Kusal Perera in for Sri Lanka as Mathews misses Australia series

By Sports Desk January 08, 2019

Kusal Perera has been named in Sri Lanka's Test squad for their series with Australia, with Angelo Mathews missing out due to injury.

Opener Kusal replaces Danushka Gunathilaka, whose highest score across four innings in the recent Test series in New Zealand was eight.

Sri Lanka have turned to Kusal despite less than impressive performances in the Test game in 2018, when he scored a combined 92 runs in six innings.

Mathews remains sidelined because of a hamstring strain that has seen him miss the limited-overs contests with New Zealand.

Sri Lanka, beaten 1-0 by New Zealand in the Tests, will be underdogs for the two-match series in Australia despite the hosts having suffered a first home series defeat to India on Monday.

The Gabba in Brisbane hosts the first Test on January 24, with the second held at the Manuka Oval in Canberra starting February 1.

Squad in full: Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne. 

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    The batsman felt the force at short leg when Jake Doran played a sweep shot to a Dilruwan Perera delivery during the second session of play. 

    Kusal will go for a scan on the ring finger on his right hand on Friday, less than a week before the tourists start a two-match series against Australia at the Gabba. 

    Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha said: "He can't hold the bat so hopefully in 24 hours' time we'll know more, 

    "He was in quite a lot of pain but now he's okay after icing it a couple of times." 

    Kurtis Patterson made 157 not out and Doran was unbeaten on 102 as a Cricket Australia XI declared on 316-5, with Sri Lanka 38 without loss at stumps in their opening tour match. 

    Hathurusingha was concerned to see Sri Lanka bowl 12 front-foot no balls. 

    "It's a big concern. We need to get that right because it's happened to us again," he said. 

    "The spinners also bowled no-balls in the England series and we got, I think, three wickets off no-balls so it's a big concern. We need to get it right soon." 


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