COLOMBO: Injured Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis has been left out of the Twenty20 and one-day squads to play New Zealand.
Mendis has not fully recovered from a side strain picked up during Sri Lanka's opening world T20 match against Zimbabwe on September 18, although he missed only one game and played in the rest of the tournament to finish as the top wicket-taker with 15 wickets at an average of 9.80.
“Ajantha played these matches taking painkillers, he has still not recovered 100 percent from the injury. He is still under treatment,” Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake said on Thursday.
Also rested from the T20 side were batsman Mahela Jayawardene, who gave up the captaincy after the world final against West Indies, and fast bowler Lasith Malinga.
On Wednesday, the national selectors appointed Angelo Mathews on a one-year term to lead Sri Lanka's T20 side and Malinga as his deputy.
With Malinga being rested for the one-off T20 against New Zealand at Pallekele on Oct. 30, fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara has been named Mathews's deputy.
The selectors picked uncapped spinners Tharindu Kaushal and Akila Dananjaya for the first three one-day matches.
“We were highly impressed by Kaushal's bowling in the under-19 World Cup in Australia,” said chief selector Ashantha de Mel.
“Kaushal is the nearest we can compare to the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan. He is a finger spinner and he also bowls the doosra. He can also bat and field which makes him a strong candidate for selection.”
Dananjaya made his international debut in the world T20 last month but has yet to appear in an ODI.
The first ODI will be at Pallekele on Nov. 1.
Sri Lanka T20 squad:
Angelo Mathews (captain), Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Akila Dananjaya, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga.
Squad for first three ODIs:
Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Akila Dananjaya, Tharindu Kaushal.