Shanaka to captain, several IPL stars in Sri Lanka side for opening T20I vs Australia

Sri Lanka’s experienced all-rounder Dasun Shanaka will captain the side, while Indian Premier League (IPL) stars Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have also been included in the Playing XI for the opening T20 International against Australia to be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium here later on Tuesday.

The classy duo of Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis have also been named in the Sri Lanka top six, while there is no debut just yet for teenage quick Matheesha Pathirana, who recently returned from playing in the IPL.

Pathirana caught the eye with a distinctive bowling style very similar to Sri Lanka pace-bowling legend Lasith Malinga while playing for Chennai Super Kings, but he will have to wait for his chance to impress.

Sri Lanka fell to a 4-1 defeat during a five-game series in Australia earlier this year, but are expected to perform more strongly on home soil with games scheduled for Colombo and Galle.

Australia named their XI for the series opener on Monday, with Aaron Finch captaining a strong side that is missing first-choice spinner Adam Zampa and Test skipper Pat Cummins.

Sri Lanka XI: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Nuwan Thushara

Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood.




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