Dasun Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka in Australia T20I series
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced a 20-man squad for the five-match T20I series in Australia, starting February 11. Dasun Shanaka is set to lead the side with Charith Asalanka as his deputy. Opener Danushka Gunathilaka and senior batter Kusal Mendis return to the T20I squad. The Island nation will tour Down Under for the first time since November 2019 when Australia won 3-0.
- Lanka have their task cut out in a difficult series against the reigning ICC World T20 champions.
- However, with the return of some key players, the Lankans will want to offer substantial challenge.
- Stopping the Aussies at their own backyard will test Lanka.
- The series will give them plenty of experience with the T20 WC set to be held in Australia later this year.
Sri Lanka's T20I squad: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Kamil Mishara, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Shiran Fernando
The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will host the first two T20Is on February 11 and 13, respectively. The third T20I will be held at the Manuka Oval (February 15). Meanwhile, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will play host to the fourth and fifth T20Is on February 18 and 20, respectively. The five-match series will help the two sides prepare for the 2022 T20 WC.
After bowing out of the ICC T20 World Cup in the Super 12 stage, Sri Lanka have fared well across formats. They beat West Indies 2-0 in the two-Test series. This was followed by a 2-1 ODI series win over Zimbabwe. Both these series were held in Lanka. SL will want to carry on with the momentum and test the World T20 champions.
Meanwhile, Australia have also announced the squad for the T20Is versus Lanka. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh have been rested. The series gives an opportunity to Ben McDermott, who amassed 577 runs in the 2021-22 Big Bash League. Meanwhile, Ashes hero Travis Head, all-rounder Moises Henriques, and pacer Jhye Richardson have also been included.
A look at Australia's squad for the Lanka T20I series: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa