Sri Lanka on Wednesday recalled unorthodox spinner AjanthaMendis for next month's Test series in South Africa as the selectors grappled with injuries to key players.
Mendis was included in a 16-man squad for the three Test matches after being excluded for the recent series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which Sri Lanka lost 1-0.
Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, who also missed the Pakistan Tests before being selected for the ongoing one-dayers, was given the nod to join the touring party.
Mendis replaces off-spinner SurajRandiv, while Fernando comes in for the injured Dammika Prasad in the squad announced in a Sri Lanka Cricket release.
Sri Lanka were also forced to exclude fast bowlers NuwanKulasekara and ShamindaEranga, and first-choice wicket-keeper PrasannaJayawardene, due to injuries. "We have had to reshuffle the squad because of injuries," said chairman of selectors DuleepMendis.
Sri Lanka open the six-week tour with a practice match against South Africa 'A' in Benoni from December 9 to 11.
The back-to-back Tests will be played at Centurion, Pretoria (December 15-19, Durban (December 26-30) and Cape Town (January 3-7).
Sri Lanka Test squad: TillakaratneDilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), TharangaParanavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, MahelaJayawardene, DineshChandimal, Kaushal Silva, LahiruThirimanne, DimuthKarunaratne, ChanakaWelegedara, Dilhara Fernando, NuwanPradeep, SurangaLakmal, ThisaraPerera, AjanthaMendis, RanganaHerath.