Sri Lanka Cricketâ€™s Selection Committee on Monday announced the squad that will go head to head with India in the upcoming T20I series starting from February 24. Much to the surprise for everyone, the selection committee has dropped one of their top batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa from the squad.
The 30-year-old batter was in the bio bubble but was left out of the 18-man squad finalized on Monday. A selection committee official told NewsWire, that the batter has not attained peak fitness, even though he passed the 2-km fitness test conducted last week. Previously, the batter was not given permission to participate in the 2022 Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to the T20I series against India.
Recognizing his talent, Rajapaksa is the lone Sri Lankan batter to be picked at the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction, as he was purchased by Punjab at a price of INR 50 lakh. He has played 18 T20Is and has scored 320 runs at an average of 26.66 while having a strike rate of 136.17.
Meanwhile, the squad will also not have Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando who are out due to injury. All other regulars like Wanindu Hasaranga, Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanaka are available in the squad.
Sri Lanka T20I squad
Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka (VC), Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashian Daniel (Subjected to Ministerial approval).