Sri Lanka will be without Wanindu today

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Sri Lanka’s bowling troubles worsened as leader of the pack Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva has been ruled out from the second ODI against Australia in Pallekele today.

Hasaranga starred for Sri Lanka in the 1st ODI where his quick fire 37 – which saw five consecutive fours off Jhye Richardson – saw them getting to 300, while he breathed life to the chase with a four wickets haul. But he was visibly in pain while bowling, touching his groin and limping, and underwent MRI scan afterwards. Results of that will determine whether he is ruled out from the series or not.   

Hasaranga’s absence will be a huge blow for Dasun Shanaka’s team as he will have to find a replacement to cover the 10 overs, as well as a batter who could finish the inning with flourish, a role which Hasaranga did exceptionally well for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka scored 300 on Tuesday night, but Glenn Maxwell who walked out at number 7, took them home with a blistering half century. Shanaka and his men will have to find a quick solution to their death overs. 

On a positive note, a ODI half century after two years for Kusal Mendis means he will be high on confidence for today’s game to play the middle order anchor role, while openers Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka are in good form with half centuries in the first ODI.

Sri Lanka will have a headache finding a replacement for Hasaranga. They have leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay in the squad, but will then lose batting fire power in the lower middle order. They also have the option of bringing in Bhanuka Rajapaksa, which will allow Dhananjaya de Silva and Chamika Karunarathne to bowl their full quota of overs. They still have part time bowling options in Danushka Gunathilaka and Charith Asalanka.

Meanwhile, Travis Head and Matt Kuhnemann have been added to Australia’s ODI squad after Ashton Agar and Marcus Stoinis suffered injuries during the first ODI against Sri Lanka.

Without Agar, Australia have just five fit specialist bowlers in the ODI squad with Sean Abbott (finger), Mitchell Starc (finger), Mitch Marsh (calf) and Kane Richardson (hamstring) all suffering injuries in Sri Lanka. However, Australia could utilize Marnus Labuschagne’s leg spin a little more. He only bowled three overs but picked up two wickets, including that of skipper Dasun Shanaka, and troubled the Sri Lanka batters.

Sri Lanka (Probable): 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Jeffrey Vandersay, 11 Maheesh Theekshana

Australia (Probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Travis Head/Josh Inglis, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Jhye Richardson, 10 Mitchell Swepson, 11 Josh Hazlewood

By Anjana Kaluarachchi in Pallekele