A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Dimuth Karunaratne and Nuwan Pradeep included in Sri Lanka Test squad for Australia series


Karunaratne was included for his outstanding performance against New Zealand

Sri Lanka opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne and pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep have been added to the Test squad for the upcoming three-Test series against Australia.

Pradeep is one of five pace bowlers in the Sri Lankan lineup, while 19-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal, who made his Test debut against New Zealand, has been left out.

Meanwhile, Karunaratne, 24, was included in the team for his outstanding run-a-ball 60 against New Zealand, which helped Sri Lanka secure a 10 wicket victory.

He was also chosen due to his sparkling tour of South Africa with the Sri Lanka A side, where he smashed 270 runs at an average of 90 in two unofficial Test matches.

Pace bowler Shaminda Eranga, who returned during the New Zealand Test series after suffering an injury has also retained his place in the national team, along with Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara and Dhammika Prasad.

Suraj Randiv and Rangana Herath are set to be the only two full-time spinners in the squad since most of the pitches in Australia are more pace-friendly compared to Sri Lanka, where conditions are ideal for spinners.

All-rounder Thisara Perera and middle order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne have not been included, but are expected to be on stand-by in case anything happens to one of the other players.

Perera made a brilliant 75 and took four wickets in the last Test match he played, while Thirimanne has been one of Sri Lanka’s most consistent batsmen throughout the year.

The other three players on stand-by are all-rounder Jeevan Mendis and spin duo Akila Dananjaya and Ajantha Mendis.

Sri Lanka will play their first Test match tomorrow in Hobart, which will be followed by the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), before ending in Sydney.

Sri Lanka’s Test squad for the three Tests is as follows: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Suraj Randiv, Dinesh Chandimal, Chanaka Welagedara, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad, Dimuth Karunaratne

The players on stand-by for Sri Lanka are as follows: Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Ajantha Mendis

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