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Sri Lanka axe Mendis, Silva for India series

Lankans make big selection call but welcome back ex-skipper Angelo Mathews for three-Test tour of India

Sri Lanka have dropped batsmen Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva from their squad for the three-Test series in India starting next week.

In a big boost for the tourists, allrounder and former captain Angelo Mathews returns from injury.

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Seamer Nuwan Pradeep was also omitted from the side that beat Pakistan 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates with allrounders Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka drafted into the 15-man squad for the series against the world's top-ranked Test team.

Widely regarded as Sri Lanka's future batting mainstay in the longest format, Mendis totalled just 58 runs in four innings against Pakistan.

Silva also had an underwhelming series and managed 67 runs in the two Tests.

Ex-skipper Mathews missed the series against Pakistan with a calf strain and will add some experience and solidity to the middle order against India, who swept Sri Lanka 3-0 in the away series earlier this year.

Kolkata's Eden Garden will hosts the opening match which will be followed by three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

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Sri Lanka meanwhile have also confirmed former Test batsman Thilan Samaraweera as the national side's batting coach to groom the national team in the run up to the 2019 World Cup.

The 41-year-old Samaraweera, who retired from Test cricket in 2013, currently lives in Melbourne and worked with Australia ahead of their Test tour of Sri Lanka last year while he's also done specialist coaching with the Victorian Bushrangers squad.

"SLC announces today the recruitment of former Sri Lankan right hand batsman Thilan Samaraweera as batting coach to the national team for a period of three years," Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

Samaraweera is due to join the Sri Lanka squad before they leave for India later this week.

Sri Lanka currently has an interim head coach - South African Nic Pothas - who took the place of Graham Ford after he quit in June, midway through a 45-month contract. 

Sri Lanka squad for Test series against India: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Roshen Silva.