Ajantha Mendis recalled in Sri Lanka Test squad for South Africa tour

Ajantha Mendis missed Sri Lanka’s Test series against Pakistan, which they lost 1-0 AFP

Colombo: Nov 23, 2011

Sri Lanka on Wednesday recalled unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis for next month’s Test series in South Africa as the selectors grappled with injuries to key players.

Mendis was included in a 16-man squad for the three Test matches after being excluded for the recent series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which Sri Lanka lost 1-0.

Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, who also missed the Pakistan Tests before being selected for the ongoing one-dayers, was given the nod to join the touring party.

Mendis replaces off-spinner Suraj Randiv, while Fernando comes in for the injured Dammika Prasad in the squad announced in a Sri Lanka Cricket release.

Sri Lanka were also forced to exclude fast bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Shaminda Eranga, and first-choice wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene, due to injuries.

“We have had to reshuffle the squad because of injuries,” said chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis.

Sri Lanka open the six-week tour with a practice match against South Africa ‘A’ in Benoni from December 9 to 11.

The back-to-back Tests will be played at Centurion, Pretoria (December 15-19, Durban (December 26-30) and Cape Town (January 3-7).

Sri Lanka’s squad for the subsequent five one-day internationals starting on January 11 will be announced later. (AFP)

Test squad:

Tillakaratne Dilshan (c), Angelo Mathews, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.