Lakmal ruled out, Thirimanne makes come back


by Rex Clementine

Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out of the second Test against India with a back injury but veteran Rangana Herath has been retained in the squad, allaying fears that he will be out of the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds on Thursday.

Herath hurt his left middle finger while attempting to field in India’s second innings of the first Test in Galle. Herath did not bowl or bat on day four as Sri Lanka were beaten by 304 runs with a day to spare as India took a 1-0 lead in the three match series on Saturday.

Herath’s situation will be monitored over the next 48 hours and Sri Lanka will be desperate that their veteran spinner makes into the final line-up.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal has joined the squad and has been training at R. Premadasa Stadium.

Also returning to the squad is top order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne. The 27-year-old, who has already played 26 Tests was axed from the side after the Lord’s Test last year and hasn’t featured in any format of the game since.

Thirimanne’s form hasn’t been great either to earn a recall for the senior side, but the school of thought seems to be that since SLC has invested on him so much, they are trying to see whether the left-hander can get his touch back.

The highly rated Thirimanne was once earmarked as the successor to Kumar Sanngakkara at number three and the man to take over the captaincy mantle. But he has failed to convert talent into numbers as his Test average of 24 suggests.

Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan also has been added to the squad.

With Chandimal taking back the number four position, Kusal Mendis, who batted at four in Galle will move up to number three with Danushka Gunathilaka moving out.

With Asela Gunaratne ruled out of the tour, the number six position will be a toss up between Dhananjaya de Silva and Thirimanne.

With Dilruwan Perera showing good form with the bat, Sri Lanka also have the option of batting him at seven and bring in an additional spinner by including Sandakan into the playing eleven.

Sri Lanka Squad for second Test: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne and Lakshan Sandakan.

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