Sri Lanka announces 18-man squad for Bangladesh Test series
Selectors named an 18-player cricket squad for the crucial red-ball series on Wednesday, with a host of key players missing as Sri Lanka chases crucial World Test Championship points.
Classy batter Roshen Silva has opted out of the Bangladesh tour, with former skipper Angelo Mathews and right-hander Dhananjaya De Silva asked to help Karunaratne out at the top of the Sri Lanka order.
Karunaratne is currently ranked sixth on the Men’s ICC Test Batting Rankings and he will be expected to provide plenty of runs and experience to a Sri Lanka side that is entering a crucial period in the World Test Championship with a home series against Australia to follow the matches in Bangladesh.
With Suranga Lakmal retired, Lahiru Kumara not on the selectors’ radar in red-ball games after a horrid display against India in the First Test and Dushmantha Chameera concentrating on white-ball cricket, Sri Lanka’s seam attack is likely to be led by left-arm Vishwa Fernando.
The other seamers included in the squad are Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, and the uncapped Dilshan Madushanka with Mathews expected to provide plenty of support.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya will lead Sri Lanka’s spin attack, with Ramesh Mendis and Praveen Jayawickrama ready to fight for the second spinner slot.
Interestingly, only Chamika Karunaratne has been named from the five Sri Lankan players who are participating in the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League, with Dushmantha Chameera, Wannindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, and Bhanuka Rajapaksha all giving the series a miss.
The two-Test series commences in Chittagong on May 15 with the series then moving to Dhaka for the second and final Test on May 23.
This will be Chris Silverwood’s first assignment as Sri Lanka’s head coach. The former England coach will look to begin his stint on a winning note.
Sri Lanka currently sits in fifth place on the World Test Championship standings, having won two Test matches and drawn another two during the 2021-23 period.
Bangladesh has won just one Test during that same period and is in the eighth position and currently only sits ahead of England.Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Suminda Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya