All-rounder Thisara Perera and middle-order batsman Angelo Matthews have been dropped from the T20 squad for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand. The selection committee has opted to go in with a lot of youngsters in order to build a strong side ahead of the next year’s ICC T20 World Cup.
Captain Lasith Malinga will lead Sri Lanka for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. Wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella will be deputy to Malinga for the coming series. Left-hander was not selected for ICC Cricket World Cup and also overlooked for the home one-day series against Bangladesh.
The selection committee has dropped Angelo Matthews from the format due to his recent fitness issues that plagued his cricketing career. On the other hand, all-rounder Thisara Perera had a poor World Cup with bat and ball. Perera has failed to produce runs with the bat and loss of form has been his reason of omission from the T20 squad.
Besides Lasith Malinga, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Isuru Udana and Lahiru Madushanka are other prominent pace options included in the T20 squad for series against New Zealand. Off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya will need to be careful with his bowling action in this three-match T20I series. He could face suspension after umpires report to the ICC for a suspect bowling action. Left-arm Chinaman Lakshan Sadakan and Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga are other spin options for the side for this series.
All-rounder Dasun Shanaka has also been recalled after doing well for Sri Lanka in the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh. Avishka Fernando will be looking to make an impression after producing impressive performances in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 played in England and Wales.
The first game of the three-match T20I series will all be played in Pallekele on 1st September.
Sri Lanka T20Isquad for New Zealand series:
Lasith Malinga (captain ), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kusal Mendis, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Akila Dhananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Madushanka