Sri Lanka has announced their Twenty20 International squad for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand starting on September 1 at Pallekele. Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews have been left out while Lasith Malinga will lead the side with Niroshan Dickwella appointed the vice-captain of the side. The 30-year-old Thisara has been struggling with both batting and bowling ever since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and he was not picked in the three-match ODIs against Bangladesh which was immediately played after the tournament. Mathews, who has shown glimpses of form in the ODIs, has struggled in the Test series against New Zealand.
The squad will be led by Lasith Malinga, who recently announced his retirement from ODIs in order to focus on Twenty20 Internationals and on the 2020 World T20 which will be played in Australia. The squad also sees the inclusion of Akila Dananjaya after he was called for a suspect bowling action. Dananjaya needs to pass a biomechanics assessment if he has to continue bowling. Failure to clear the assessment will see him being suspended from bowling for one year.
The Sri Lankan team includes five frontline bowlers as well as Avishka Fernando, who impressed everybody with his good form in the World Cup which saw him score a century against West Indies at Chester-le-Street in Durham. Apart from Malinga, the other bowlers are Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and Lahiru Madushanka, in addition to Isuru Udana. Kusal Janith Perera, who suffered a hamstring injury which forced him to miss the South Africa series, is also back for Sri Lanka.
The three-match T20I series will begin from September 1, with all games to be played in Pallekele. The second game will be played on September 3 while the series concludes with the third match on September 6.
Sri Lanka squad for the three-match T20I series vs New Zealand: Lasith Malinga (c), Niroshan Dickwella, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Janith Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Madushanka