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Published: Friday, June 15, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lanka on Saturday recalled left-hander Hashan Tillekeratne and included Michael Vandort in a 16-member squad for the three-Test series against India starting on August 14.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Tillekeratne, a veteran of 56 Tests who is coming back into the national side after two years, played for Board President's XI in the three-day match against the Indians, which ended on Friday, scoring 26 runs.The 21-year-old Vandort made a century in that match and is tipped to make his Test debut as an opener. However, another veteran Aravinda de Silva was left out of the side.The national selectors named five fast bowlers in the squad, which does not include off spinner Kumar Dharmasena who gave a good performance in the triangular One-day series.It is rather unusual for a 16-strong squad to be named for a home Test, as the selectors have given captain Sanath Jayasuriya and coach Dav Whatmore a long list of seven batsmen, two wicket-keepers who can bat, five seamers and two off spinners to choose from.Tillekeratne, 34, had not played for Sri Lanka since the 1999 World Cup, and is considered a certainty in the final eleven to strengthen the middle-order in the absence of de Silva. Kumar Sangakkara and Romesh Kaluwitharana will have to fight it out for the wicket-keeper's slot. Jayasuriya's regular opening partner Marvan Atapattu may have to bat at one-drop, if the eleven includes either Vandort or Avishka Gunawardene.The third seamer's slot - after Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando - will have to go to one from among Suresh Perera, Ruchira Perera and Dulip Liyanage.Muthiah Muralitharan will continue to be the main strike bowler, while Tilan Samaraweera, an off spinner and a competent batsman, will be his foil, if chosen ahead of an extra medium fast bowler.Samaraweera, who has captained Sri Lanka 'A' team with aplomb, gets some long overdue recognition. The all-rounder's omission from the One-day team caused some consternation even at the level of the Sports Ministry.The team: S Jayasuriya (captain), M Atapattu, A Gunawardene,M Vandort, K Sangakkara, M Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, HTillekeratne, R Kaluwitharana, Chaminda Vaas, Suresh Perera,Dilhara Fernando, Ruchira Perera, D Liyanage, MuthiahMuralitharan and Thilan Samaraweera. PTI


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