Gillette T20 INTL Series v Sri Lanka
Big names, gun spinner named for Australia tour
Star players return to Sri Lanka’s squad after missing Pakistan tour; leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga to get his first taste of international cricket outside of Asia
AAP & Cricket Network
18 October 2019, 07:26 AM AEST
Lasith Malinga will captain Sri Lanka in their upcoming three-match Gillette T20 INTL Series against Australia as many players from the young team that performed well on the recent tour of Pakistan have retained their places.
Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella are the among other stars to return to a 16-man squad for the Australian trip after Sri Lanka sent a second-string team to Pakistan due to several withdrawals over security concerns.
Sri Lanka lost the ODI series but stunned Pakistan with a 3-0 series sweep in the T20s without Malinga, who has already retired from ODIs.
Rookie batsmen Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Oshada Fernando both scored match-winning half-centuries against Pakistan have been rewarded with retention in the squad. They’ll battle the likes of Kusals Mendis and Perera for a spot in the final XI to face Australia in the series opener on Sunday week in Adelaide.
Wristspinners Wanindu Hasaranga – who has an impressive T20I bowling average of just 12 from six career matches - and Lakshan Sandakan will support a pace attack led by Malinga, the 36-year-old who has his sights set on an international swansong in next year’s T20 World Cup, also in Australia.
Having made his debut just last month, 22-year-old leggie Hasaranga has impressed in campaigns against New Zealand and Pakistan, taking two wickets per match and conceding less than six runs an over in four of his six games.
Australia named their squad 10 days ago, headlined by the returns of Steve Smith and David Warner, while the likes of D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis and Chris Lynn were all overlooked.
After the opening match of the series at Adelaide Oval on October 27, there will be games at the Gabba and MCG before Australia play three more T20s against Pakistan in Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
The Sri Lankan squad will fly to Australia on the weekend and prepare for the series with a T20 match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra on Thursday.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Sri Lanka squad: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.
Gillette T20 Internationals v Sri Lanka
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
First T20: October 27, Adelaide Oval, 2pm (Fox & Kayo)
Second T20: October 30, Gabba, 6.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
Third T20: November 1, MCG, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)
Gillette T20 Internationals v Pakistan
First T20: November 3, SCG, 2.30pm (Fox & Kayo)
Second T20: November 5, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm (Fox & Kayo)