Pathum Nissanka is set to miss the upcoming Bangladesh two-match Test series since he has not yet recovered from the back injury which he picked up during the Indian tour.
The 23-year-old will be replaced by Oshada Fernando, who had a tremendous outing during the recently concluded National Super League four-day tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket. Oshada was adjudged the best batter of the tournament.
Batting at No.3, Oshada scored 721 runs in 11 innings with an average of 80.11. He scored four centuries and three half-centuries.
However, Nissanka’s absence would hurt Sri Lanka, as he was one of the few positives for them during the India series where Sri Lanka was white washed by the host. Though still early in his career, he’s also one of the few Sri Lanka batters with an average north of 40.
Reportedly Kamil Mishara has also made the cut in the 18-member squad which will tour Bangladesh, which is part of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 cycle.
Upon arrival in Bangladesh on 8 May, the Lankans will play a 2-day warm-up match at the M.A. Aziz Stadium in Chattogram on 11 and 12 May. Soon after, the Test series will begin on 15 May at the Zahur Ahmed Choudhary Cricket Stadium in Chattogram.
The teams will move to Dhaka for the second and final Test at the Sher-e Bangla National Cricket Stadium from 23 May. The Tests were scheduled to be played back in October-November 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.
This will be the first series for new coach Chris Silverwood. Naveed Nawaz, the former Sri Lanka batter, will be assistant coach under Silverwood.
Nawaz had recently been Bangladesh’s Under-19 coach, and had overseen that side’s victory in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup.
Probable 18-Member Squad:
Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Kamil Mishara, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya and Suminda Lakshan.
By Mustaq Sydeen