By BV Swagath
Dinesh Chandimal has been named as the Captain of the Sri Lankan team for the first two ODIs against South Africa. Chandimal at 23 becomes the youngest ever ODI Captain for the Lankans. The Wicket Keeper batsman gets his opportunity following the absence of the original Captain Angelo Mathews who is going to serve a 2-ODI ban slapped by the ICC for slow over rate during the Celkon Mobile Tri-Series in the Caribbean.
Another youngster – Lahiru Thirimanne has been named as the deputy of Dinesh Chandimal. Veteran batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan returns from a hamstring injury which kept him out of action since the ICC Champions Trophy.
Making a comeback in the Sri Lankan team is the tall left-handed batsman Jehan Mubarak while Angelo Perera who played in the Board President’s XI team against Sri Lanka yesterday has been selected. All-rounder Thisara Perera who was omitted for the Tri-Series in West Indies has been recalled.
Sri Lanka has dropped Kusal Perera, Dilhara Lokuhettige and Jeevan Mendis while Nuwan Kulasekara was not considered because of splitting his webbing during the Tri-Series.
The first two ODIs are to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium on the 20th and 23rd.
Sri Lanka Squad for first two ODIs: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Lahiru Thirimanne (Vice-Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (Wicket Keeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Perera, Jehan Mubarak, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal