Sri Lanka's selectors have dropped pace bowlers Thilan Thushara and Dammika Prasad for the second Test against the West Indies beginning on Nov 23 in Colombo. The pair went wicketless in the first Test, conceding 195 runs between them from 51 overs. In their place, Nuwan Kulasekara has been recalled and to-be debutant Shaminda Eranga has been called up to become part of the 16 member squad.
Kulasekara played the last of his 11 Tests in December 2009 against India at Mumbai. The 24-year-old Eranga is a right-arm medium fast bowler who represents Chilaw Marians in the Premier club championships. The duo will join Dilhara Fernando and an uncapped Test fast bowler Suranga Lakmal.
Chairman of selectors Aravinda de Silva said that since their frontline bowler Lasith Malinga is unavailable for Test matches, Sri Lanka are going through a trial period to try and discover the most effective combination of seamers to share the new ball in Tests.
"Most of them don't want to play in a Test match but want to restrict themselves to playing fifty-over and T20 cricket," said de Silva. "Some of them cannot play back-to-back Test matches. This is something unheard of in the past. In Malinga's case we have even promoted him to the top category in the player contracts, but he is not fit enough to play Test cricket."
Eranga is supposedly able to bowl above 140 kph which will make him an asset to the attack. He was selected furing the Pace Ace programme conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket in 2006. Eranga, who made his first-class debut in 2006, has taken 34 wickets at an average of around 41.
He is unlikely to make it to the final eleven, but 23-year-old Lakmal's chances look positive. He has been the premier wicket-taker for Sri Lanka 'A' in past matches, and possesses prowess tro swing the ball. Although yet to play in a Test, Lakmal has made appearances in six ODIs for his country.
Sri Lanka squad for second Test: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushal Silva, Shaminda Eranga