Sri Lanka has recalled pacer Nuwan Pradeep and left-handed batsman Lahiru Thirimanne for the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand beginning in December. Pradeep could play his first Test in over a year, having last played against Pakistan in Dubai in 2017. Thirimanne last played in the series against India which Sri Lanka lost 0-1. Sri Lanka, though, have left out Akila Dananjaya, who is waiting for the outcome of the results of his reported suspect action. This will be the first full series without their ace bowler Rangana Herath, who retired from international cricket during the Galle Test against England in 2018.
Pradeep struggled in the series against Pakistan in 2017, taking just three wickets in two Tests at an average of 41 as Sri Lanka registered a historic 2-0 series win. Thirimanne scored a fifty in the first Test against India in Kolkata but struggled in their loss in Nagpur.
Sri Lanka will sorely miss the services of Dananjaya, who picked up career-best figures of 6/115 in Pallekele against England. Following the end of the first Test in Galle, Dananjaya was reported with a suspect bowling action. His action was scrutinised further under the ICC process and he missed the Colombo Test as he headed to Brisbane for assessment of his bowling action.
Dinesh Chandimal’s side has had a woeful 2018, crashing out in the first round of the Asia Cup 2018 and was whitewashed 3-0 in Tests at home against England. The whitewash was only the third time in their cricket history that they had suffered this fate. On Sri Lanka’s last tour to New Zealand in 2015/16, they were whitewashed 0-2.
The first Test will be played in Wellington from December 15 while the second Test will begin from December 26 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Sri Lanka Test squad for New Zealand
Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera