Batsman Asela Gunaratne continued to miss out with a thumb injury and veteran fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara also faced the axe as Sri Lanka announced its 15-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against India. The first of five ODI's in the series takes place in Dambulla on Sunday.
Sri Lanka will be looking to right their wrongs after a dismal Test series when they face the Men in Blue in the limited overs format next. And in an attempt to shake things up a bit the SLC board announced a slightly changed side for the 5-match ODI series which includes a few debutants as well.
However, their injury woes continue as they still have to make do without batsman Asela Gunaratne, who is still recovering from a thumb injury suffered during the first Test at Galle. He could be replaced by all- rounders Thisara Perera or Milinda Siriwardana, who have been off the radar for quite some time now.
While Perera was ignored for Sri Lanka’s home series against Zimbabwe, Siriwardana's was last seen in national colours against Bangladesh in March- April this year. Apart from him, experienced fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara was surprisingly ignored alongside Asitha Fernando and Lahiru Kumara.
The board has decided to try out recent Test debutant Malinda Pushpakumara and youngster Vishwa Fernando instead, both of whom will be making their ODI debuts.
The Lankan lions were completely outplayed in all three departments of the game during the Test series and it resulted in India managing to clean sweep the series 3-0. And given their shambolic performance in all three Tests, an overall improvement is needed from the home side and ODI skipper Upul Tharanga has urged his nation to support the side in such trying times.
"Sri Lanka have always been stronger in our white-ball format, and I am confident that we will come out strong and beat India. We have the talent, we have the skill. We have been putting in the hard work, we just need the spirit, and for that, we need your support too,” said the skipper.
ODI Squad: Upul Tharanga (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.