29 November 2017

Herath doubtful for third Test, Vandersay on standby

NAGPUR, Tuesday : Sri Lanka’s leading spinner Rangana Herath is doubtful for the third and final cricket Test against India starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla grounds in Delhi on December 2 after complaining of back stiffness.

The 39-year-old spinner suffered stiffness in his back during the second Test that ended here on Monday where he bowled 39 overs while India ran up 610-6 declared.

“Rangana complained of stiffness in his back during the match. This happens to him whenever he tries to bowl a little faster. The track at Nagpur was slow and he was trying to bowl faster on it,” said Sri Lanka cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha.

“It is a similar back stiffness that Rangana suffered during the home Test series against India when he complained about his back during the second Test and we rested him for the third,” he said.

“One of the reasons for Rangana retiring from one-day and T20 cricket is also because the two formats requires a spinner to bowl his deliveries a bit faster,” Gurusinha explained.

“We are expecting a report on Rangana’s fitness from the team physio either tonight or tomorrow on whether he will be able to play. At the moment he looks doubtful,” he said.

Gurusinha stated that Jeffrey Vandersay is being flown in as cover up for Herath. He was expected to reach Delhi last night. The 27-year-old right-arm leg-spinner has yet to play in a Test but has represented his country in 11 ODIs and 7 T20Is.

Sri Lanka also has Lakshan Sandakan, who bowls left-arm chinaman in their Test squad for the third Test.

Sri Lanka who lost the second Test by an innings trail India 1-0 in the three-match series.