Will new discovery Madushka have his hard earned day in Kiwi land? | Sunday Observer

Will new discovery Madushka have his hard earned day in Kiwi land?

19 February, 2023
File photo: Nishan Madushka bats against England Lions
File photo: Nishan Madushka bats against England Lions

Two uncapped players Nishan Madushka (wicket keeper/top order batsman) and right arm fast bowler Milan Ratnayake were named in Sri Lanka’s 19-member Test squad picked for the tour of New Zealand.

Madushka 23, is a product of Moratu Maha Vidyalaya while Ratnayake 26, hails from Sri Sumangala College Wariyapola. But questions are likely to be raised before the Test series whether the in-form Madushka will be able to make his debut and prove a point as Sri Lanka has a track record of playing safe with the old hands.

The batting will be severely tested in New Zealand conditions with ex-skippers Angelo Mathews 100 Test caps and Dinesh Chandimal 70 Test matches and present skipper Dimuth Karunarathne 82 Tests as the most experienced batters in the Sri Lanka squad.

Sri Lanka, currently undergoing a period of transition, are due to play a series of two Tests, three ODIs and three T20s on the tour of New Zealand.

The squad has six fast-medium bowlers headed by the experienced Lahiru Kumara in the bowling unit which sees the return of left arm fast bowler Vishva Fernando.

The four spinners who make up the bowling unit are left arm spinners Prabath Jayasuriya, Praveen Jayawickrema, Lasith Embuldeniya and right arm off spinner Ramesh Mendis. But there is no place for promising young off-spinner Lakshitha Rasanjana who is also a left hand top order batter.

The national Selectors have named Dimuth Karunaratne and Oshada Fernando as openers. Fernando gained selection after some good knocks against the visiting England Lions team.

Niroshan Dickwella could be the first choice wicket-keeper while the heavy scoring Madushka is the other wicket keeper on tour.

The middle order will be manned by Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva and left hander Kamindu Mendis that looks pretty interesting.

Sri Lanka will play a 2-day warm-up game on March 3-5 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch ahead of the Test series which will begin on March 9 at the same venue followed by the second Test from Match 17 to 21 at Wellington.

The white-ball series between the two sides will be played from March 25 to April 8. The tour of New Zealand will be a vital one for Sri Lanka as the outcome of the Test and ODI series will determine their chances of qualifying for the ICC ODI World Cup and ICC World Test Championship Final which will be conducted this year.