Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka 1st Test in Harare
2020-01-19 at 08:37
Test cricket will return to Zimbabwe today after a lengthy break as they face Sri Lanka in a two-match series at the Harare Sports Club grounds.
The series is termed as a new beginning for the Zimbabwean cricket, its fans and spectators. Zimbabwe last played a test in November 2018, while they last hosted a test in 2017 against West Indies.
The Zimbabwean selectors have named a 15-men Test squad led by skipper Sean Williams for the series.
The selectors have named five uncapped players, indicating their plan to build a new and strong team for the future.
Zimbabwe will be without seamer Tendai Chatara due to a bicep injury but that opens the door for Victor Nyauchi and Charlton Tshuma to compete for a place in the side.
The Sri Lankans have endured a mixed bag in the longest format in recent few months.
Since January 2019, the Islanders have played eight Tests and have won three of those, with one against Pakistan ending in a draw. Despite the record, Sri Lanka will begin the series as firm favourites against Zimbabwe. The strong 15-men Sri Lankan squad will be led by Dimuth Karunaratne.
Suranga Lakmal makes a welcome return to the Sri Lankan squad after he missed the last Test series against Pakistan and while most of that squad remains for the series, Asitha Fernando and Kusal Perera are both omitted.
Kusal Perera who won a Test match from an improbable position in South Africa could not find a place in the touring party and according to the national chief selector the left hander had not shown his ability to occupy the crease for a lengthy period.
National selectors had indicated that the batting line-up may remain the same as the one that took field in Karachi going in with the experience of Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal at 3, 4 and 5 respectively with Dhananjaya de Silva and wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella to follow.
Thunderstorms have been forecast on each of the first four days of the Test match however the pitch is likely to favour the batters in Harare.
The game is slated to get underway at 1.30pm Sri Lanka time.