Playing 11 for the first test against New Zealand

We already know that the Sri Lanka Cricket selectors have selected a 15 man squad for the New Zealand test series. While we have our concerns about the selection, especially not choosing Dhanushka Gunathilaka who performed well in the warm-up game and the complete omission of Roshen Silva. However, that could be a discussion for another day.

<<Sri Lanka Cricket selected a 15 man squad for the New Zealand series>>

Today, our Cricketry Sri Lanka team is planning to do one of our favourite things in cricket, team selection.

So here are our thoughts on the playing 11 for the first test match. As we all know, the first match is to be played in Galle, which is traditionally a spin-friendly one. Therefore, we think that it is smart to take the field with three spinners, including a batting allrounder and two-seamers. This would allow us to play seven batsmen.

<<Read our article on how to select the perfect cricket team here>>



We believe that Suranga Lakmal will be one of the seamers given his experience. There will be a competition for the second seamers spot between Vishwa and Lahiru Kumara. While Lahiru’s pace may give him an advantage, the fact that Vishwa is a left-arm seamer would tip the scale towards him. Also, he can touch the 140kmh mark, which is impressive for a left-arm swing bowler.


From the spin bowling department, Lasith Ambuldeniya is the automatic choice given his recent heroics in the emerging team. Taking 18 wickets in seaming conditions is no simple task. The other obvious choice is Dhananjaya De Silva. He will be the spin bowling batting all-rounder. This leaves a single spot to either Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dhananjaya. Akila recently came back to form against the Bangladesh team. He can bowl both finger spin and wrist spin, which is great for the team balance. Also, he is no muck with the bat. Therefore, we this he will be the third spinner for the team


Players like Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunarathne are obvious selections. However, there is a huge competing between the other batsmen for number 3 and 4 positions. We have the likes of Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan DIckwella who are trying to make a come back while players like Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis making a case to the number 4 position. We also think Dhananjaya Silva is wasted down the order. He should open the batting with Dimuth which would give us left-hand right-hand combination at the top

Following is the lineup we believe would play in the first match

  1. Dimuth Karunaratne (C)
  2. Dhananjaya de Silva
  3. Kusal Mendis
  4. Oshada Fernando
  5. Anjelo Mathews
  6. Lahiru Thirimanne
  7. Kusal Janith Perera (WK)
  8. Akila Dhananjaya
  9. Lasith Ambuldeniya
  10. Suranga Lakmal
  11. Vishwa Fernando

Unfortunately, we do not think Dinesh Chandimal would have a place in this lineup. What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Playing 11 for the first test against New Zealand

  1. Collect facts before you pen. Dimuth said the other opener will be either Thrimanne or Oshada. So go for Oshada. True, the other competition for batting will be bet Chandi & Thri. Advantage for Chandi is he can keep wickets & the first match will give him some practice for the second. He did not play in the warm up which again points to lousy admn in the set up.Did Chan dictate to play in Canada or was it a bungle up by the selectors??

  2. Following changes are proposed to improve the team balance,

    1. Top order is weak. Dhananjaya has not performed recently in the top order. Kusal Janith should be in the top order.
    2. Dickwella is the best WK option if Kusal J is going to play in the top order. So he should be in the team batting at no 7. Its a waste to send Kusal J at no 7 when he has produced his best performances while batting in the top order.
    3. SL may go for their leading fast bowler who has the highest pace, i e Lahiru Kumara.
    4. So both Lakmal and & Vishwa will not get a chance. Vishwa who has taken many wickets during the last 3 test series may get a chance.
    5. Two best spinners (Embuldeniya & Akila) will play.
    6. As Dilruwan is injured there is likely that Dhananjaya may find a place (instead of Thirimanna) as SL will play three spinners who have the best test bowling records during the last 3 test series.

    So my proposed XI will be

    1 Dimuth
    2 Kusal Janith
    3 Oshada
    4 Kusal Mendis
    5 Mathews
    6 Dhanjaya
    7 Dickwella
    8 Akila Dhananjaya
    9 Lasith Embuldeniya
    10 Lahiru Kumara
    11 Vishwa Fernando

    If the selectors want to further strengthen the spin department (depending on the nature of the pitch) they may play only one fast bowler (Lahiru Kumara) and include Sandakan instead of Vishwa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *