KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Sri Lanka have named a One Day International squad for the NatWest series showing several changes from the squad which lost the ICC World Cup final.
Middle-order batsman Thilina Kandamby and wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal are called into the limited overs squad which plays five ODIs and a Twenty20 International against England.
Kandamby, 29, has also been named vice-captain for the series.
There is no place for middle-order batsmen Thilan Samaraweera and Chamra Kapugedera or for Test first-choice spinner Rangana Herath.
Former skipper and record ODI caps holder for Sri Lanka Sanath Jayasuriya meanwhile has been included in the squad for the T20 clash and the first ODI at the Oval.
Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, who broke his thumb during his man-of-the-match 193 in the Lord’s Test, is named in the squad despite being a doubt for the final Test.
Sri Lanka take on England in the third ODI at Lord’s. Tickets are currently sold out but hospitality packages are still available.
Sri Lanka need to beat England in the final Test of the series at the Rose Bowl to level a series in which they have been the weaker of the two sides.
They will be favourites for the one-day series though, particularly due to the presence of star seamer Lasith Malinga who is one of the most formidable limited overs bowlers in the world.
Ajantha Mendis, dropped from the Test side at Lord’s, is also a different proposition at ODI level where his controlled variations have earned him 89 wickets at just 19.56.
Dilshan’s side will be further buoyed by the return from injury of all-rounder Angelo Mathews, whose absence from the World Cup final was a huge blow to Sri Lanka.
The 41-year-old Jayasuriya was left out for the World Cup campaign but will have his chance to say farewell in a 445th ODI at the Oval.
Jayasuriya is the most capped ODI player in Sri Lanka’s history and the second overall - behind Sachin Tendulkar.
He stamped his mark on international cricket in the 1996 World Cup when Jayasuriya’s ‘pinch hitting’ in the early overs helped his side to a phenomenal tournament victory.
With ‘mystery spinner’ Mendis and ‘slinger’ Malinga in their midst, Sri Lanka remain a complex and enthralling mix of conventional and unusual.
Their current side hints at a post-World Cup transition but they are certain to pose a stern first challenge for new England slipper Alastair Cook.
Sri Lanka limited overs squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt); Thilina Kamdamby (vice-capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thissara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suranga Lakmal, Dilhara Fernando, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Sanath Jayasuriya.