Sri Lanka’s T20I squad for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe reflects a strategic blend of experience and fresh talent, with the return of Angelo Mathews catching the spotlight. Mathews, absent from T20I action for almost three years, is set to make a comeback, adding a seasoned touch to the team’s composition.
In a noteworthy move, batters Kusal Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva find themselves back in the T20I squad after being excluded from the ongoing ODIs. Their inclusion signals a shift in focus towards the shorter format, emphasizing the team’s commitment to building a well-rounded T20 side.
Spinner Akila Dananjaya, round-arm seam bowler Nuwan Thushara, and batting all-rounder Kamindu Mendis complete the diverse array of talent in the selected squad.
However, the absence of opener Avishka Fernando and other notable players such as Nuwanidu Fernando and Janith Liyanage raises eyebrows, especially considering Liyanage’s recent stellar performance as the Player of the Match in the second ODI against Zimbabwe.
The selectors have also opted to omit all-rounder Dunith Wellalage, seamer Pramod Madushan, and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, suggesting a meticulous approach in crafting a squad tailored for T20 success.
Pathum Nissanka’s inclusion is contingent on his fitness, following a recent hospitalization due to suspected dengue. If fit, Nissanka’s return could further bolster Sri Lanka’s batting lineup, adding depth and stability.
These three T20Is against Zimbabwe hold significant importance for Sri Lanka as they gear up for the T20 World Cup later in the year. With only seven T20Is played in 2023, these matches serve as a crucial platform for the team to fine-tune their strategies, assess player performances, and solidify their game plan for the upcoming global tournament.
All 3 T20Is will be played at Kettarama, on 14, 16 and 18 January.
Sri Lanka squad:
Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya.