Sri Lanka announces squad for ODIs against Australia; Wanindu Hasaranga and Bhanuka Rajapaksa return
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board has named a 21-man squad for the forthcoming five-match One-Day International series against Australia at home. Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Dhananjaya de Silva all make their return after missing the previous ODI series against Zimbabwe in January. The return of these three international players significantly strengthens their position against a team like Australia, which has also been named a very good group.
Hasaranga, who is currently playing in the T20I series against Australia, was outstanding in the Indian Premier League 2022, taking 26 wickets in 16 matches. The 24-year-old leg-spinner is now one of the top spinners in white-ball cricket and will be hoping to make an impact against Australia. So far, he has 29 wickets in 29 One-Day Internationals, with an average of 37.9 and an economy rate of 5.03.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa is also in the squad, but the 30-year-old wicket-keeper batsman is out of form and is unlikely to play all five matches. Dhananjaya de Silva is now captaining Sri Lanka A against Australia and has done enough to reclaim his starting spot. Nuwan Pradeep, 35, has been named with Chamika Gunasekera and Shiran Fernando.
Dunith Wellalage, a 19-year-old all-rounder, received his first national team call-up and is likely to make his debut. Wellalage made headlines earlier this year for his outstanding achievements in the ICC U-19 World Cup. With a century and a fifty, he scored 264 runs in six matches at an average of 44.00 and a strike rate of 70.40. However, he astonished everyone with his bowing by finishing the competition with the most wickets (17).
Sri Lanka has a number of quality all-rounders, but Wellalage is projected to play in at least one match. Meanwhile, Pramod Madushan, a 28-year-old medium-pacer, is set to make his long-awaited debut for Sri Lanka but is unlikely to be part of an over-crowded pace attack.