Sri Lanka has selected uncapped players Nishan Madushka and Milan Rathnayake in the 17-man squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting in March.
Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara who have been out of the squad have also made their comebacks. Sri Lanka have last toured New Zealand in 2019. The series ended in a 1-1 draw after the visitors defeated New Zealand in the first Test.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) February 24, 2023
New Zealand has not been in good form in recent times in the longer format they haven’t won the last two home Test series against Bangladesh and South Africa. In the ongoing two-match Test series against England, they lost the first Test.
New Zealand cannot qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final. However, Sri Lanka on the other hand is in with a chance to qualify for the final.
Sri Lanka currently sits third in the standings at 53.33%, and they head to New Zealand knowing that not only must they win both Tests in their two-match series to stand any chance of qualification, but they are also reliant on favourable results in the remaining Tests between India and Australia.
The third Test between India and Australia starts in Indore on March 1 with the hosts able to secure their place at The Oval with another victory. Anything less, and Australia will become the first team to qualify for the WTC Final.
With so much still to play for, the race to qualification promises to provide more tension and excitement before the top two teams take to the field on June 7 with the coveted ICC WTC Mace and a place in history at stake.
Sri Lanka Test squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Nishan Madushka, Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Milan Rathnayake