Colombo: Veteran speedster Lasith Malinga has been dropped from Sri Lanka’s T20 squad for the upcoming three- match series against India.
Malinga’s omission from the squad comes on the backdrop of his early exit from the Bangladesh Premier League due to personal reasons, reports ESPNcricinfo. Malinga, who has also not been included in the ongoing ODI series against India, has been struggling with his international form since returning from ankle surgery in 2015.
Apart from the right-arm fast bowler, senior players Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Thirimanne have also been excluded. The duo of Vishwa Fernando and Dasun Shanaka has replaced them in the team.
On the batting front, Kusal Perera is in the competition along with Sadeera Samarawickrama, Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga for top-order places. The Lankan Lions also have Angelo Mathews and limited overs captain Thisara Perera to limit the attacking Indian batsman.
However, the absence of senior bowlers Lakmal and Malinga will definitely leave the seam-bowling contingent short of experience as Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep having played limited internationals, while left-handed bowler Vishwa Fernando is uncapped.
The T20 squad also includes left-arm spinners Sachith Pathirana, Chaturanga de Silva and lone specialist spinner Akila Dananjaya.
The first match T20I of the three-match series will be played at Cuttack on December 20 followed by matches in Indore and Mumbai on December 22 and 24 respectively.
India and Sri Lanka are currently involved in a three-match ODI series which is equaled at 1-1.
Sri Lanka T20 squad: Thisara Perera (capt.), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando.