GALLE, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal has won the toss and elected to bat in the first cricket test against England.
Chandimal will lead the home side after regular skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled out with a fractured finger on his left hand.
Looks like a good batting pitch and we will try to put runs on board and put them under pressure, Chandimal said at the toss on Thursday. If we play well in the first hour, it will be great.
Sri Lanka packed its playing XI with three spinners — Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera and Lasith Embuldeniya — with Asitha Fernando as the sole specialist fast bowler.
England gave a test cap to Essexs 23-year-old batsman Dan Lawrence. As as expected both spinners, Dom Bess and Jack Leach, were picked in the bowling attack along with Sam Curran, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood.
It will be Sri Lanka’s first test series at home since the COVID-19 pandemic forced sports into a temporary lockdown 10 months ago. Sri Lanka has played just two test matches away from home since then, losing 2-0 in South Africa.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando
England: Joe Root (captain), Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, Jonny Bairstow, Dan Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Sri Lanka.
TV Umpire: Lyndon Hannibal, Sri Lanka. Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.