Nagpur: In a huge blow to the Sri Lankan team, veteran off-spinner Rangana Herath wouldn’t be a part of the Delhi Test scheduled to be played from December 2 due to a back problem.
He would be replaced by left-arm spinner Jeffrey Vandersay who was called up to the side on Tuesday.
Vandersay has represented Sri Lanka in a total of 11 ODIs and seven T20Is but hasn’t yet made his Test debut. Malinda Pushpakumara, the left-arm spinner was Herath’s first-choice replacement but he failed the fitness test as a result of which, Vandersay got the nod. Herath would return to Sri Lanka on Thursday.
SLC chief selector Graeme Labrooy said, “We were hoping that Rangana Herath will feel okay for Delhi. But having spoken to him and physio we feel that he should come back.”
“We have got lot of cricket ahead and he is important for us. Our plan was to fly in Malinda Pushpakumara, but he has failed a fitness test. Vandersay will now be the replacement,” he added further.
Herath, who is the most experienced Sri Lankan bowler in the current team bowled eight overs in Kolkata where he took 1/81 and also made a crucial 67 at the end. In Nagpur, he bowled a total of 39 overs.
The visitors drew the first test and went on to suffer a humiliating defeat by an innings and 239 runs in the second match.
Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal(Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva, Jeffrey Vandersay.