Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday axed struggling skipper Dinesh Chandimal from the Test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa. The out-of-form batsman was removed after scoring a dismal totals of 5, 0, 15 and 4 in their recent 0-2 Test series defeat to Australia.
The team selectors wanted the 29-year-old to domestic cricket to regain form as they named three uncapped players in the squad against the Proteas. His highest score in the tour was one half-century.
Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been named the stand-in captain of a 17-man squad for the two-test series. The in-form batsman, who made five half-centuries in his last six Tests, has never captained his country before.
Karunaratne was stretched off the field following a fierce blow to the back of his head from a Pat Cummins’ bouncer during the second test against Australia on Saturday. The left-handed batsman, who made eight Test centuries in 58 matches, scored five half-centuries in his last six Tests.
SLC has also made several changes to the squad which toured Australia. Wicketkeeper Sadeera Samarawickrama, batsmen Sadeera Samarawickrama and Roshen Silva, and off-spinning all-rounder Dilruwan Perera were left out.
They have recalled batsman Kaushal Silva and left-arm-spinning all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana, who last played a Test in mid-2016. Uncapped players Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Mohamed Shiraz, and Lasith Embuldeniya were the fresh faces in the squad.
The first Test will start from February 13 in Durban, followed by the second in Port Elizabeth from February 21.