Dinesh Chandimal was named captain of the 15-man squad for the upcoming two Twenty20 Internationals in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Cricket announced on Wednesday (February 7).
Chandimal temporarily takes over captaincy responsibilities from Angelo Mathews, who returned as Sri Lanka’s white-ball captain last month but was ruled out of the Bangladesh tour earlier this week with a hamstring injury.
Thisara Perera led Sri Lanka in their most recent T20I series in India in December, but SLC decided to opt for Chandimal, who is the captain of the Test side and led the team in the tri-series in Bangladesh in Mathews’s absence. That means Chandimal will be returning to the format after a year, having last played against South Africa in January 2017.
There were six other changes to the side that lost the T20Is in India 3-0, the most notable being Jeevan Mendis making a comeback at age 35. The legspinning allrounder last played a T20I in August 2013. Jeffrey Vandersay, the legspinner, was also back in the side after nearly two years. The duo will likely act as a supporting act to Akila Dananjaya, who will lead the spin attack.
Sadeera Samarawickrama, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep and Vishwa Fernando were left out with the selectors opting for a few fresh faces. Shehan Madushanka and Asitha Fernando, right-hand seamers aged 22 and 20, made the cut along with Amila Aponso, the 24-year-old left-arm spinner.
Sri Lanka, though, have taken a punt with Isuru Udana, Perera and Dasun Shanaka as their only seam-bowling options aside from the newcomers, Suranga Lakmal continuing to be left out of the side.
The first of the two T20Is will take place in Mirpur on February 15, while the second game will take place in Sylhet on February 18.
Sri Lanka T20I squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Shehan Madushanka, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Jeevan Mendis, Asitha Fernando.