Colombo: Sri Lanka have picked four specialist spinners to play Australia in the upcoming ODI tri-series as well as T20 internationals. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath will be the spearhead along with Ajantha Mendis, Jeewan Mendis and teenager Akila Dhananjaya.
The left-handed opener Upul Tharanga returns to the top-order to partner Tillekaratne Dilshan. The absence of Kumar Sangakkara has paved the way for the young Dinesh Chandimal and the left-handed middle-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanna to establish their positions in the Sri Lankan batting order.
Sangakkara, who was hit on the fingers by Mitchell Johnson during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, has been ruled out for the remainder of the tour. He is nursing a fractured finger. Sri Lanka's bowling which looked innocuous during the two Tests so far would be strengthened by the return of Lasith Malinga.
Malinga, allrounders Thisara Perera and Jeewan Mendis were all playing in the ongoing Big Bash T20 domestic series. As the squad was being announced here medium pace bowler Shaminda Eranga who is already in Australia with the Test squad suffered an ankle injury forcing him out of the game for three weeks. The 22-year-old wicket-keeper batsman Kushal Perera is the only uncapped member in the squad.
Squad: Mahela Jayawardena (Capt), Angelo Mathews (Vice-Capt), TM Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanna, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhanajaya, Ajantha Mendis, Jeewan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Kushal Janith Perera and Shaminda Eranga.