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December 29, 2012
Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and right-arm fast bowler Suranga Lakmal have been called up to Sri Lanka's squad for the third Test in Sydney, after two players suffered series-ending injuries and two more remain in doubt after the Boxing Day Test. Kumar Sangakkara's fractured hand and Chanaka Welegedara's torn hamstring have ruled them out for the remainder of Sri Lanka's tour of Australia, while Prasanna Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara's fitness will be reassessed in the lead-up to the third Test, though it is unlikely that Kulasekara will play.
Thirimanne had been on Sri Lanka's stand-by list for the tour, and as such had already secured visa clearance to enter Australia, and will arrive on January 1, two days before the match. Lakmal, though, had not been on standby, and will have to wait for his visa to be approved on December 31. He will likely arrive in Australia on the eve of the Test.
Thisara Perera is the only fast bowler who was named on the standby list, and is already in Australia competing in the Big Bash League, but he was not considered as his bowling form was deemed inadequate for Test selection. Perera had suffered a side strain during the Sri Lanka Premier League in August, and though he has been bowling in limited-overs cricket, the captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was yet to build up the number of overs required to come into Test contention in the lead up to the Melbourne Test.
Lakmal is also coming back into the international team after an injury layoff, having undergone surgery on his ankle. His last Test appearance was against England in April, but he has been in good form in Sri Lanka's domestic one-day tournament in December, having taken 13 wickets at 20.46 in six matches. He is unlikely to play in Sydney however, as the fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep has been with the team throughout the tour and is next in line for a game. Sri Lanka may also decide to field two spinners, depending on the surface, in which case Suraj Randiv will play.
Thirimanne meanwhile, will only play if Prasanna Jayawardene is deemed unfit. Sri Lanka next train on December 31, and a decision will be made on his participation after that session. Dinesh Chandimal will take the gloves in his place.
Kulasekara is not expected to be fit to play in Sydney, but will stay with the team for the ODI series, which begins on January 11.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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