The Sri Lankan team has been announced for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan. By winning this series, the Sri Lankan team would like to prepare themselves for the World Cup qualifiers starting next month. Mathisha Pathirana may get a chance to debut in the ODI series starting on June 2.
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After a successful IPL season, rising star Mathisha Pathirana has found a place in the Sri Lankan team. His name is also included in Sri Lanka's team of 16 players. Nicknamed 'Baby Malinga' because of his different actions, Pathirana has already played T20 for Sri Lanka. However, he is yet to get a chance in the Test team, and considering his game, the chances are slim.

Dhoni, who nurtured Pathirana in the IPL, believes that he should stay away from Test cricket and focus only on limited-overs cricket. Dushmantha Chameera, who was out of the team for a long time due to injury, has returned to the team and will lead the Sri Lankan pace attack. Along with youngsters, Sri Lanka has also selected veteran batsman Dimuth Karunaratne. Karunaratne, who last played an ODI in 2021, will look to strengthen the Sri Lankan batting.

Kusal Perera has been left out of the squad due to a thigh injury. Sadeera Samarawickrama has got the place in his place. Sadeera is returning to the ODI team after four years. Dasun Shanaka will lead the Sri Lankan team in the ODI series to be held in Hambantota from June 2. The Sri Lankan team would like to finalize their preparations in this ODI series ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

Sri Lankan squad for first two ODIs against Afghanistan
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjay De Silva, Charith Aslanka, Vanindu Hasaranga, Mahish Teekshan, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Mathisha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajita.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan ODI Series Schedule
First ODI: June 2, Hambantota
Second ODI: June 4, Hambantota
Third ODI: June 7, Hambantota

Sri Lanka is yet to announce its squad for the World Cup Qualifiers but it is quite likely that most of the players who played in the series against Afghanistan will be part of the Sri Lankan squad for the World Cup Qualifiers as well. The Sri Lankan team has been placed in Group B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, with their campaign opener against the United Arab Emirates on June 19.

(pc amarujala)