By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka Cricket today have named a 15-man squad for the 2-match Test Series against New Zealand. The surprise pick from the Lankans in a rookie in Tharindu Kaushal, who is yet to play even a single first-class match or a List-A match in his career! Tharindu Kaushal who is part of the ODI Squad currently had impressed the Selectors with his off-spin bowling in the recently held ICC Under-19 World Cup. The rookie offie though will be sitting out of the First Test at Galle which begins on the 17th but his presence will keep the other off-spinner Suraj Randiv on his toes.
The hosts have dropped all-rounder Thisara Perera from the Test Squad along with fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep. Nuwan Kulasekara and left-armer Chanaka Welegedara return to the Test team after recovering from injuries. The Lankans have also included two more quicks in Dhammika Prasad and Shaminda Eranga.
There are no surprises in the batting department for the Lankans in the 15-man squad.
Sri Lanka Squad for New Zealand Test Series: Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Angelo Mathews (Vice-Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene (Wicket Keeper), Tharindu Kaushal, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dinesh Chandimal, Chanaka Welagedara, Shaminda Eranga and Dhammika Prasad