Sri Lanka’s squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand starting in December included a few surprises, reports ESPN Cricinfo. Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was dropped from the Test squad, but he was retained as vice-captain for the ODI squad.
Meanwhile, another batsman Chamara Kapugedara made his comeback in the ODI and T20 squads after nearly three years, along with pacer Isuru Udana. The former, replaced Shehan Jayasuriya in the ODI squad.
Nuwan Kulasekara was dropped from the ODI squad and he was replaced by the consistent Dhammika Prasad. The big surprises came in the Test squad, where youngsters Udara Jayasundera and Jeffrey Vandersay were picked ahead of opener Kaushal Silva and offspinner Tharindu Kaushal.
Jayasundera’s inclusion did raise a few eyebrows, but selector Kapila Wijegunawardene justified his selection in the Test team.
“Udara Jayasundera has been among the runs and has been batting very well. We're just following our policy of picking players on form and giving youngsters who show potential the opportunity, whenever the situation warrants,” he said.
Jeffrey Vandersay, had recently impressed with his five-wicket haul against the Pakistan in a tour match.
"A wristspinner brings a different dimension and lot more attacking possibilities to any side," Wijegunawardene said. "With Rangana and Dilruwan as our main, frontline spinners, we just thought Vandersay would give us another option. We do have our reasons for picking three spinners for the tour. We'll wait and see.”
Off spinner Ajantha Mendis was retained in the ODI squad, after featuring in the recently concluded home series against West Indies, where he picked up 4 wickets in 3 matches.
Sri Lanka are set to play two Test matches, five ODIs and two T20Is, in New Zealand in a span of a month from December 10 to January 10.
Sri Lanka Test squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Kusal Mendis, Udara Jayasundera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Janith Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay.
ODI squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardana, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Dhammika Prasad, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamara Kapugedera, Jeffrey Vandersay.
T20 squad: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Janith Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Sachithra Senanayake, Isuru Udana.Published 19 Nov 2015, 13:37 IST