Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has confirmed releasing five players from the upcoming second Test between England and Sri Lanka. Dimuth Karunaratne, who missed the first Test due to injury, will also miss the second Test slated to begin January 22 (Friday).
The board has also ruled out Kusal Mendis owing to his bad performance in the first Test, which England won by 7 wickets. Other players- Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep have been ruled out for not performing well in the first Test.
“The released players will return to training at the High-Performance Center in Colombo. Whilst in the absence of Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal will continue to captain the team in the 2nd test match, as well,” SLC said in an official statement.
Sri Lanka lost the first Test match by 7 wickets after a below-average show with the bat at Galle, raising fingers on their intent in the ongoing Test series.
In fact, the side’s head coach Mickey Arthur admitted the fact that a poor show from the batsmen cost them the first match. Sri Lanka’s batting collapsed on 135-10 in the first innings and in response, England scored a massive 421 runs, with their skipper Joe Root hitting 228 runs alone.
“The first innings was very poor, it was an unacceptable batting performance. I’m not one to ever look for excuses, but it was like we were batting at the Wanderers and Centurion in terms of tempo. We hadn’t changed our tempo to bat in the subcontinent, coming back and batting in Sri Lanka, where it’s all about patience, trusting your technique, wearing the opposition down, and grinding away,” Arthur told ESPNCricInfo.
The hosts did try to put up a fight in the second innings with Lahiru Thirimanne scoring 111 runs, while Angelo Matthews managing 71 runs.
Sri Lanka managed to pile 359 runs in the second innings but only managed to put a target of 74 runs which the visitors chased comfortably with 7 wickets in hand.