Kasun Rajitha, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, has been ruled out of the second Test against Pakistan, starting December 19 at the National Stadium in Karachi. The 26-year-old picked up the injury on the fifth day of the opening Test in Rawalpindi. The speedster bowled only six overs on the day with the brand-new cherry and removed opening batsman Shan Masood for a duck.
Then he went off the field and didn’t come back. In the presentation ceremony, Dimuth Karunaratne, the visitors’ skipper, put forth the reasons behind Rajitha going off the field. Rajitha became the second Lankan quick to be ruled out of the series. Even before the series began, spearhead Suranga Lakmal became unavailable after contracting dengue.
Kasun Rajitha- A big miss
As per reports in ESPNcricinfo, the selectors are yet to name Rajitha’s replacement for the final Test. Lanka may just persist with the other players, who are already in Pakistan. If Karunaratne and Co opts for three specialist seamers, then 22-year-old Asitha Fernando is likely to get a go. The pacer has experience of one ODI and was initially roped in as Lakmal’s replacement.
Rajitha getting ruled out means that Sri Lanka now have two pacers- Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara- who have played Test cricket before. The Lankans also have the spin options in Lasith Embuldeniya and chinaman Lakshan Sandakan. The visiting team may want to make some changes in the bowling attack after Abid Ali and Babar Azam made them work hard.
Both Abid and Babar remained unbeaten on a century. The Lankans will be pretty satisfied with their batting though. The skipper led from the front with a 110-ball 59 and got good support from Oshada Fernando. On the last day, Dhananjaya de Silva notched a ton after which Lanka decided to declare. It was his sixth Test century in only his 28th match to go with five half-centuries.
Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella chipped in with scores in the 30s. Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal will be looking to make amends after failing last time around. Lanka needs to sort their bowling out as barring Rajitha and Kumara, no one looked threatening.
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