Left-arm seam bowler Isuru Udana could be in line to play an ODI after nearly seven years as Sri Lanka made wholesale changes to their squad for their forthcoming five-match series in South Africa. Udana, 31, played the last of his two ODIs in July 2012, but has forced his way back in the reckoning with a string of impressive outings for the A side against Ireland A, when he took 11 wickets from five games at 15.00.
Udana is joined in the ODI squad by fellow left-armer Vishwa Fernando who took eight wickets in Sri Lanka’s dramatic Test victory over South Africa in Durban. Dinesh Chandimal, however, continues to miss out after being axed ahead of the tour for his poor form. The former captain now runs the risk of even missing out the World Cup if he doesn’t experience an upturn in fortunes at the domestic level at the earliest. Veteran Angelo Mathews, who injured his hamstring on the tour of New Zealand, continues to miss out.
Among the nine changes Sri Lanka have made to their squad from the one that played in New Zealand is the inclusion of 23-year-old batsman Priyamal Perera, who recently scored two double hundreds in Sri Lanka’s first-class setup. Akila Dananjaya, who recently underwent testing of his bowling action in Chennai, gets a mention along with veteran batsman Upul Tharanga, who is included after a fine season in the Bangladesh Premier League. One-Test-old Oshada Fernando finds a place in the 17-man squad, as do Kamindu Mendis, Avishka Fernando and Angelo Perera.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dushmantha Chameera and Sadeera Samarickrama – all of whom were part of the New Zealand series have been left out while fast bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara miss out due to injuries.
Meanwhile, Chamika Karunaratne has been ruled out of the second Test with an injury and has been replaced in the squad by Asitha Fernando.
The five-match ODI series starts on March 3 in Johannesburg and will be followed by a three-match T20I series.
ODI Squad: Lasith Malinga (c), Avishka Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella (vc), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan
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