Angelo Mathews has returned to Sri Lanka’s T20I squad after 18 months as he was picked in the 16-member side for the three-match series against India, starting January 5 in Guwahati.
Several injuries and battles with fitness saw Mathews being overlooked from the 20-over format. However, the veteran all-rounder has recovered from his injuries and began bowling lately, which is one of the prime reasons for his return to the national team.
While his bowling will bolster the line-up, it is doubtful that Mathews will appear in the first two T20Is as the Islanders do not want to disturb their top six consisting of Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, and Dasun Shanaka.
Besides Mathews, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and top-order batsman Kusal Mendis also feature in the squad, but they are unlikely to make a cut in the playing XI.
Among bowlers, Sri Lanka has picked four pacers and three spinners. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga heads the spinners list consisting of Lakshan Sandakan and Dhananjaya de Silva. Lasith Malinga, on the other hand, continues to spearhead the pace attack and also retains the captaincy for India series. Lahiru Kumara and Isuru Udana were named in the team to support 36-year-old Malinga.
Sri Lanka T20I squad for India series:
Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana.