Nuwan Kulasekara, perhaps, Sri Lanka’s most under-rated cricketer, is back after a three-week break due to a finger injury, he sustained in the Caribbean. The medium pace bowler finds himself featuring in the squad for the T20I series against South Africa at home. Sri Lanka humbled the Proteas 4-1 in the ODI series. Apart from Kulasekara, Jeevan Mendis, also finds himself in the T20I squad. Mendis has been quite a useful for Sri Lanka, both with bat & ball in recent times. Needless to say that he is also one of the most agile fielders around.
Sri Lanka have maintained a sense of experience in the squad, retaining Mahela Jayawardhane, Kumar Sangakkara, T Dilshan & Ajantha Mendis for the shortest format. Shaminda Eranga is one of the surprise eliminations, as the pace bowler had done well for Sri Lanka in the West Indies and during the Champions Trophy. T20 specialist Dilshan Munaweera also finds himself missing after a string of bad performances with the bat. Another surprise omission is that of Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, who has impressed many around the world this season. Instead, Sri Lanka has opted for Sachitra Senanayake & Ajantha Mendis as the two spinners in the squad.
The series begins on Friday, with the first game in Colombo and the next two in Hambantota, where Sri Lanka will try to maintain their number one ranking in the T20I table.
Sri Lankan squad:
Dinesh Chandimal (c), Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillekratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardhane, Kusal Perera, Angelo Perera, Angelo Matthews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachitra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal