Kulasekara recalled for ODI series against New Zealand

Kulasekara's last ODI for Sri Lanka came against India in November 2014

Kulasekara’s last ODI for Sri Lanka came against India in November 2014

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara has been recalled for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand, which gets underway on January 11 in Christchurch.

Head coach Marvan Atapattu also announced that pace maestro Lasith Malinga will return towards the latter half of the ODI series.

Malinga has not played any cricket since he had his ankle surgically repaired in September.

However, the one notable exclusion from the ODI squad is opening batsman Kusal Perera.

Perera, who has played 41 ODIs, has struggled with the bat as of late and, as a result, Sri Lanka have replaced him with fellow opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored a career-best 152 during the first Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.

Last month, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews admitted that Perera has not been living up to the team’s expectations.

“We’ve given opportunities to Kusal,” Mathews said last month. “He’s fared pretty well, I thought, in a couple of games. He could have done better. We expect a lot from him because he is a good player. We’ve got nine more games to try and experiment with the opening slot.”

Sri Lanka ODI squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Shaminda Eranga

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