Nissanka, Karunaratne back for AFG ODIs
Nissanka, Karunaratne return; Shanaka dropped for Afghanistan ODIs
Opening batsman Pathum Nissanka, who recently missed the limited overs series against Zimbabwe due to injury concerns, has returned for the forthcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, starting on Friday (February 9). All rounder Chamika Karunaratne also is back into the mix while former skipper Dasun Shanka is the noteworthy exclusion from the Zimbabwe series in the 16 men squad named by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Shanaka hasn’t been in the best of forms in white ball cricket off late. He has been under scrutiny since 2022. Over the last couple of years, the 32 year old has only managed to score 584 runs from 32 innings at a substandard average of 20.13 while an underwhelming strike rate of 87.55. Dhananjaya Silva is another senior player who continues to fly under the radar of the selectors’. The recently appointed Test skipper hasn’t made an appearance in ODIs since the 2023 World Cup.
Kusal Mendis continues to lead the side with Charith Asalanka serving as his deputy. Majority of the squad that featured in the recently concluded series against Zimbabwe has been retained with Jaffrey Vanderay being the only to miss out among the bowlers. He was replaced by Karnuratne as the selectors went with a more balanced approach looking to add more depth. Jannith Liyanage, who was a vital cog in SL’s famous heist win over Zimbabwe, retains his spot while Sahan Arachchige and Shevon Daniel have also kept their spots.
All three matches in the series will be played at Pallekele International Stadium in Pallekele on February 9, February 11 and February 14.
Squad: Kusal Mendis (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Sahan Arachchige, Akila Dananjaya, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, and Shevon Daniel.
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