COLOMBO: Sri Lanka stacked its squad on Thursday with uncapped bowlers including pacers Asitha Fernando and Roshane Silva and spinner Lakshan Sandakan for the home Test series starting next week against Australia.
With its stars sidelined with injury, Sri Lanka will be relying on its second-string bowlers to help pull off an unlikely series victory against the world number one Test side.
Struggling batsman Lahiru Thirimanne failed to make the 15-man squad announced on Thursday and led by veteran Angelo Mathews, following Sri Lanka’s recent disastrous tour of England.
Batsman Milinda Siriwardana and all-rounder Niroshan Dikwella were also dropped from the squad that faced a drubbing in England in June in both Tests and one-day internationals.
Five bowlers suffered injuries in England, striking another blow to the young Sri Lankan side which has struggled since the retirement of legends including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Sri Lanka plays three Tests against the visiting Australians, with the first starting in Pallekele on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka last won a Test series against Australia in 1999 and they were soundly beaten in their last encounter in 2012/2013.
The Test squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya Silva, Roshane Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Suranga Lakmal.