Sri Lanka have announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming Test series against India for the first Test at Galle, scheduled to begin from July 26. As expected, Rangana Herath will lead the side in the match in place of Dinesh Chandimal, who is recovering from pneumonia.
Upul Tharanga addressed the press conference ahead of the 2-day practice match in the absence of Chandimal, which increased the speculation of the captain’s fitness. Sri Lanka might be without Chandimal even in the second Test. The 2-day practice match between India and Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI ended in a draw, but India got good work out.
Sri Lanka have only one uncapped player in the squad. Slow left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara makes it to the squad after some impressive shows in the domestic circuit. Vishwa Fernando too makes it to the squad after having made his Test debut against Australia last year at Galle. 30-year-old Pushpakumara could be in line to make his Test debut as the third spinner after skipper Herath and Dilruwan Perera.
Lakshan Sandakan has been dropped from the squad and in comes Nuwan Pradeep, who last played a Test for Sri Lanka against South Africa earlier this year.
Sri Lanka before this series played a one-off Test against Zimbabwe, against whom they won by chasing down 388. Sri Lanka had earlier lost the ODI series against Zimbabwe after which Mathews resigned as Sri Lanka captain from all three formats.
Sri Lanka squad for first Test at Galle: Rangana Herath (c), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep