Maheesh Theekshana

Praveen Jayawickrama won't be available for the second Test in Galle © BCCI
Praveen Jayawickrama won't be available for the second Test in Galle © BCCI
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Praveen Jayawickrama Ruled Out Of 2nd Test Against Australia After Testing Covid-19 Positive

Praveen Jayawickrama, the Sri Lanka left-arm spinner has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia after testing positive for COVID-19.

The second and final match of the red-ball series is scheduled to be held at the Galle International Stadium on Friday, July 8. The frontline spinner being ruled out due to health concerns has turned out to be a huge setback for the hosts with the series on the line.

Praveen Jayawickrama
Praveen Jayawickrama. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Praveen Jayawickrama, Sri Lankan Spinner, Ruled Out Of 2nd Test Against Australia After Testing Covid-19 Positive

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team management has decided to add a new-look spin attack to bolster their chances in this Test match against a mighty Australian line-up with emerging cricketers Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage being possible options. Now, it remains to be seen whether either of them will be making their Test debut on this occasion.

Dunith Wellalage celebrates his second wicket, Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd ODI, Pallekele, June 16, 2022
Dunith Wellalage impressed in the ODIs and could be in line for a Test debut • AFP
Sri Lanka has called up spinners Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, and Lakshitha Manasinghe for the second Test against Australia in Galle. The trio is uncapped at the Test level and at least one is set to play on Friday after Lasith Embuldeniya was dropped from the squad and fellow left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama was ruled out with Covid-19.
The 19-year-old Dunith Wellalage, who is also a left-arm spinner, was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series with nine at 22.33 and could also add depth to Sri Lanka’s batting order if he debuts. He was one of the traveling reserves with the squad for the first Test but has now been elevated to the main group.
Although right-arm finger spinner Maheesh Theekshana only claimed four wickets in the five ODIs, he caused Australia problems during the white-ball leg of the tour. However, he has played just three first-class matches, the last of which was in 2018, having been viewed as a limited-overs specialist.

Angelo Mathews Tested Covid-19 Positive During 1st Test

Praveen Jayawickrama who was Sri Lanka’s reserve spinner for this series tested positive after senior all-rounder Angelo Mathews contracted the deadly virus during the first Test match. All Sri Lankan players were sent for testing and have come out with negative results. At the same time, it also learned that Angelo Mathews is available for selection in the series-deciding second match.

Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the first Test against Australia due to COVID-19 but the third day otherwise began on schedule in Galle. Batsman Oshada Fernando took the field to replace Angelo Mathews for the first match of the two-Test series. Angelo Mathews scored 39 off 71 balls in the 1st innings.

Having been completely outplayed in the series opener by 10 wickets, a demoralized Sri Lanka will now hope for a revival in fortunes in this all-important contest with a key focus on their batting that had miserably let them down in the first game despite winning the toss on a spin-friendly wicket.

Ramesh Mendis was the pick of Sri Lanka’s spinners in the first Test, taking 4 for 112, but even he struggled to control the scoring rate as Australia rattled along at 4.53 runs per over.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews. - GETTY IMAGES
Former Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews. – GETTY IMAGES

In contrast, the Aussies showcased a far superior batting performance in their first innings forcing the Lankans to play a catch-up game from there on. Australia, on the other hand, is just a victory or a draw away from winning their second consecutive Test series in the subcontinent this year. They had beaten Pakistan 1-0 in the three-match series earlier this month.

This victory would also mark a third straight Test series win for the Pat Cummins-led side starting their 4-0 annihilation of arch-rivals England in the 2021/22 Ashes series at home.

Image Credit: Twitter

Maheesh Theekshana And Kusal Mendis Ruled Out Of T20I Series

Spinner Maheesh Theekshana and batter Kusal Mendis have been ruled out of the T20I series against India with hamstring injuries. Also, the pace bowler Shiran Fernando has been ruled out of the T20Is due to a glute injury.

Sri Lanka cricket board announced that a couple of members from the test squad in form of Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella will join the T20I squad for the remaining two T20Is in Dharamsala.

Kusal Mendis AFP
Kusal Mendis AFP

Kusal Mendis was the Player of the Match in the last T20I against Australia

Left-arm pacer Binura Fernando also recovered from Covid-19, he bowled an impressive spell of 2/12(4) in the first T20I match against Australia but soon after that, he was tested positive for Covid-19. But now he will be available for the selection in the remaining two matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga was also ruled out of the T20I series as he was tested positive for Covid-19.

Kusal Mendis who was the Player of the match in the only win against Australia last week will race against time to get fit for the first test match starting on March 4 in Mohali.

Mendis lost his place in the Test squad after scoring 4 consecutive ducks in tests against South Africa and England. However, with good returns in domestic first-class cricket, he earned his place back.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga

The two test series will be a part of the World Test Championship as well. In this cycle of WTC, Sri Lanka played just one series as they beat West Indies in the 2-match series at home last year so they are at top of the table but they have some tough fixtures to follow.

In the remaining fixtures, they will host Pakistan and Sri Lanka while they will tour New Zealand and Bangladesh in the next season.

In the first match of the T20I series, they lost comprehensively by 62 runs. It was their 8th loss in the last 10 games in the shortest format. Sri Lanka lost by 1-4 in the 5-match series against Australia that concluded last week.

Also, read We Might See Sanju Samson Coming At No. 3 In The Second T20I – Wasim Jaffer

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Praises ‘Phenomenal’ Chennai Super Kings For Successful IPL 2022 Auction

Aakash Chopra believes the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were the standout franchise at the IPL 2022 auction.

CSK retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the mega auction. They bought 21 more players at the auction to complete their full-strength squad of 25.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Gives Chennai Super Kings 9/10 After Acing One More Auction

While reviewing the IPL 2022 auction in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was particularly delighted with CSK’s picks.

He elaborated: “The Chennai Super Kings is the team I have given the most marks. Chennai Super Kings 9/10. This team has aced one more auction. You see this team’s philosophy clearly, they are phenomenal. They got the complete squad – 25 players, and money was still left.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India cricketer pointed out that MS Dhoni’s side stuck to their philosophy but were willing to spend wholeheartedly on Deepak Chahar. Pacer Deepak Chahar has been part of Chennai Super Kings since they made a return after a two-year suspension. He played a crucial part when CSK won the title twice in 2018 and 2021. In 4 seasons, he played 58 matches for the yellow army and picked 58 wickets with an economy of 7.70.

Aakash Chopra observed: “It is not that they have not spent the big bucks. When they had to spend 14 crores on Deepak Chahar, they did that as well. But despite that, what a squad they have prepared. I am thrilled.”

Apart from Deepak Chahar, Ambati Rayudu (₹6.75 crores) and Dwayne Bravo (₹4.4 crores) were CSK’s most prized picks at the auction. Shivam Dube (₹4 crores) and Chris Jordan (₹3.6 crores) were the only other players that cost them more than two crores.

Out of 14 seasons, the franchise CSK has played 12 as they were banned in 2016 and 2017. The team has won the trophy four times in IPL 2010, IPL 2011, IPL 2018, and IPL 2021. The franchise has also reached the playoffs 11 times out of 12 seasons.

Aakash Chopra: CSK Have Plenty Of Options In Both Batting And Bowling Departments After Another Successful IPL 2022 Auctions

Aakash Chopra highlighted that CSK have plenty of options in the batting department with the inclusion of the likes of New Zealand opener Devon Conway.

He explained: “If you see the team, either Robin Uthappa or Devon Conway can open with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Moeen Ali will come after that, you will have Shivam Dube, Ambati Rayudu. If you want you can play Robin Uthappa down the order, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja.”

MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar
MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI

The reputed commentator concluded by saying that the defending champions are not short in the bowling department either with the inclusion of Chris Jordan, Mitchell Santner and Adam Milne as backup options.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “In bowling, you have Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo – they have given themselves the option of Chris Jordan, Mitchell Santner as an option for Jaddu, they have Adam Milne with Chris Jordan as an option. They have Prashant Solanki and more spinners along with him.”

Apart from the aforementioned bowlers, CSK also have Maheesh Theekshana as a mystery spinner. Dwaine Pretorius is an additional all-rounder option in their squad.

Chennai Super Kings bought 21 players during IPL 2022 auction. Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner, and Shivam Dube were some of the popular players bought by CSK during the auction. CSK’s highest deal was Deepak Chahar for Rs. 14 crores.

Chennai Super Kings had an available salary purse of Rs. 48 crores during IPL 2021 auction. Ahead of the auction, the IPL 2021 champions spent Rs. 42 crores out of their 90 crores to retain 4 players in their squad. The four-time IPL champions retained Ravindra Jadeja for Rs. 16 crores, MS Dhoni for Rs. 12 crores, Moeen Ali for Rs. 8 crores, and Ruturaj Gaikwad for Rs. 6 crores.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Full Squad After IPL Auction 2022

Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Maheesh Theekshana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Samarjeet Singh, Devon Conway, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Adam Milne, Mukesh Choudhary, Prashant Solanki, C Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan, Chris Jordan, K Bhagath Varma.

Mickey Arthur. (Credits: Twitter)
Mickey Arthur. (Credits: Twitter)
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T20 World Cup 2021: Mickey Arthur Warns Australia Of Mystery Spinner Threat Ahead Of Sri Lanka Game In Dubai

Mickey Arthur, Sri Lanka head coach, has warned Australia of the threat posed by ‘mystery spinner’ Maheesh Theekshana ahead of their clash on Thursday in Dubai. Mickey Arthur hopes Maheesh Theekshna’s off-spin would strangle the Australian batters and spin a web around them.

Maheesh Theekshana has been one of the breakout stars for Sri Lanka in the ongoing T20 World Cup. The 21-year-old has snared eight wickets in three games in the qualifiers of the competition, at an average of 5.62.

Maheesh Theekshana. (Image Credits: Getty)
Maheesh Theekshana. (Image Credits: Getty)

Mickey Arthur: Mystery Spinner Mahesh Theekshana Certainly Poses Some Questions To Oppositions

Mickey Arthur, who coached Australia for three years, said that he is aware of their weakness against spin bowling. But, speaking of Maheesh Theekshana, Mickey Arthur believes the bowler could pose a few questions to the opposition with his repertoire of tricks.

“We obviously have studied Australia. We had a series not so long ago when I was with Pakistan here against him where we did use spin quite successfully. If you haven’t seen Maheesh, he certainly poses some questions. He has a couple of different balls that do make you quite hesitant if you can’t pick them,” Mickey Arthur said as quoted by the West Australian.

Mickey Arthur
Mickey Arthur. (Photo Source: Twitter).

The off-spinner wasn’t available to play in Sri Lanka’s first Super 12 game against Bangladesh, which they won, as he picked up an injury. However, Mickey Arthur wants to unleash the youngster against Australia, who haven’t faced him before. Maheesh Theekshana picked 4 scalps in 1 ODI and 9 scalps in 6 T20Is averaging 9.25 and 15.33, respectively, in the limited over formats.

David Warner Likes The Word Mystery Spinner And Seen Some Footage

Australian opener David Warner reacted to the ‘mystery spinner’ challenge, saying it would be a tricky proposition to face him under lights. However, the left-hander is confident of putting the bowler under pressure.

David Warner had a forgettable year after losing his playing XI spot and the captaincy role he had with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was only able to score a solitary run across both warm-up games against New Zealand and India as well and scored only 14 against South Africa in the tournament opener.

David Warner said: “I like the word mystery spinner … I’ve seen some of the footage. You have to watch their hand closely and under lights that’s a difficult thing to do, you don’t get to see the seam.”

David Warner. (Image Credits: Getty)
David Warner. (Image Credits: Getty)

“From a batter’s perspective it’s about applying pressure like you normally do to any bowler. We know coming up against sub-continental teams they like to play two or three spinners against us, which we’re prepared for.”

Although Australia won their first game against South Africa, they had to work hard to overhaul a 119-run target. Josh Hazlewood (4-1-19-2) and Glenn Maxwell (4-0-24-1) were particularly devilish to deal with their tight lines completely tying the opposition down.
It still came down to Australia’s batting, which has not been their strength lately. But Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade came good when it mattered most, their 40-run stand in only 26 balls sealing a profoundly valuable victory.
Australia 121 for 5 (Smith 35, Stoinis 24*, Nortje 2-21) beat South Africa 117 for 9 (Markram 40, Hazlewood 2-19, Zampa 2-21) by five wickets
ICC T20 World Cup
ICC T20 World Cup Image Credits: Twitter
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Sri Lanka Cricket Names 15-Man Squad And 4 Reserves For T20I World Cup 2021

Sri Lanka begin their campaign on 18 October against Namibia in the First Round qualifier of the forthcoming 2021 T20I World Cup. Group A also has Ireland and the Netherlands. Sri Lanka has named a squad made up of a combination of youth and experience for the Twenty20 World Cup to be played next month.

The squad features 15 players and an additional four reserves as injury replacements and includes former captain Dinesh Chandimal, current captain Dasun Shanaka, and opening batsman Kusal Perera. In all, six batsmen, five all-rounders, and four bowlers were included.

Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)
Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)

Sri Lanka Names 15-Man Squad And 4 Reserves For T20I World Cup 2021 Without Major Omissions

The following squad was selected by the Cricket Selection Committee to take part in the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2021, which will be played in UAE and Oman from 17th October to 14th November 2021.

 Sri Lanka will be looking to clinch their second T20 World Cup title this year (AFP Photo)
Sri Lanka will be looking to clinch their second T20 World Cup title this year (AFP Photo)

2014 champions Sri Lanka on Sunday announced their 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October-November. There were no major omissions apart from Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka, who are serving year-long bans for breaking COVID-19 protocols on their tour of England in July.

Sri Lanka Announced Spin Heavy Squad Including Maheesh Theekshana And Praveen Jayawickrama

Sri Lanka announced a spin-heavy squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. The islanders have included 4 frontline spinners in their 15-man squad while two have been named in the reserves.

21-year-old mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana and the uncapped Praveen Jayawickrama have made it to the Lankan squad along with Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva while Akila Dananjaya and leg-spinner Pulina Tharanga have been named in the reserves.
Veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep has been included as part of a pace attack that includes Dushmantha Chameera and all-rounders Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Madushanka.
Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga. (Getty Images)
Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga. (Getty Images)

The squad was approved by the Minister of Youth and Sports Honorable Namal Rajapaksa.

  1. Dasun Shanaka – Captain
  2. Dhananjaya De Silva – Vice Captain
  3. Kusal Janith Perera
  4. Dinesh Chandimal
  5. Avishka Fernando
  6. Bhanuka Rajapaksa
  7. Charith Asalanka
  8. Wanindu Hasaranga
  9. Kamindu Mendis
  10. Chamika Karunaratne
  11. Nuwan Pradeep
  12. Dushmantha Chameera
  13. Praveen Jayawickrema
  14. Lahiru Madushanka
  15. Maheesh Theekshana

Reserves

  1. Lahiru Kumara
  2. Binura Fernando
  3. Akila Dananjaya
  4. Pulina Tharanga