India and Sri Lanka are set to lock horns in the three-match T20I series starting from January 5. The hosts have already named a strong squad for the contest and the Islanders have announced a 16-man squad which will travel India to face the Men in Blue. The veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews has returned to the team after spending 18 months on the sidelines from the format.
He last played for Sri Lanka in the shortest format in August 2018 against South Africa in Colombo. The fact that the visitors have recalled Mathews proves that Sri Lanka are falling back on the experience with the T20 World Cup less than 10 months away. The side lost their last T20I series on Australia tour despite fielding their full-strength squad. Rather they were coming off a sensational series win over Pakistan in their own den.
While Mathews’ presence will definitely bolster Sri Lanka’s line-up, it remains to be seen if he will be able to make the cut in the playing XI.
Lasith Malinga continues to lead Sri Lanka in T20Is
The captaincy changes for Sri Lanka across the formats has finally stopped it seems. Lasith Malinga has been retained as the captain and the management seems to be backing for the role until the T20 World Cup in Australia this year. There are a couple of changes to the squad that toured in Down Under in October last year. While Nuwan Pradeep is still injured and was not available for selection, Shehan Jayasuriya has been left out.
The all-rounder performed decently against Pakistan but couldn’t do much in Australia which might have led to his axing. The rest of the squad bears a similar look as the Islanders will hope to start the new year on a winning note. The series commences on January 5 in Guwahati with the action then shifting to Indore and Pune where the next two T20Is will be played on January 7 and 10.
Sri Lanka T20I squad for India tour: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana.
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