18 Dec 2020: Angelo Mathews ruled out of South Africa Test series
In a huge blow, senior all-rounder Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the SA Test series due to a hamstring injury.
However, he is still a part of the squad.
Notably, the 33-year-old sustained the injury during the recently concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL).
Squad: A look at Sri Lanka's Test squad
Test squad for SA series: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Santhush Gunathilake, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
Squad: Five uncapped players included in the team
The likes of Wanindu Hasaranga, Minod Bhanuka, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, and Santhush Gunathilake are the five uncapped players in the team.
Besides Mathews' absence, there are a few other injury concerns for Sri Lanka.
Opening batsman Oshada Fernando, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, will miss the first Test against South Africa.
Meanwhile, Kusal Perera is likely to open the innings.
Series: Sri Lanka's first Test assignment in 11 months
The SA tour is Sri Lanka's first Test assignment in 11 months.
They last played against Zimbabwe (January 2020), while their scheduled series against England got postponed due to COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the SA series will commence with the Boxing Day Test (Dec 26-30) in Centurion, followed by the final Test in Johannesburg.
After that, SL will host England (in January).
Fact: The SL contingent will leave for SA on December 18
The players and staff from Sri Lanka will leave for South Africa on December 18. They will play a three-day tout match scheduled in Benoni from December 20, before the opening Test which begins at the SuperSport Park, Centurion.
History: When Sri Lanka made history in South Africa
Sri Lanka last toured South Africa in 2019, and became the first Asian side to win a Test series there.
Middle-order batsman Kusal Perera played one of the greatest Test knocks, that helped Lanka complete a historic run-chase in Durban.
The next Test at Port Elizabeth saw the tourists clinching a rather one-sided victory (by eight wickets).
They cleaned up the hosts 2-0.