Sri Lanka’s T20I side for the tour of Australia was announced yesterday. Lasith Malinga will captain a full-strength Lankan side coming back from a 3-0 T20I series whitewash against Pakistan, the number one side in the format.
The young Lankan side conquered Pakistan in their own den, a victory that proved to be a huge morale booster for them. Sri Lanka will have plenty to gain from the series against Australia, with one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup next year Down Under..
Four players who skipped the Pakistan tour citing security reasons, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, and Niroshan Dickwella, have returned to the squad. Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan are expected to be the first choice spinners while Isuru Udana, Lahiru Kumara and captain Malinga will make up the fast bowling department.
Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka, two all-rounders who were a part of the T20I win in Pakistan also found a place. However, Lahiru Madushanka and Minod Bhanuka didn’t make the squad this time around. Oshada Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa also made the cut.
Nine of Sri Lanka's most experienced stars had already opted out of the matches against Pakistan scheduled for December. Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakhmal, Dinesh Chandimal and present ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne had all pulled out of the ODI tour.
The first T20I will be played at Adelaide on October 27, while the rest two will be played at Brisbane and Melbourne on 30th Oct and 1st November, respectively.
Sri Lanka T20I squad
Lasith Malinga (capt.), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.
Australia T20I squad
Aaron Finch (capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule