Malinga returns as T20 captain

A 16-man squad, led by Lasith Malinga, sees the return of many experienced players to the side after Sri Lanka’s 3-0 series victory in Pakistan.

After a young squad achieved a whitewash of Pakistan in the T20I series played as part of the return of international cricket to the country, Sri Lanka have returned to many of their more experienced players for their three-match series in Australia. Some of the best performances from that tour of Pakistan have been rewarded however, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Oshada Fernando retaining their spots after both making their debuts in Pakistan.

Rajapaksa earned headlines with a stunning 48-ball 77 which flattened Pakistan in the second T20I to secure a series victory. Fernando, on debut, then lit up the final match of the series with an unbeaten 78, also from 48 balls.

The squad also marks the return to captaincy for Malinga. The veteran had opted out of the Pakistan tour, and Dasun Shanaka captained the side in his stead. Other senior players who are returning to the squad after opting out of the last tour are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, and Kusal Mendis. Only two players are missing from the squad that hosted New Zealand a little over a month ago – Akila Dananjaya and Lahiru Madashanka. Dananjaya was suspended after appearing against New Zealand pending remedial work on his bowling action, while Madashanka failed to impress during his appearance in the Pakistan series.

Sri Lanka will travel to Australia this weekend ahead of the three-match series beginning on 27 October in Adelaide.

Squad

Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.

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