Rangana Herath sidelined by back injury

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Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka’s veteran spinner Rangana Herath will miss the third Test against India at Pallekelle due to a back injury.

Injuries have plagued the islanders as they lost the all-rounder Asela Gunaratne (fractured left thumb), Suranga Lakmal (back injury) and Nuwan Pradeep (hamstring injury) during the ongoing series. Newly appointed skipper Dinesh Chandimal also missed the first Test due to pneumonia.

The hosts have already lost the Test series and do not want to risk causing further damage as Sri Lanka will play Pakistan in the UAE in September in a two-Test series followed by a three-Test series in India in November.

Cricket Manager Asanka Gurusinha said,

“Rangana complained about back pain and we don’t want to take any chances with him. He is our leading bowler, he’s also bowled close to 200 overs in the three Tests and we have a busy season ahead. Hence, we thought not to risk him for the final game with the series already lost.”

The left-arm spinner, who captained the side in the first Test in the absence of Chandimal, has bowled as many as 151 overs in the last three Tests in just over three weeks.

The 39-year-old had also hurt his left middle finger while fielding during the Galle Test but was declared fit for the second Test. Sri Lanka are likely to bring in fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera in place of Nuwan Pradeep, who injured his hamstring during the second Test.