The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sri Lanka repose faith in pace

TOUR OF South Africa

Colombo, Oct. 4 (AFP): Muttiah Muralidharan was the lone spinner named Friday in Sri Lanka’s team for the upcoming tour of South Africa as the selectors reposed their faith in fast bowlers.

The 16-man squad for next month’s two-Test series has six new ball bowlers, including rookie left-armer Thilina Thushara who is considered the fastest bowler in the country. Allrounder Hasantha Fernando and pacer Tharanga Lakshita are the other new faces in the team captained by Sanath Jayasuriya.

Chaminda Vaas will be supported by Dilhara Fernando, Sujeewa De Silva, Chamila Gamage, Thushara and Lakshita in the pace attack.While Vaas has played 62 Tests, the remaining five have a combined experience of only 14 Tests between them.

The Tests are scheduled to be played at Johannesburg from November 8-12 and at Centurion, near Pretoria, from November 15-19. A separate squad will be named for five ODIs.

Aravinda De Silva’s retirement from Tests Thursday gives tall left-hander Jehan Mubarak a chance to make his first tour with the senior squad after his debut at home against Bangladesh earlier in the season.

The Squad

Sanath Jayasuriya (captain), Maravan Atapattu (vice-captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Russel Arnold, Hashan Tillekeratne, Jehan Mubarak, Hasantha Fernando, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Sujeewa De Silva, Chamila Gamage, Thilina Thushara, Tharanga Lakshita, Muttiah Muralidharan, Prasanna Jayawardene.

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