by Champika Fernando
Left-handed bat Lahiru Thirimanne has been recalled to the national team for the second Test against India starting Thursday at the SSC grounds. Also recalled is Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan. Skipper skipper Dinesh Chandimal has also joined the squad after missing the first Test.
The 27-year-old Thirimanne has not been considered for selection after the Lord’s Test in 2016. A veteran of 26 Tests, he has made only two fifties in 16 Tests since January 2014. As a result, he has missed Sri Lanka's home series against Australia in August, the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa and the home series against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Champions Trophy.
Thirimanne made his debut in 2011 and was soon seen as a player who could take over the No. 3 spot for Sri Lanka in Tests. But he failed to grab the opportunity. He scored a half-century against India in a practice game which may have prompted his recall to the side.
Chandimal comes back to the side after missing the first Test in Galle due to a bout of pneumonia while Thirimanne comes back to the side after a long layoff.
Chandimal was admitted to hospital just three-day before the Galle Test which Sri Lanka conceded by a massive 304-runs inside four days. He was discharged after four days in the hospital and is ready to lead the side in the second Test, starting on Thursday in Colombo (SSC).
"Chandimal looks fine for the second Test. He started training two days ago. I spent some time with him today and he has checked in to the team hotel," Sri Lanka's Cricket Manager Asanka Gurusinha had said.
"We will still monitor him and work with doctors. But the main thing is that Chandimal is happy and we will see how it goes and then make a call. But all in all, he should be fine," Gurusinha added.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out of the second Test against India due to back spasms. Lakmal did not play the Galle Test. Lakmal is the latest to join the injury list after Asela Gunaratne who was ruled out from the series with a fractured thumb and stand-in-skipper Rangana Herath who has hurt left middle finger while fielding during India's second innings in the Galle Test.
Sri Lanka squad for the SSC Test: Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Thirimanne