Sri Lanka put faith in Mendis
Fernando also included in 16-man party to face Proteas
Last Updated: 22/11/11 1:44pm
Ajantha Mendis: Selected in 16-man squad to face South Africa
Sri Lanka have preferred Ajantha Mendis to Suraj Randiv in their 16-man Test squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa.
Unorthodox slow bowler Mendis missed the recent home Test series against Australia because of a back injury and was not part of the squad that played against Pakistan in UAE.
However, the Sri Lanka selectors are confident he is now over his injury and have selected the 26-year-old over off-spinner Randiv.
The squad also includes fast bowler Dilhara Fernando - who last played a Test against England in June - in place of Dhammika Prasad, who was ruled out of the limited-overs series against Pakistan in the Middle East with an injury.
Wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva, who made his Test debut against Pakistan earlier this month, has been included in place of the injured Prasanna Jayawardene.
Prasanna's namesake Mahela has also been named in the squad, despite the veteran batsman returning home from the ongoing ODI series against Pakistan with a knee injury.
Sri Lanka will face South Africa in three Tests, the first beginning on December 15 at Centurion.
Sri Lanka squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt.), Angelo Mathews (vice capt.), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.