Sri Lanka consider dropping fast bowler
DAMBULLA (Sri Lanka): Sri Lanka are considering playing just one pace bowler in the second match of their five-game one-day series against Australia on Sunday (today).
Australia cruised to a comfortable 84-run victory in the opening match on Friday, a defeat that has prompted a rethink of the home team’s tactics on what is expected to be another spin-friendly pitch. Fast bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Kulasekera bowled just six overs between them on Friday.
Middle order batsman Russel Arnold or explosive opener Saman Jayantha, both of whom also bowl off-spin, could come into the side in place of Kulasekera. “We are having a look at the options to see whether it may be better to have another batter in the side,” said skipper Marvan Atapattu after a light team training session. “If necessary, Mahela [Jayawardene] could even bowl a couple of overs of seam at the start but we would have preferred it if he had been ready for that role.”
If Jayawardene did not open the bowling, off spinner Kumar Dharmasena would be the likely candidate to take the new ball. The final choice between Arnold and Jayanatha, who would be making his debut, would depend on where Sri Lanka wanted the extra batter in the order. “The final decision will depend on whether we want the batsman to slot into the middle order or the top order. If we want a middle order batter then we will go with Russel,” Atapattu said.
Australia, delighted with the speed with which they had acclimatised to Sri Lanka conditions, held a light, optional practice on Saturday afternoon. Their final XI will be decided in the evening after discussions with the chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns. Fast bowler Brad William could be replaced by medium-pace all-rounder Ian Harvey or Michael Kasprowizc. —Reuters