Kusal dropped for New Zealand ODI series

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Sri Lanka have dropped opening batsman Kusal Perera and recalled bowler Nuwan Kulasekara for the seven-match ODI series against New Zealand, which begins in Christchurch on 11 January.

Kusal has been omitted after scoring only 99 runs in five matches in the recent ODI series against England at home. He was left out of the last two ODI's in that series, as Mahela Jayawardene was preferred to open the innings.

Captain Angelo Mathews said after the England series: "We've given opportunities to Kusal. He's fared pretty well, I thought, in a couple of games.

"He could have done better. We expect a lot from him because he is a good player. We've got nine more games to try and experiment with the opening slot."

The tour also sees the return of fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has now recovered from ankle surgery. Malinga will probably only play the latter part of the series as Sri Lanka ease him back into international cricket before the World Cup.

The final 15-man squad for the World Cup has to be announced by the 7 January, so the current 16-man combination would know who got cut before the series against New Zealand gets underway.

Sri Lanka one-day squad

Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Shaminda Eranga

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