Sri Lanka have named uncapped all rounder Thikshila de Silva in a 15-man squad for the three Twenty20 internationals against South Africa. The squad also included left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan, who has impressed in Test cricket but hasn’t played a T20 international.
Leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, who impressed in the World T20 last year, has been left out in favour of Seekkuge Prasanna, who also offers hitting power. Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has been omitted as well, while seamers Isuru Udana and Nuwan Kulasekara have earned recalls.
The other major omissions are wicket keeper-batsman Kusal Perera, and all rounders Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka. Kulasekara’s return to the T20 squad was expected, after he had appeared to reclaim some of his old rhythm and inswing in the recent ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe.
He had had a long, ineffective run in 2015, and had been dropped from both limited-overs sides. Udana – a T20 specialist with a number of slower balls – Suranga Lakmal, and Nuwan Pradeep make up the remaining frontline seam options. Kusal Perera’s omission appears to be largely due to lack of form.
In four ODI innings during the Zimbabwe tri-series, he had scores of 21, 4, 7 and 14. He also collected single-figure scores in the first Test against South Africa, and was subsequently dropped from the Test XI.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Seekkuge Prasanna, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunarathna, Sachith Pathirana, Lakshan Sadakan and Nuwan Kulasekara will depart for South Africa on Thursday to join captain Angelo Mathews and the others who are part of the Test squad currently in South Africa.