), Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashian Daniel (subject to ministerial approval).