Six pacers for SL in CB Series

Sri Lanka will count six fast bowlers in their squad of 15 for the upcoming Commonwealth Bank series in Australia. Muttiah Muralitharan is the lone specialist spinner in the squad.

Chaminda Vaas, 33, will lead the attack with 387 wickets in his one-day international career. Supporting him will be Lasith Malinga, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedara and Ishara Amerasinghe.

Welegedara, a left-arm seamer, received his first Test cap against England in Sri Lanka last year. He now joins the one-day squad with Dilhara Fernando recovering from ankle surgery.

The lack of specialist spin options is surprising, especially given the effect of Malinga Bandara during Sri Lanka’s last ODI series in Australia. The legspinner took 14 wickets in the VB series on that occasion and finished as the second highest wicket-taker. Sri Lanka lost the final series 2-1.

“Bandara was not considered because he played all his matches of the 2005-06 tournament only as a super-sub. He was actually not part of the final XI,” a source revealed. “If Sri Lanka need more spin options they have Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dilruwan Perera, who both bowl off-breaks.”

Perera has played one ODI for Sri Lanka and is the third opener in the squad behind Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya. Sources indicate that Dilshan will not opening the batting, despite his outstanding domestic success at the top of the order.

Chamara Kapugedera, 20, and Ishara Amerasinghe, 29, have been recalled to the team. The latter has just one ODI cap to his name, debuting against Pakistan last year. Kapugedera has played 22 ODIs, but an average of 16.05 has seen him struggle to cement a place in the side.

Sri Lanka depart for Australia on January 24. They will play a warmup match against a Prime Ministers XI on the 30th and against Tasmania on February 2. They open up their CB Series campaign against India on February 5.

Sri Lanka CB Series squad:
Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Dilruwan Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Chanaka Welegedara, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Farveez Maharoof, Ishara Amerasinghe.

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