Mendis recalled for SA tour

2011-11-23 09:10
Ajantha Mendis (File)

Colombo - Sri Lanka on Wednesday recalled unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis for next month's Test series in South Africa as the selectors grappled with injuries to key players.

Mendis was included in a 16-man squad for the three Test matches after being excluded for the recent series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which Sri Lanka lost 1-0.

Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, who also missed the Pakistan Tests before being selected for the ongoing one-dayers, was given the nod to join the touring party.

Mendis replaces off-spinner Suraj Randiv, while Fernando comes in for the injured Dammika Prasad in the squad announced in a Sri Lanka Cricket release.

Sri Lanka were also forced to exclude fast bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Shaminda Eranga, and first-choice wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene, due to injuries.

"We have had to reshuffle the squad because of injuries," said chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis.

Sri Lanka open the six-week tour with a practice match against South Africa 'A' in Benoni from December 9 to 11.

The back-to-back Tests will be played at Centurion, Pretoria (December 15-19, Durban (December 26-30) and Cape Town (January 3-7).

Sri Lanka's squad for the subsequent five one-day internationals starting on January 11 will be announced later.

Sri Lanka's Test squad:

Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.

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