Sri Lanka have been dealt with a blow ahead of the second Test against Pakistan in Galle, with Maheesh Theekshana being ruled out.
The spinner has been released from the squad owing to a finger injury on his right hand. Theekshana returned with figures of 2/68 and 0/44 in the first Test against Pakistan in Galle. Sri Lanka ended up losing the contest, with Pakistan mounting an incredible chase, to win the contest by four wickets. The visitors chased down a target of 342.
Theekshana has so far played two Test matches for Sri Lanka, scalping five wickets. He will be replaced in the squad by 22-year old off-break bowler Lakshitha Manasinghe.
Manasinghe is yet to make his debut for Sri Lanka, but has an impressive record in first-class cricket. He has picked up 73 wickets in 17 matches. He is also a handy contributor with the bat, scoring 582 runs in those games.
In Theekshana’s absence, Sri Lanka could also hand a Test debut to young all-rounder Dunith Wellalage, who impressed one and all at the 2022 ICC Men’s U19 World Cup.
The hosts will also be bolstered by the return of Pathum Nissanka to the squad. Nissanka has played 9 Tests, scoring 537 runs, with one century and five fifties. Nissanka was ruled out midway during the second Test against Australia, after testing positive for COVID-19. Nissanka was also unable to take part in the first Test against Pakistan in Galle.
The series will of vital importance for Sri Lanka, in terms of crucial World Test Championship points. After their loss in the first Test, they slipped to the sixth position in the table, with a points percentage of 48.15. Pakistan, on the other hand, moved up to the No.3 spot, with a points percentage of 58.33.