Key bowler Rangana Herath has joined Sri Lanka’s growing injury list ahead of the start of the third and final Test against India starting Thursday, in a blow to their hopes of a consolation win.
The 39-year-old spinner, Sri Lanka’s number one and the world number three in Tests behind India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, is out with a back injury, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said.
“Herath will not be able to play in the third Test,” Jayasuriya said. “He is suffering a stiff back.”
Sri Lanka have already suffered crushing defeats in the first two Tests and losing Herath compounds their problems.
All-rounder Asela Gunaratne and bowler Nuwan Pradeep picked up injuries in the first and second Tests respectively.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal missed the first Test after being hospitalised for pneumonia, and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was ruled out before the series.
Herath’s place is likely to be taken by left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.
India will also be handicapped by the one-match ban slapped on Jadeja by the International Cricket Council for dangerous play.
The left-arm spinner was reprimanded for a dangerous throw in the second Test in Colombo. He was also docked half his match fee and given six demerit points by the ICC over the second incident in a year.
After the final delivery of the 58th over, fielding off his own bowling, Jadeja threw the ball back at batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, who had not left his crease.
The ball narrowly missed him in a manner which the umpires deemed “dangerous”, the ICC said. Jadeja took five wickets to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 386, as India triumphed by an innings and 53 runs to wrap up the series.