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Lakmal returns to Sri Lanka Test squad for Zimbabwe series
Sri Lanka News

Lakmal returns to Sri Lanka Test squad for Zimbabwe series

Suranga Lakmal has made a comeback to Sri Lanka's 15-man Test squad for the two-match series in Zimbabwe due to begin on January 19.

The veteran paceman had to withdraw from Sri Lanka's last Test assignment against Pakistan owing to a bout of dengue fever.

His absence cost Sri Lanka dearly as the visitors suffered a 1-0 defeat in Pakistan's historic Test homecoming.

Lakmal, who has scalped 141 wickets across 59 Tests, was replaced with the uncapped Asitha Fernando, who has failed to retain his spot in the side.

Fellow pacer Kasun Rajitha has also recovered from his hamstring injury to boost Sri Lanka's fast bowling stocks which additionally comprise of Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando.

Meanwhile, Kusal Perera is the notable omission from the Test unit after being unable to get a game against Pakistan.

Perera struck one of the finest innings in Test cricket when he helped Sri Lanka achieve a miraculous one-wicket win over South Africa in Durban last year.

Since his stupendous knock, the aggressive left-handed batsman has been fairly inconsistent.

He managed a total of 44 runs including a pair against New Zealand across two Tests at home in August.

The decision to drop Perera implies Sri Lanka are expected to go with a settled middle-order featuring senior pros Dinesh Chandimal Angelo Mathews while all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva offers batting depth to the team.

De Silva, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan and Dilruwan Perera have been picked as the spin bowling options.

The two Tests will be the first time in two years that Zimbabwe will play in the longest format.

The African nation was handed a three-month suspension in July 2019 by the ICC for excessive political interference in the administrative functioning of its cricket board.

Both matches will be conducted at the Harare Sports Club with the outcome having no effect on the World Test Championship.

Sri Lanka squad

Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal