Sri Lanka cricket selectors recalled batsmen Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis and named uncapped 22-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler Shehan Madushanka in their 17-member one-day team for the Tri-Nation Series in Bangladesh later this month.
Chandimal the Sri Lanka Test captain and Mendis, one of the brightest batting prospects of Sri Lanka were left out of the one-day series against India due to poor form.
By recalling them for the Bangladesh tour, chief selector Graeme Labrooy said, “We have a short term, medium term and long term plan. Chandimal is for the long term plan that we are building. Chandimal had played over 100 ODIs and he has scored good hundreds and has a good strike rate.
The presence of the new coach coming and working with him he has shown a lot of intent and even in the last two Tests he played in India he played a little more aggressively. With a few technical changes in the last ten days he has been matching upto the strike rates of other batsmen. We are backing the coach who feels that Chandimal is essential to the team in the long term.”
On the selection of Mendis, Labrooy said, “Kusal has gone back to club cricket and got some big runs. We think he is ready to make a comeback. The new captain and coach believe in him a lot.”
“I am very happy to be back in the ODI team once again,” said Chandimal. “The coach has placed a lot of trust in me. I have played very well in ODIs only last year my form dropped. I think my best years are ahead of me and I hope to finish my career on a high.”
Whilst naming the squad the national selectors also re-appointed Angelo Mathews captain of the ODI and T20I teams.
Explaining the inclusions of uncapped fast bowler Madushanka who has played only 3 first-class matches and 3 List A games and, spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, Labrooy, a former fast bowler said, “Madushanka has pace he averages 135 plus and bowls a quicker ball at 140 plus that’s the main reason, and we are looking at pace. He is a long term investment. We were looking at (Jeffrey) Vandersay but he had an injury and has not played cricket in the last six weeks so we brought Hasaranga into the squad. He has been selected after the new coach and captain had a look at him.”
Hasaranga, the 20-year-old leg-spinner made a dream debut against Zimbabwe at Galle last year becoming only the third debutant in ODI history to claim a hat-trick.
“When you go to a World Cup we need at least 6-7 fast bowlers although we may select only four. They should have played at least 20 ODIs minimum otherwise they should be in the system with us,” said coach Hathurusingha. “Madushanka has the potential to bowl fast. In England we saw at the Champions trophy how tahe ICC prepares wickets they don’t prepare English type of wickets but good batting tracks. To be competitive we have taken Madushanka who will be good enough.”
The tri-series starts on January 15 in Dhaka with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe battling for honours.