• Karunaratne to captain Sri Lanka against SA

    Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has replaced wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal as Sri Lanka’s captain for this month’s Test series against South Africa.

    Chandimal, who struck a mere two dozen runs during Sri Lanka’s series whitewash to Australia earlier this year, has not been named in the squad for February’s two Tests in Durban and Port Elizabeth.

    ‘We are a young team and always learning how to play, especially in these tough conditions. We will bounce back in South Africa,’ said Chandimal, prior to Tuesday’s omission.

    ‘I mean, these are three tough tours, we have finished two and now South Africa. South Africa is similar to these conditions and with very good bowlers. We know that as a team we have to play in tough conditions and we need to adjust to those conditions and step up as a team.

    ‘We all know what went wrong as a team and I’m sure the boys will learn from that and they will come good in South Africa.’

    Karunaratne was the sixth-highest run-scorer in Test cricket last year, after countryman Kusal Mendis, Indians Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, England’s Joe Root and Jos Buttler.

    Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, (vice-captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya.

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