Rangana Herath will not be taking part in the third and final Test versus India in Pallekele, that begins on August 12th. The left-arm spinner had complained of a stiff back after the last Test in Colombo, and will hence be rested as a precautionary measure. However, with India leading the series 2-0, the Test match is effectively a dead rubber.
Herath has hardly missed a Test match for Sri Lanka in the last three years, with the last occurrence being against New Zealand in a boxing day Test match in 2014 due to a leg injury. The only Test match he missed after that was against Pakistan in July 2015, where has was not selected in the team.
Speaking on Herath’s omission, SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha said, “This is where our player management comes in, because we don’t want to break anyone. We made the call not to risk Herath because he’s also bowled close to 200 overs in the three Tests. That’s a lot for his body.” Herath will continue to stay in Colombo and receive treatment to try and regain fitness before before Sri Lanka’s Test series against Pakistan.
In Herath’s absence, Dilruwan Perera will be the senior spinner with left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan in the squad.
Sri Lanka has been plagued with multiple injuries during the ongoing Test series against India, with Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, and Suranga Lakmal already sitting out due to different injuries.