Former captain Angelo Mathews has been named in the 16-men Sri Lanka squad for the three match T20 series against India, starting from January 5, Cricket Age reliably learns. Mathews will be returning to the T20 side after being out of action for almost one and half year.
Mathews was overlooked from the shortest format, after home series against South Africa in august 2018. The reason was given at that time by the Asantha De Mel led selection committee that Sri Lanka wants to shift its focus on giving youngsters as many as chances before the T20 world cup next year in Australia. However, it was very hard for selectors to ignore the veteran all rounder for an important series against top side like India, especially After Mathews started his bowling again in recent times.
The selectors have also retained Oshada Fernando, Danushka Gunathilika, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, who all were impressive in Sri Lanka’s recent encounters – against Pakistan and Australia. In the absence of top players against Pakistan due to security reasons, all three players played some sparkling knocks, raisning their claim for permanent spot in shorter format.
Niroshan Dickwela, surprisingly, has also been named in the squad, despite two single digit scores against Australia, where Sri Lanka were whitewashed by Aron Finch led side. Moreover, just recently, Chief selector Asantha De Mel had lambasted Dickwela for his poor shot selection in the second test against Pakistan, when Sri Lanka were battling to save the match.
“In the second Test, the wicket had become flat and we had to bat out for one and half days to save the game and I couldn’t see much of grit. Niroshan Dickwella got a fine 65 and then he is out having played the reverse sweep. He lacked determination. The attitude was, I have scored a half-century and I have saved my place for the next two Tests. That was disappointing” Asantha De Mel was quoted as saying by The Island.
The official squad has not been announced by Sri Lanka as yet.
Sri Lanka to play three matches on January 5, 7 and 10 against Virat Kohli led side at Guwahati, Indore and Pune respectively.