Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga will not be a part of the Lankan Test team for the next six months, Sri Lanka Cricket announced on Monday. The release has also stated that the limited-overs skipper has made the decision so as to focus on white-ball cricket after the recent debacle against India.
Tharanga has been going through a bad run of form in Test cricket this year scoring only 430 runs from eight matches but has been successful in ODIs with an average of 47.21 despite the team suffering two back-to-back 5-0 whitewashes at the hands of India and South Africa under his leadership.
As a result of his pulling out, Tharanga will not play the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates which is to be played from September 28 to October 10. The Test series will also comprise a day-night game.
Most notably, pacer Dhammika Prasad, who has been out of the team for almost two years due to a major shoulder surgery, has made a return in the squad. Kaushal Silva, who was dropped after his unimpressive performance in the South Africa tour, and Sadeera Samarawickrama - the top-scorer from this years' first-class season – have also been included in the 25-member squad, which is expected to be trimmed to a 15-man squad.
Provisional squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Roshen Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Charith Asalanka, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad
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