Uncapped spinner named in Sri Lanka’s Test squad

Malinda Pushpakumara is a left-arm spinner who has taken 558 first-class wickets at an average of 19.85.

Malinda Pushpakumara is a 10-year veteran in domestic cricket with 558 wickets.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Uncapped left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was on Monday named in the 15-member Sri Lanka squad for the opening Test against India starting here on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old, who has taken 558 first-class wickets at an average of 19.85, is the only new face in the team. Batting all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva and seamer Nuwan Pradeep also return to the squad.

Pushpakumara will replace left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan, while de Silva, who was out of the squad for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe has taken the place of regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, who has been hospitalised due to pneumonia.

Pradeep, who was sidelined for two weeks due to a hamstring niggle, has replaced Dushmantha Chameera in the squad, which will be led by Rangana Herath.

Vishwa Fernando, who made his Test debut at Galle against Australia last year, Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara are the pacers in the squad.

Colombo hosts the second Test from August 3 while the third and final match is scheduled at Pallekele from August 12.

Sri Lanka Squad for first Test: Rangana Herath (captain), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep.

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