Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Left-arm Sri Lanka batsman Upul Tharanga will lead the side in the upcoming five-match ODI series against India.
Tharanga will be leading the ODI side for the first time since Angelo Mathews gave up the ODI captaincy post the 2-3 loss against Zimbabwe in July at home.
The left-arm batsman was in horrendous form in the Test series against India which the hosts lost 0-3.
All-rounders Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardana have also been included in the 15-man Sri Lanka squad. While Mathews is still part of the squad, right-arm pacer Lasith Malinga has also made a comeback.
Apart from the injured pair of pacers, Nuwan Pradeep (hamstring) and Asela Gunaratne (thumb), Sri Lanka left out fast bowlers Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekara and Lahiru Kumara, who all featured in ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Tharanga has urged the nations’ cricketing fans to rally round the national team and have confidence in the Lankan Lions.
“Every team goes through a rough patch” a Sri Lanka Cricket release quoted him as saying. “This is something that happens in cycles to every team and every nation no matter how great a cricketing nation they are. Sri Lanka dominated in all three formats for a good 18 years – don’t forget this now when we are going through a rough patch.”
The white-ball skipper, while asserting that said that Sri Lanka have always been stronger in white-ball format, said that he was confident that the team will come out strong and beat India.
“We have the talent, we have the skill. We have been putting in the hard work, we just need the spirit, and for that we need your support too,” he said.
The five-match ODI series begins on August 20 at Dambulla. The T20I will be played on September 6.
Sri Lanka squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), K.L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur. ( ANI)