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, 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.
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.
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.