Sri Lanka speedster Lasith Malinga has been named captain of the ODI and T20I squads for the tour of New Zealand, with wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella being his deputy.
During the limited-overs series against England at home in October, Dinesh Chandimal had led Sri Lanka's ODI team while Thisara Perera captained the side in T20Is. However, with the newly appointed selection panel, Malinga has been handed the all-important role. Malinga was out of Sri Lanka's teams for over a year owing to poor form and fitness. He made his return to the national team during the Asia Cup in UAE in September and has had a fruitful outing in international cricket since then.
The Ashantha de Mel led selection committee also called back veteran Angelo Mathews in the squad which also included Seekkuge Prasanna and Asela Gunaratne. Notably, Akila Dannajaya was not picked in the squad following his suspension due to an illegal bowling action. The only frontline slow bowlers in the squad are wristspinners – Prasanna and Lakshan Sandakan.
Nuwan Pradeep, Dshmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara are the pace bowlers in the squad.
Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and a solitary T20I in New Zealand. The limited-overs series will kick-start with an ODI clash on January 3 at Mount Maunganui.
Sri Lanka’s ODI and T20I squad:
Lasith Malinga (capt.), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara.