After suffering a heavy defeat by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test against India, Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal had another setback. Veteran spinner Rangana Herath was ruled out of the crucial third Test due to a back injury. In spite of Indian opener, Murali Vijay, claiming the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla is on the greener side and will be nice to bat on, Chandimal believes the track may provide help to spinners.
With a 1-0 deficit in the series, the Sri Lankan captain on Friday said Herath’s absence will affect the balance of the team. “Rangana is a big loss unfortunately as he has got a back injury. We have got Lakshan Sandakan and Jeffrey Vandersay in our line-up. They have a good opportunity to play,” Chandimal said.
The 28-year old further hinted that there will be a shuffle in the playing XI in the upcoming Test but it still remains unclear whether leg-break bowler Vandersay, who has replaced Herath in the squad, will find a place in the team or not. “We haven’t decided on anything yet but most probably we are going to do a few changes,” the right-hand batsman said.
Chandimal also came to the rescue of all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who has been struggling to find form for some time now. “Mathews is a senior batsman we have got in our batting line up but it’s not only him there are other senior batsmen also. And even for the youngsters, they all have to take the responsibility when they are out there in the middle. So it’s not only about Angelo but also about others, who have to stand up and perform in the middle,” he said.
The cricketer also questioned the application of Lanka’s top order batsmen and said they must learn to spend long hours on the crease. “That’s a problem we have had over the last one and half years. The top-five batsmen have to play long innings. That’s where we have lost in the past one year,” he said.
Expressing hopes of a comeback in the series, the Sri Lankan captain said, “In our life, we also have ups and downs. When you are losing, you learn so many things about how to come out of it. It’s a hard time for the team but I have a really good feeling we can change these things going forward.”