Sri Lanka Cricket has announced their squad for the two-match Test series against England in which they have included star all-rounder Angelo Mathews.
The 33-year-old, who has played 86 Tests till date, is making a Test comeback after missing last month’s South Africa tour with a hamstring injury.
Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Santhush Gunathilake and Dilshan Madushanka — who were all a part of the South African tour — have been left out.
Meanwhile, the hosts have recalled fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, while also including the likes of Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan and uncapped Ramesh Mendis.
England have returned to Sri Lanka after abandoning this tour in March last year following the outbreak of COVID-19. Both the Tests will be played in Galle behind closed doors.
The two-Test series, beginning Thursday, is part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Asitha Fernando, Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Ramesh Mendis.
4th Test: India 62/2 at stumps after rain washes out 3rd session
Rain washed out the third session of the second day of the fourth and final Test at the Gabba here on Saturday with India going to stumps at 62 for two in reply to Australia’s 369 in the first innings.
India lost both their openers early as they went to tea at 62 for the loss of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s wickets before heavy downpour caused a deluge in the outfield.
While rain stopped, the groundstaff could not drain off the water and make the ground fit for resumption of play.
Play will resume half an hour early on the third day to make up for the lost overs.
Both the Indian wickets fell in the second session.
Shubman Gill was caught at second slip by Steve Smith off the bowling of Pat Cummins when the team score was 11 while Rohit Sharma, who looked good for his 74-ball 44, was caught at long on off the bowling of Nathan Lyon after adding 49 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara.
Earlier, Australia were bowled out for 369 in their first innings before lunch.
The hosts lost their last five wickets for 58 runs.
Pace bowlers T Natarajan and Shardul Thakur, and off-spinner Washington Sundar took three wickets each.
Resuming at the overnight 274/5, Australia lost Tim Paine (50) at 311 and then Cameron Green (47) at 313. Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc added 39 for the ninth wicket.
Brief scores Australia 369 (M Labuschagne 108, T Paine 50, C Green 47, T Natarajan 3/78, W Sundar 3/89, S Thakur 3/94) vs India 62/2 (Rohit Sharma 44)
Will try to aim at the crack outside off-stump: Nathan Lyon
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has said he is looking to exploit the crack outside the off-stump during the ongoing fourth and final Test at the Gabba.
The ongoing Test is his 100th and Lyon is looking to get his 400th Test wicket in the series. The Rohit Sharma wicket just prior to tea was his 397th.
“It was like a Day 3 wicket yesterday, and there’s a nice crack outside off-stump so I’m trying to aim at that. My natural line is Paine’s right glove, that’s about a foot outside off-stump, and there’s a nice crack on that line so hopefully I can get something out of that,” said Lyon after the end of the second day’s play. He added that he tried to bowl his best ball to Rohit.
Lyon said that he is looking forward to resuming battle with Rishabh Pant who took him on in the third Test while also surviving a few chances.
“Rishabh always tries to smash me so I’m looking forward to bowl to him, it’s always a great battle with him,” said Lyon.
Lyon, whose parents are at the Gabba watching him play his 100th Test, said bubble restrictions haven’t allowed them to meet each other.
“It would’ve been nice to go out for dinner with everyone, including my parents but there are bubble restrictions,” said Lyon.
I let Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc down: Tim Paine
Australia skipper Tim Paine has said he is not worried about the lack of wicket-taking form of Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc as he took the blame on himself for squandering opportunities to deny them wicket on the last day of the third Test against India in Sydney.
Lyon has taken just six wickets while Starc has taken nine in the three Tests of the series so far.
“I think he (Lyon) has bowled okay. I thought in the first Test match in Adelaide, he created heaps of chances and didn’t get a hand. I thought the other day he bowled beautifully. If I hadn’t dropped a couple, it would have been a completely different story. Nathan Lyon playing 100th Test match — that is not easy. Absolutely top of the tree, how good he is. I don’t think that has changed. I don’t think it will change,” said Paine on Thursday ahead of the fourth and final Test.
“No, I am not seeing any decline in him. Sometimes you get wickets, sometimes you don’t. It is still coming out of his hand beautifully. At times Indians have played him well, at times he has bowled well. Looking at the footage, he has created chances, some of which we have dropped. He will have a huge role to play in this Test,” added the Australia skipper.
Paine said that Starc is being his natural self — sometimes consistent, sometimes inconsistent.
“He is just that type of bowler. Some days he is what he is, he looks like he one of the great bowlers of the world and the next day he has a bad day like the rest of us. Even in the last day at Sydney, he had a nice spell. We know how good he is. We know on his day, he can rip the Test match apart. But that is not going to happen every day,” added Paine.
The wicketkeeper-batsman blamed himself.
“My role with him was to keep him nice and calm and keep him clear on what I and we expect of him and he is a type of bowler when he gets simple clear instructions that keep him clear, he normally brings the house down. My mood around Day 5 — that was the reason why he wasn’t at his best. Again it is me getting back to basics. Keeping him nice and relaxed. Keeping him clear on what we want him to do and when we do that, he more often than not does well,” said Paine.
The Aussie fast bowlers got a very little time for turnaround. They bowled 131 overs on the fourth and fifth days of the drawn third Test at the SCG and are getting just three days to recuperate from the toil.
“We tried to rejuvenate all three of our fast bowlers last week. It was a big Day 5 for them, big week and short turnaround. Those guys are very good at doing that. They are professionals. The reason why they are great cricketers is because they are extremely durable. They are about to play their fourth Test back to back,” said Paine.
The fourth match of the series beginning Friday at The Gabba will be broadcast on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.
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