Fast bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Gamage have been included in the squad of 15 picked by Sri Lanka for the third and final cricket Test against India starting at the Pallekele International Stadium on Saturday.
However there is no place for batsman Danushka Gunathilaka who made his Test debut at Galle in the absence of captain Dinesh Chandimal and was retained in the squad for the SSC Test.
Chameera replaces the injured Nuwan Pradeep who broke down after bowling only 17.4 overs in India’s mammoth total of 622-9 declared in the second Test played at the SSC.
Pradeep is out for three weeks with a grade one left hamstring tear.
Uncapped Gamage takes the place of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who has been rested because of a stiff back.
Gamage, 29 a right-arm fast bowler from CCC has appeared for his country in 5 ODIs that includes a tour to India with the Sri Lanka team in 2014.
Chameera who has been sidelined by injuries throughout his two-year career has appeared in 6 Tests the last being at Port Elizabeth against South Africa in December 2016.
He recently returned to the Sri Lanka side after a back injury to play in the ODI against Zimbabwe last month.
Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando, another uncapped fast bowler retain their places in the squad. Although Sri Lanka has strengthened their fast bowling line-up by including four seamers they are short of international experience.
Kumara and Chameera have together played in only 13 Tests and captured 45 wickets while Gamage and Fernando have still to break into the Test circuit.
Sri Lanka has however retained their spin trio of Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan.
Sri Lanka may leave it till the morning of the Test to finalise their bowling combination as it has been raining in Pallakele.
“We managed to get practice yesterday (Wednesday) but today we are confined to the indoor nets. We have not had a look at the wicket yet because it’s raining,” said cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha.
The last Test played at Pallakele in July last year saw Herath and Sandakan run through the Australian batting taking 16 wickets between them. Sandakan making his Test debut took a match bag of seven wickets.
Sri Lanka trail India 0-2 in the three-match series and are battling with injuries to key players trying to avoid an embarrassing 3-0 whitewash at the hands of the world no. 1 ranked Test team.
Meanwhile India has called up uncapped left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Axar Patel for the suspended Ravindra Jadeja for the Pallekele Test.(Daily News)