Sri Lanka leave out Samaraweera of Pakistan seriesSeptember 21st, 2011 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, Sep 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka Wednesday left out solid middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera from their 16-member squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), starting Oct 18.
“Thilan does not fit into our long-term plans and so we thought of giving youngsters a chance,” said chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis, adding that the 35-year-old might still be considered on short-term basis.
Samaraweera, with a Test average of over 52 in 68 Tests, has been the side’s backbone in the middle order but was dropped for the third Test against Australia in the just concluded series so that skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan could drop down the order and give an opportunity to young opener Lahiru Thirimanne.
Dilshan, coming in at Samaraweera’s number five position, scored 83 and decided to continue batting in the middle order.
Another player not considered for selection was carrom-ball specialist Ajantha Mendis, and Duleep said the spinner was undergoing treatment for a recurring back problem.
All-rounder Angelo Mathews stays vice-captain, but will only play as a batsman.
“Angelo has gone to Australia for treatment to his left knee and we will not risk bowling him in the series,” said Duleep.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), T Paranavithana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welagedara, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Kaushal Silva.
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Tags: chanaka, herath, kaushal, kumar sangakkara, left knee, mahela jayawardene, member squad, mendis, nuwan, pradeep, prasanna, suraj, suranga, term basis, test average, test series, third test, undergoing treatment, united arab emirates, vice captain