COLOMBO, February 9 – Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga gets an opportunity to test his fitness in the one-off Twenty20 match against world champions India starting here on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old, who was out of action due to a knee injury, made his last international appearance in February 2008 in a one-dayer against Australia in Melbourne.
Malinga has taken 91 wickets in 28 Tests, 79 in 53 one-dayers and seven in as many Twenty20 matches.
"He (Malinga) has been bowling well and looks in good form," Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan told reporters on the eve of the first-ever Twenty20 international match in the country.
"His return is good for the team. It is also an opportunity for him to test his fitness as he has to bowl only for a short period."
Sri Lanka have rested key batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, and spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, but Dilshan said the team had talented youngsters to test India.
"We have good young all-rounders who have done well in domestic cricket. It will be a good chance for them to stake claims for the Twenty20 World Championships (in England in June) and we hope to do well," said Dilshan.
India, who will play their first Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka, won the World Championships in South Africa in 2007 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They have so far won six of their 10 Twenty20 games.
Sri Lanka have won eight of their 12 Twenty20 matches.
India (from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Pragyan Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar.
Sri Lanka (from): Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Jehan Mubarak, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Indika de Saram, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Farveez Maharoof, Kaushal Weeraratne, Malinga Bandara, Jeevantha Kulatunga, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Mahela Udawatte, Thilan Thushara.