Sri Lanka bank on spin troika after injury forces leading figure out World Cup squad

Sep 26, 2023 05:35 PM IST

Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, and Dunith Wellalage give Sri Lanka edge in terms of rich spin bowling options

Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup as star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga failed to make the cut due to an injury. Hasaranga has been ruled out of the showpiece event due to a grade three hamstring tear.

Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (AFP)
Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (AFP)

He sustained the injury during the playoffs of the Lankan Premier League (LPL) last month, where Hasaranga topped both batting and bowling charts. The all-rounder accumulated 279 with the bat and scalped 19 wickets in the tournament. The injury also forced the all-rounder out of the Asia Cup.

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The Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) had earlier stated that they were working hard to get Hasaranga fit for the World Cup, which gets underway on October 5 in India.

However, they had also mentioned of the possibility of Hasaranga being sidelined for at least three months if he required a surgery.

Hasaranga was a leading member and played a key role at the World Cup Qualifiers held in June and July, where Sri Lanka emerged victorious to secure their spot for the main event. He was the tournament's leading wicket-taker, scalping 22 wickets in just seven games.

If we look at the squad announced, Lankan have added three good spinners in it. Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, and Dunith Wellalage give Sri Lanka edge in terms of rich spin bowling options especially with the World Cup being played in India, which is known to assist spinners.

Sri Lanka produced a decent show in the Asia Cup before enduring a tough one-sided defeat against India in the finals. In fact on one instance Wellalage ran -through the star studded Indian line-up to fold Indian innings for 232.

Sri Lanka will engage in two warm-up fixtures, which are against Bangladesh on September 29 and Afghanistan on October 2.

The unit will begin their official campaign against South Africa on October 7 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Sri Lanka Squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka

Travelling reserve: Chamika Karunaratne

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