With the big series against South Africa to begin, the Sri Lankan cricket board a 16 men test squad to face South Africa at home in two match test series starting from 12th July. Dinesh Chandimal has been named as the captain for the series who was banned for the third test match against West Indies at Barbados will be making a return.
Their star all-rounder Angelo Mathews who played the first test at Port of Spain and did not play the rest of two matches due to personal reasons will bolster Sri Lankan team. Sri Lanka and West Indies drew the 3 match Test series with West Indies winning the first test by 226 runs. The second test was a draw at St Lucia.
In the first day-night test match on West Indies soil, Sri Lanka made a strong comeback to win it by 4 wickets to level the series. Surgana Lakmal was named as the captain for Sri Lanka in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal.
The team comprises of solid batsmen that include Chandimal, Mathews, Gunathilkha, Kusal Mendis, Roshen Silva, Dhananjya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella.
Lahiru Kumara, Surgana Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha would be pace bowlers included in the squad. Lakshan Sandkan, Dilwuran Perera, Akila Dananjaya are the spin bowlers. The pitches during the series could help the spinners.
Sri Lankan performances in the last four test series have been superb winning 2-0 against Pakistan in UAE, crush Bangladesh 1-0 and drew with West Indies. They lost to a strong Indian squad by 0-1 during the 3 match test series last year.
Rangana Herath did not play the 2 test matches in West Indies due to injury concerns while Kusal Perera also got injured in the 3rd test match at Barbados. Both of them will be picked if they go through the fitness tests. Also making a comeback in the test squad is their opener Dimuth Karunaratne to the squad.
Ashita Fernando, Dasun Shanka, Malinda Pushpkumara and Shehan Jayasuryia have been named as standby. Last time that South Africa toured Sri Lanka was in 2014 where the visitors won the 2 match test series 1-0.
South Africa will be without AB de Villiers. Sri Lanka and South Africa will be looking to perform well in an important series.
Sri Lankan test squad: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilkha, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilwuran Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara, Surgana Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha, Kusal Perera (Subject to fitness), Rangana Herath (Subject to fitness)
Standy: Ashita Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Malinda Pushpkumara, Shehan Jayasuryia.
The first test match starts on 12th July 2018 at Galle followed by the 2nd test at SSC from 20th July. Both of them will face in 5 ODI matches and 1 T20I to be finished on 14th August 2018.