Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 2nd day December 27, 2012

Welegedara suffers hamstring tear


Chanaka Welegedara will not bowl again in the Boxing Day Test and is unlikely to recover in time for the third Test, after initial scans revealed a tear in his right hamstring. Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene is unable to keep wickets for the remainder of the Test, having fractured his right thumb while batting the previous day, but the Sri Lanka management are hopeful he will bat in the second innings. Kumar Sangakkara has taken the gloves in his stead.

In addition, scans on Thursday revealed Nuwan Kulasekara was suffering from a hairline fracture to a rib, which was originally thought to be nothing more than bruising. He suffered the injury when he took a blow to the ribs on the final day in Hobart, and was left out of the second Test when he was unable to bowl comfortably in the nets, in the lead-up to the match. Sri Lanka are hopeful that both Kulasekara and Jayawardene will be available for the Sydney Test which begins on January 3rd, but their condition will be reassessed closer to the start of that Test.

Having opened the bowling for Sri Lanka on the second morning, Welegedara was halfway through his fourth over, when he pulled up during his approach to the crease. He bent down to stretch his right hamstring, and appeared to be in discomfort as he left the field. Shaminda Eranga completed his over. Welegedara will undergo another scan on Friday to confirm the extent of the damage, but the situation does not look promising, batting coach Marvan Atapattu said after play on day two.

Welegedara has had an injury-plagued year, having missed eight months of Test cricket with two separate injuries. He strained his groin in March during the home series against England and though he had recovered from that by June, he tore a shoulder muscle as Sri Lanka prepared to play Pakistan later in the month. The Hobart Test against Australia was his first taste of competitive cricket since March, as his recovery period did not coincide with Sri Lanka's domestic season.

He is regarded as the leader of Sri Lanka's pace attack, and his presence was missed on day two, when Australia amassed a lead nearing 300, with two wickets still intact. Welegedara had been the leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the first Test in Hobart.

The loss of Jayawardene may have also hurt Sri Lanka, with two clear-cut chances having been missed by Sangakkara behind the stumps. Shane Watson was spilled late on day one as Sangakkara dived to his right, and a difficult stumping chance off Michael Clarke also went begging in the first session on day two. Clarke and Watson made 106 and 83 respectively, and were involved in a 196-run partnership that took Australia to a commanding position from 117 for 3.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Supun on December 28, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    The decision of opting Prassana J as wicket keeper and Sangakkara as a batsmen reaped twofold benefits for Sri Lanka in the last 3-4 years. Absence of Prasanna J was so expensive as Sangakkara drop few sharp chances given by the Australian middle order. I really backs a good wicket keeper than batsmen who can keep for test matches. Its really worth is somebody can hold these sharp chances and score 30-40 than making a 50-60 and dropping sharp chances. To this end Chandimal is not the potential replacement for Prasanna J. He should be included as No 3 or 4 for the next test test match. Chance should be given to a full time wicket keeper like Kusal Janith for the next test match.I would prefer if Mahela can make his way to Chandimal in the 3rd test.

  • Graham on December 28, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    makdunya786 - I could see a case of replacing Welegedera as it was a soft tissue injury as for the other two were created through being beaten by the bowler and as such these types of injury should never allow a replacement. Johnson deserved both there wickets in the second innings through his brilliant bowling causing injury.

  • Jay on December 28, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    I think the Sri Lankans got intimidated by the Aussie conditions. They are falling like nine pins. It's sad but the reality can be often harsh. Asian teams simply DON'T know how to play in these conditions.

  • Mansoor on December 28, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    ICC should make amendment in the playing eleven rule that if any of the player gets injured and cannot be able to play so that player must get replaced by 12th man. in this scenario 3 of the players got badly injured which also made adverse impact on the team's performance. This rule can be implemented for TEST and ODI matches.

  • Alastair on December 28, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka might as well fly over anyone who seems to be promising for a baptism of fire. They may just uncover a few jewels. Realistically only Mathews and Herath deserve selection from the current crop for the next test, Dilshan at a stretch.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    I see a lot of similarities between S L and India (apart from the spate of Injuries, during tours). Both have class batsmen. And, mediocre attack. The average nature of the attack can be compensated by the classy batsmen. But they don't do it. They get out for reckless shots. What a pity.

  • Rana on December 27, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Avg. bowling squad just got only if the 4 main batsman with a combined age of 140+ could deliver...

  • Dummy4 on December 27, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Our former fielding greatness is eluding us... that's the prime reason we are loosing matches these days i'm afraid.

  • Dummy4 on December 27, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Comes after an injury.. injured again.. welagedara trying too hard.. or our bowlers has become too brittle..

  • Dummy4 on December 27, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Feel bad for Sri Lanka. Injury galore... Kula, Prasanna, and now Welegedera! Why these things have to come in a 'procession' ? Reminds me of India's plight in England, in their last series!