Sri Lanka announce 17-member squad for Zimbabwe ODIs
Sri Lanka have announced a 17-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against Zimbabwe. The Lankans have included three uncapped pacers in the form of Nuwan Thushara, Chamika Gunasekara, and Shiran Fernando. Also, five standby players have been named by Sri Lanka. The two teams will be involved in a three-match series, starting January 16. Here are the details.
A look at Sri Lanka's squad
Here's the Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Minod Bhanuka, Charith Asalanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Thushara, Ramesh Mendis, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Gunasekera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Shiran Fernando, Kamindu Mendis. Standby players: Ashen Bandara, Pulina Tharanga, Nimesh Vimukthi, Ashian Daniel, Asitha Fernando, and Vishwa Fernando.
Why does it matter?
This is a crucial series for hosts Sri Lanka, who are without several key players. The ODI series will help them test their bench strength. SL will want to show their mettle at home against Zimbabwe and make sure the job is done. Meanwhile, the upcoming ODI series in Sri Lanka is Zimbabwe's first 50-overs tournament since their three-match series against Ireland last year.
Several players set to miss the series
Dhananjaya De Silva will miss the ODI series because of paternity leave. Meanwhile, the hosts will be without Avishka Fernando, Janith Liyanage, and Kamil Mishara after the three players tested positive for COVID-19. Also, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed that Lahiru Kumara and Kalana Perera were not picked for failing to meet the fitness standards. Wanindu Hasaranga will also miss the series.
Key details about the uncapped players
Among the uncapped players, Thushara bagged 5/13 in the Lanka Premier League for Galle Gladiators against Jaffna Kings before the final. He was their second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He has featured in 15 List A matches so far. Gunasekara impressed against Pakistan A, bagging 6/83 in a FC match while Shiran has 26 wickets from as many List A matches.
Here's the schedule
The first ODI between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will be held on January 16. The second game is scheduled on January 18. The third encounter will be played on January 21. All three games will be played at a single venue - Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. Matches will start at 2:30 PM IST and will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network.
ODI series part of ICC World Cup Super League
The ODI series between the two teams is part of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League. Super League is a new ODI competition introduced by ICC to raise the standard of bilateral 50-over games. Thirteen teams are participating in the event and the top seven teams will earn direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will be played in India.
A look at Zimbabwe's squad
Here is the Zimbabwe squad for Sri Lanka series: Ervine Craig (c), Burl Ryan, Chakabva Regis, Chatara Tendai, Jongwe Luke, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Masakadza Wellington, Mutombodzi Tinotenda, Muzarabani Blessing, Ngarava Richard, Raza Sikandar, Shumba Milton, Williams Sean.