All eyes for the Australian team would be on the series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, as the series could possibly determine their World Test Championship (WTC) final fate. Sri Lanka have named a strong 17-member squad for the two-match series, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, which sees the inclusion of Chamika Karunaratne. Chamika's only Test appearance came against Australia at Canberra way back in 2019, and since then has remained a white-ball specialist since then.
Sri Lanka still have an outside chance of qualifying to the WTC final, with the equation being simple: They will have to beat New Zealand 2-0 and Australia should lose the remainder Tests against India. Alongside Karunaratne, the selection committee have also included plenty of pace option in the form of Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Milan Rathnayake and Vishwa Fernando.
Nishan Madushka makes his maiden trip to the national team, on the back of 3389 runs in 38 first-class matches, including a career high score of 300. Madushka was in sublime form, earlier against England Lions, with 241 and 100. Rathnayake too comes into the setup after picking up 42 wickets in 22 First-Class clashes.
Prabath Jayasuriya, Ramesh Mendis alongside Dhananjaya de Silva will be the spin options for the Islanders in New Zealand. The first of the two Tests will be played at Christchurch from March 9-13, with the second Test at Wellington from March 17.
Sri Lanka squad for New Zealand Tests: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Nishan Madushka, Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Milan Rathnayake