In preparation for the forthcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka has assembled a formidable 16-man squad. After performing poorly in the ODI World Cup, Kusal Mendis‘ team bounced back by winning the series against Zimbabwe and the one-off Test against Afghanistan by a margin of ten wickets. In the white-ball series, which is scheduled to start on February 9 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, they would try to do the same.
It’s interesting to note that the management benched Dasun Shanaka, the former captain of the ODI team.
The all-rounder was the star of Sri Lanka’s spectacular victory in the Asia Cup 2022, but when his form declined recently, the selection committee was compelled to look at other choices.
Among the players in form are Janith Liyanage and captain Mendis, who both excelled at the bat during the series against Zimbabwe in January. The bowlers were equally outstanding; in Sri Lanka’s 2-0 series victory, Wanindu Hasaranaga, who was back, ended up taking the most wickets. They would be optimistic about their chances with it, but playing Afghanistan in a white-ball series will never guarantee success.
With their powerful exploits in the ODI World Cup, the visitors astounded the cricketing community. They were on the verge of making it to the semifinals at one point, but they sadly got lost in the midst. They then lost 0-3 to India in the Twenty20 International series, which should motivate them to make a decisive comeback. Despite Rashid Khan’s absence due to a severe back ailment, the team has an ideal platform going into the series against Sri Lanka.
Prior to the commencement of the T20 World Cup on June 1, Sri Lanka will want to capitalize on the Afghanistan series. In addition, they would monitor the Champions Trophy 2025 and work to assemble a formidable team for the major competition, which is slated to take place in Pakistan—a location that the Sri Lankan players are well-acquainted with.
Kusal Mendis (captain), Charith Asalanka, Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Sahan Arachchige, Akila Dananjaya, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, and Shevon Daniel: Sri Lanka’s squad for the Afghanistan series.