Sri Lanka Test squad: Dinesh Chandimal returns to face New Zealand
Dinesh Chandimal has not played for Sri Lanka since February. © AFP

The Sri Lanka Cricket selectors have named Dinesh Chandimal in Sri Lanka’s 15-man Test squad for the two-match series versus New Zealand starting August 14. Chandimal has not played for Sri Lanka in any format since he lost the captaincy in February.

Chandimal was named in a preliminary squad of 22 for the Tests against New Zealand this week, which on Friday was trimmed to 15. From the initial pool of players, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Angelo Perera, Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando have been removed.

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Chandimal was dropped for the tour of South Africa in February after overseeing two crushing Test defeats in Sri Lanka, which came after a winless tour of New Zealand and a 0-3 Test series loss to England at home. He has played 53 Tests, from which he averages 41.86 with 11 centuries.

The spin bowlers picked for the Test series are Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and Lasith Embuldeniya, while the pace contingent comprises Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando.

Top-order batsman Oshada Fernando has been named too, after he made his debut in South Africa earlier this year.

The first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is from August 14 in Galle, the second starting August 22 at Colombo’s P Sara Oval.

This series is the first for both teams in the new ICC World Test Championship.

Sri Lanka’s Test squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Oshada Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando