COLOMBO: Sri Lanka all-rounder and former skipper Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi next week with a calf injury, but the uncapped Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva and Lahiru Gamage are in the squad.
Middle-order batsman Silva could be given the chance to make a late Test debut for his country at the age of 28, along with fast bowler Gamage, who is a year older. Silva was called up by Sri Lanka last year, but did not play.
At 22, wicketkeeper-batsman Samarawickrama is the youngest of the trio but has represented his country at the U-19 level.
Opener Kaushal Silva is back in the squad for the first time since January. The 31-year-old has not been called up since his first-ball duck against South Africa at the Wanderers on Jan 14.
Lahiru Thirimanne will add experience to Sri Lanka’s batting line-up in the absence of the injured Mathews after being given the nod for the first time since the tour of England in June last year.
There was also a recall for seamer Suranga Lakmal, who missed the second and third Tests against India last month with a back injury.
Sri Lanka will be hoping for a better showing in the two-Test series with Pakistan after being whitewashed 3-0 by India at home last month, in what was one of the most one-sided Test series of recent times.
The first Test against Pakistan begins on Sept 28 while the second starts on Oct 6 in Dubai and will be a day-night affair.
Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishva Fernando, Lahiru Gamage.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2017