Sri Lanka dropped captain Dinesh Chandimal from the Test squad on Tuesday for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
Sri Lanka Cricket asked him to play domestic games to regain his form.
Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne is the stand-in captain of a 17-man squad for the two-test series starting on Feb. 13.
Chandimal’s omission follows scores of 5, 0, 15, and 4 in the two recent test losses against Australia.
The squad includes three uncapped players: Batsman Oshada Fernando, seam bowler Mohmed Shiraz, and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya.
Sri Lanka’s pace attack is depleted because of injuries to Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep.
However, Suranga Lakmal is back after missing the second test against Australia. Specialist opening batsman Kaushal Silva is also back having missed the Australia series.
Allrounder Milinda Siriwardana was recalled after nearly three years.
The tests are in Durban from Feb. 13 and in Port Elizabeth from Feb. 21.