Theekshana, Wellalage, Munasinghe called up


Sri Lanka have called up uncapped left arm spinner Dunith Wellalage, mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana and off spinner Lakshitha Munasinghe into the Test squad ahead of the 2nd Test to be played from 8-12 July in Galle.

Wellalage or Theekshana is in line for Test debut as left arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya has been dropped from squad, and the other left arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama tested positive for covid-19 and subsequently ruled out.

Of the trio, former Sri Lanka under-19 skipper Wellalage is most probably in line for his Test debut, as he caught the eye of the selectors during his ODI debut and finished the Australian series as the leading wicket taker with nine wickets at an average of 22.33. He troubled the Australian batters throughout the series, while proving that he can play a crucial role and add depth to the Sri Lanka batting unit. Wellalage has also played 11 first class games claiming 34 wickets at an average of 30.76.

Meanwhile, Theekshana was the spinner who Australia failed to read the most during the series, but he has only played four first class games and has largely been categorized as a white ball specialist.

Off spinner Munasinghe impressed during the Sri Lanka A games against Australia A claiming 13 wickets in two games. Ramesh Mendis is Sri Lanka’s go to off spinner in Tests during recent times, and picked up 4 for 112 during the first Test, while Dhananjaya de Silva too provided good off spinning option. It is therefore highly unlikely Munasinghe may get a chance.

Embuldeniya has been dropped after a poor first Test against Australia, where he failed to take a wicket in square turner, leaking 73 runs in 15 overs following a poor series in Bangladesh.

Former skipper Angelo Mathews who was ruled out of the first Test midway as he suffered from Covid-19, has recovered and cleared by the medical team, and will be available for selection. 

By Anjana Kaluarachchi