A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Injured Ajantha Mendis ruled out of limited overs series against New Zealand

Mendis is still struggling to recover from the side strain he picked up in the World Twenty20

Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis has been ruled out of the limited overs series against New Zealand after failing to fully recover from a side strain he sustained in the opening game of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 against Zimbabwe.

Despite being in pain from his injury, Mendis went on to play every match in the World Twenty20, except for a shortened game against South Africa, and even topped the most wickets list, claiming 15 victims in the tournament.

Former Twenty20 captain Mahela Jayawardene, who stepped down after losing the final of the World Twenty20 to the West Indies, along with pace bowler Lasith Malinga, who was recently named as the new Twenty20 vice-captain, will also be rested for the one-off Twenty20 match, but not the ODIs.

Sri Lanka will be led by newly appointed Twenty20 captain Angelo Mathews, while pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara will be the acting vice-captain for the match.

The Sri Lankans also removed spinner Rangana Herath from the lineup, and replaced him with fellow spinner Sachithra Senanayake.

Fast bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana, along with batsman Chamara Kapugedera, who were all in the squad for the limited overs series against India in July-August, will miss out on playing against the Black Caps.

Meanwhile 19-year-old spinner Akila Dananjaya is set to receive his maiden ODI call-up after taking five wickets in three matches during the World Twenty20.

The only newcomer in the Sri Lanka squad for this series is 19-year-old Tharindu Kaushal, who was selected after taking 15 wickets in the Under 19 World Cup in Australia at an average of 15.45.

Sri Lanka will play the one-off Twenty20 against New Zealand in Pallekele, and it is to be followed by five ODIs and two Test matches.

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