With the injuries to Sri Lanka’s premier Test fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Dushmantha Chameera, the selectors have opted to experiment with a new look fast bowling attack against Zimbabwe in the upcoming Test series which begins on the 29th of October.
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Apart from the most senior fast bowler, Suranga Lakmal, no other seamer in this squad has played Test cricket yet. Interestingly, no one in this squad, including the veteran spinner Rangana Herath, has played Test cricket in Zimbabwe.
The Sri Lankan selectors have decided to use four frontline seamers in the touring Test squad which includes Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara. The spearhead of the fast bowling attack, Suranga Lakmal has played 29 Tests so far for Sri Lanka and picked up 60 wickets with a bowling average of 49.46, which is quite poor in terms of international bowling standards. He has been wearing national colors for 6 years but hasn’t been a regular feature of the Test squad primarily due to frequent injuries.
28 year old Lahiru Gamage who is known to produce some swing and seam has played 6 ODIs but hasn’t featured in Test team yet. He has been playing first class cricket for the past 10 years and played in 70 first class matches grabbing 187 scalps at 29.44.
Kasun Madusanka (25) is another right arm fast medium bowler who has impressed the selectors over the last couple of months. A product of St. Servatius College, Matara, he currently represents Sinhalese Sports Club and has played 49 first class matches so far, picking up 139 wickets at 28.60. He was impressive during the Sri Lanka development squad tour of Zimbabwe in recent times with both bat and bowl. During the last four day game against West Indies A team, he picked up 3 wickets for 45 runs in the first innings.
The most significant inclusion is Lahiru Kumara, the 19 year old right arm fast medium bowler. He just completed his second first class game against West Indies A team a week ago. He had a very impressive tour against England where he picked up 11 wickets for 134 runs in one of those youth Tests.
Sri Lanka will expect to exploit the seamer friendly conditions in Zimbabwe with this new fast bowling attack. As the most experienced fast bowler in the squad, Suranga Lakmal will spearhead the fast bowling attack while one or two fast bowlers are likely to debut in the first test against Zimbabwe on the 29th October.
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