Starting from March 9, Sri Lanka will play a two-Test series in New Zealand, led by Dimuth Karunaratne. This series holds significant importance as it awards World Test Championship points. Alongside Australia and India, Sri Lanka is the only other team with an opportunity to qualify for the World Test Championship final.
“The Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee selected the following 17-member test squad to take part in the two-match test series of the upcoming Sri Lanka Tour of New Zealand 2023,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in an official statement.
Sri Lanka is currently in a position where they have 53.33% of the potential points in the World Test Championship. However, for them to qualify for the final, they would need to beat New Zealand 2-0 and hope for other results to work in their favor. This is no easy feat, especially considering Sri Lanka’s poor record in New Zealand, having won only twice in their 19 prior attempts.
Despite their record, Sri Lanka’s Test form has been strong under coach Chris Silverwood. The team will rely on a range of pace options for their tour, including Lahiru Kumara, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Milan Rathnayake, and Vishwa Fernando.
The Sri Lankan squad will embark on their tour of New Zealand from March 9 to April 8, where they will play a total of eight matches – two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. The first Test match is scheduled to take place from March 9-13 at Christchurch, followed by the second Test from March 17-21 at Wellington.
Sri Lanka makes surprise selection for crucial series against New Zealand with 2 new faces Nishan Madushka and Milan Rathnayake
Sri Lanka’s upcoming test series against New Zealand is not only crucial in determining their success in the tournament but also marks a huge gamble for the team as they have included two new faces – Nishan Madushka and Milan Rathnayake – in their squad. The inclusion of these players marks their maiden Test call-ups and adds a level of excitement to the already high-stakes series.
Nishan Madushka, a 23-year-old right-handed batter, has earned his place in the squad through his impressive performance against the England Lions in two first-class matches earlier this year. Despite a rough start in the first innings of the first test match, where he was dismissed after only facing two balls, Madushka returned in the second innings with nerves of steel, playing a breathtaking knock of 241 runs to bring Sri Lanka back into the game.
In the upcoming two-test match series against New Zealand, Sri Lanka is relying on the young and talented Nishan Madushka to perform at his best. Madushka has an impressive track record in first-class cricket, scoring 3389 runs in 38 matches, including an unbeaten 300, which is a career-best. His selection for the squad was justified by his remarkable performance in the second innings of the previous test match, where he scored a lightning-fast century.
In addition to Madushka, Sri Lanka has included Milan Rathnayake, a 26-year-old pacer, who has shown sensational form with the ball, picking up 42 wickets in 22 first-class appearances, including a 5-wicket haul. Rathnayake’s recent three-wicket haul against England Lions highlights his potential and the value he brings to the team.
Chamika Karunaratne is another player who has been featured in the Sri Lankan squad for the test series. Although Karunaratne has not played a test match since his debut, he marked his comeback by scoring a half-century against England Lions in the recent series. Karunaratne’s inclusion in the squad further adds to Sri Lanka’s depth and versatility.
With their sights set on the World Test Championship final, Sri Lanka will be hoping to secure their place in the tournament by defeating New Zealand in the upcoming two-test match series. Madushka, Rathnayake, and Karunaratne could all play crucial roles in helping Sri Lanka achieve their goal. The first test match against New Zealand is scheduled for March 9.
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Test Schedule
2-day Warm-up Match Mar 04, Sat – Mar 05, Sun
New Zealand XI vs Sri Lanka
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
1st Test Mar 09, Thu – Mar 13, Mon
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
2nd Test Mar 17, Fri – Mar 21, Tue
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka,
Basin Reserve, Wellington
Sri Lanka Test Squad against New Zealand
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 and Milan Rathnayake.