Sri Lanka is struck with another injury and fitness blow as the team had to drop Rangana Herath from the fourth Test at Pallekele. The 39 years old spinner complained back issues after the third Test. The top spinner who scaled second rank in ICC Test Bowler Ranking will miss the final fixture. India has already gained an advantage in the series with a lead of 2-0. Only the final Test is remaining as a dead rubber for Sri Lanka.
Fitness and injury became a trouble for the home team since the beginning of the series. Dinesh Chandimal, the captain, was dropped from the first Test as Pneumonia troubled him. He was back in the second Test, but the fixture had to drop Asela Gunaratne. The top batsman broke his left thumb in the first day of the first Test. He tried to catch a smash from Shikhar Dhawan at the leg slip when the ball struck his hand leaving the thumb fractured. The player was out from the series and is undergoing recovery.
The absence of Gunaratne was a dent in batting front of the team. Still the home squad formed a strong bowling arsenal with three spinners and two pacemen. However, in the Third fixture, even the bowling ensemble became emerged wobbly with absence of Herath. Another bowler who will miss the Test is Nuwan Pradeep, the fast bowler. Hence, the squad is now devoid of its top spin as well as pace option. Pradeep, an allrounder, was absent in the second Test as well. In the final fixture, Dushmantha Chameera is included as a replacement of Pradeep. The fast bowler has claimed 22 Test wickets so far. The selectors are still unsure on a replacement for Herath.
Meanwhile in India squad, Ravindra Jadeja is suspended from the Third match. The top player in the team was guilty for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. He was awarded the Player of the Match at Colombo. Jadeja’s demerit points touched 6 when he was charged of breaching article 2.2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct. It is, “throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an International Match”.
In the second inning of the second Test, Jadeja threw a ball to Dimuth Karunaratne who was at the crease. The act of throwing was noted as “a generous manner”, narrowly missing the batsman. The incident happened in the 58th over of the second inning. Jadeja accepted the sanction admitting the offence.
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