Sri Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal has been rising steadily up the ranks ever since making his international debut for the Islanders. As Sri Lanka lock horns with India in the 2nd Test scheduled to start in Nagpur from tomorrow, Lakmal will be looking forward to derailing their top order with some exceptional bowling. He was at his imperious best in the opening Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and it was due to his sensational spell on the morning of the opening day which helped the Lankans dominate the match for the major part of 3 days.
Lakmal eventually finished with match figures of 7/119 which is the best bowling performance in Tests by a Sri Lankan pacer in the last couple of years. It wasn’t a one-off showing by Lakmal at the Eden Gardens as he has the most productive seamer for the team since January 2016. He has taken 41 wickets at an average of 34 and a strike rate of 68.
The next two most productive pacers Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara doesn’t feature in the current team touring India. The nippy fast bowler is just 5 Test wickets away from bagging his 100th Test wicket. Meanwhile ahead of the start of the 2nd Test in Nagpur, Team India opener KL Rahul revealed that the pitch would assist faster bowlers as they prepare themselves for the tough overseas tours next year.
“It is very clear that we are preparing for the next two years that we are going to travel abroad. We will play lot of cricket overseas and find wickets like this and it is going to be challenging for all of us. So we wanted to prepare in that way,” Rahul said.
It was Lakmal’s sensational performance on the opening day of the previous Test which made everyone take notice of him. He bagged the wickets of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in his opening spell without conceding a single run. It was only the 2nd occasion in the history of Test cricket where a bowler bagged three wickets or more without conceding a run.