Thirty-one year old opening batsman Mahela Udawatte has broken into the Sri Lanka Test squad more than 10 years after his international debut, along with three other uncapped players, Kasun Rajitha, Jeffrey Vandersay and Asitha Fernando. The fresh entrants are there partly because a number of injuries have afflicted the Sri Lanka talent pool. Regular opener Dimuth Karunaratne is out with a fractured finger, and fast bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep are out with back and hamstring complaints respectively. Legspinner Vandersay alone has pushed the incumbent out on the strength of his domestic form. He had been better through the provincial four-day competition than left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan, or so, at least, say the selectors. Kusal Perera, who last played a Test in December 2016 in South Africa, was also picked ahead of Danushka Gunathilaka, who had only recently returned from injury. Kusal’s return was somewhat expected given his good returns across formats in both domestic and international cricket this year. Curiously, the selectors have put a caveat by the names of two senior players: Angelo Mathews and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, stating that their participation in the tour is subject to fitness. Chief selector Graeme Labrooy explained to… Read full this story
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