Lankans name four uncapped players for Aussie Tests
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka have named four uncapped players in a 15-man squad for the three-match Test series against Australia starting next week.
Asitha Fernando, an 18-year-old fast bowler who has played just two first-class games, and fast-bowler Vishwa Fernando, are likely to be given Test caps during the series as Sri Lanka deals with a series of injuries and a suspension to its seamers.
Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera were injured during the Test series in England, while Shaminda Eranga was suspended by the International Cricket Council after his bowling action was shown to be illegal.
Suranga Lakmal, who was also injured in England, has recovered well enough to retain his place, while Dhananjaya de Silva, who has played limited-over matches for Sri Lanka, is also included in the squad.
Left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan and prolific first-class batsman Roshen Silva are the other new players named by selectors.
Lahiru Thirimanne, also injured during the recent series against England, and Milinda Siriwardene, who was also part of that tour, were left out.
Asitha Fernando has collected eight wickets in his two first-class matches, while Vishwa has 127 wickets from 44 first-class matches. Sandakan has taken 155 wickets from 34 matches.
Roshen Silva's batting average is more than 50 in first-class matches with 5,514 runs, including 17 centuries.
The squad, led by Angelo Mathews, has eight specialist batsmen, four fast bowlers and three spinners, including veteran Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera.
The first Test begins in Pallekele next Tuesday.
The squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Suranga Lakmal.