Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney January 2, 2013

Injured Eranga doubtful for third Test

Sri Lanka's preparation for the Sydney Test has been thrown into further turmoil after Shaminda Eranga sprained an ankle during training on the eve of the match. A call on Eranga's fitness will be made before the toss on Thursday. Sri Lanka have also ruled out both Prasanna Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara from the match, as both have failed to recover sufficiently from hairline fractures to a thumb and rib respectively. 


Eranga was warming up for Sri Lanka's training session in a game of football when he sprained his right ankle, and despite having several minutes on the field to recover, could only limp back to the dressing room with the help of physiotherapist Steve Mount. Sri Lanka's team management has said they are unsure whether he will recover in time for the match.

"You don't anticipate three or four guys going down in one Test match," Jayawardene said on the eve of the match. "But it happened, so we just need to sit down and see what other options we've got. We've got two guys flown in, and we're back to having a full 16 in the squad now. These are unexpected things we need to get our head around and handle the situation in the best possible way."


Eranga is Sri Lanka's fifth player and their third fast bowler to be injured on tour. In addition to Nuwan Kulasekara's rib injury that ruled him out of the second and third Tests, Chanaka Welegedara also had his series ended by a hamstring tear, which he sustained on the second day in Melbourne. Eranga's injury means all three fast bowlers who played in the Hobart Test could be unavailable in Sydney. Suranga Lakmal had been flown in from Sri Lanka as cover for Welegedara, and may take the field less than 48 hours after landing in Australia. 



Dhammika Prasad is almost guaranteed a place, and Nuwan Pradeep may also play, even if Eranga is fit. Offspinner Suraj Randiv may also make it into the XI, particularly as the SCG surface has traditionally been the most spin-friendly track in Australia. 



Elsewhere in the team, Dinesh Chandimal is set to play as the wicketkeeper-batsman in Prasanna Jayawardene's absence, and will bat in the middle order. Lahiru Thirimanne has also been flown in from Sri Lanka as cover for Kumar Sangakkara, who is out with a fractured index finger. He may step into Sangakkara's top-order spot, but opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who has been with the team throughout the tour is also vying for a place. 



Jayawardene also confirmed that opener Dimuth Karunaratne will be granted an extended run in his position.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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