The Sri Lanka Test squad which is currently touring South Africa for a 2-match Test series has been hit by a string of injuries. A 22-man squad for the South Africa and England Test series were announced by Sri Lanka Cricket but unfortunately, five players have been sidelined due to injuries so far, hampering their chances of another series win in the rainbow nation.
The latest on the injury list is Kasun Rajitha who left the field during the 2nd day of play at Centurion. Later, it was reported that Rajitha had picked up a groin strain and wouldn’t be able to bowl in the 1st Test. Sri Lanka is now virtually down to nine men in the opening Test at Centurion and a 4-man bowling attack in the absence of Rajitha and De Silva.
Oshada Fernando was the first casualty, as he was injured in his very first match of the Lanka Premier League and ruled out of the entire tournament. He hurt his ankle while searching for a run and MRI scans indicated that he would be sidelined for at least two weeks. However, he is currently in South Africa as a member of the Test squad and Sri Lanka will be hoping he will be fit for the 2nd Test at Johannesburg.
Sri Lanka’s most experienced batsman Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the Test series as he aggravated an existing hamstring injury while bowling in the semifinal of the LPL between Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators. Mathews was forced to try and complete his full quota of 4 overs in the game because of the injuries to his bowlers but he too got injured in the process. He is expected to be fit for the upcoming Test series against England which will be held in Sri Lanka.
Undoubtably the most fatal blow for Sri Lanka was the injury to Suranga Lakmal, who pulled his hamstring during practices in South Africa as Sri Lanka lost the leader of their bowling attack for the Centurion Test. Sri Lanka Cricket haven’t released an official statement on Lakmal’s condition so far but he is expected to be available for the 2nd Test against South Africa.
Adding one more to the growing list of injuries, Dhananjaya de Silva who was batting fluently against the South African attack and was on 79 when he suffered a ‘Thigh Strain,’ and left the field. Scans revealed that the player had sustained a grade 2 tear on his thigh, ruling him out of the ongoing series against South Africa. He is also in doubt for the upcoming Test series against England.
Sri Lanka National team hasn’t played any international cricket since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of match practice may be a major reason behind all these injuries. The Test squad didn’t play any practice matches in South Africa either because of the time-constraints of the tour and COVID-19 restrictions.
Sri Lanka will be hoping there will no more injuries to their players and Oshada Fernando, Suranga Lakmal and Kasun Rajitha will be fit for the 2nd Test vs South Africa in Johannesburg.