Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara back to bolster Test attack
Lahiru Kumara is back to assist Suranga Lakmal in New Zealand. (Image: CWI Media)

The pace pair of Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara are back in a 17-member Sri Lanka Test squad for the tour of New Zealand, as are opener Lahiru Thirimanne and Sadeera Samarawickrama.

Dinesh Chandimal returns from injury to lead the team, which will be without Akila Dananjaya who recently travelled to Brisbane for remedial work on his action was which was deemed illegal by the ICC during the recent Test series with England.

Pradeep, 32, played the last of his 28 Tests in October 2017 but this year has featured in ODIs and T20Is for Sri Lanka. Kumara, 21, has played all formats this year but was dropped from the Test squad this month for breaking a curfew during the home series against England. With conditions in New Zealand assisting fast bowling, their presence will add strength to Sri Lanka’s attack.

Kaushal Silva has been dropped after scoring 41 runs in two Tests against England. His place has been taken by Thirimanne, who last played Tests in India in November 2017. The left-hand batsman has scored 1153 runs in 29 matches at an average of 23.06, with one hundred.

Samarawickrama, 23, also has not played a Test for Sri Lanka since the tour of India. An average of 15.62 from eight innings led to his axing earlier this year.

The spin bower Malinda Pushpakumara has also been dropped.

Sri Lanka start their tour of New Zealand with the first Test at Wellington from December 15 followed by the Boxing Day Test at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Three ODIs and one T20I follow in January.

Sri Lanka Test squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera