IndianOil Cup 2005 July 29, 2005

Zoysa sidelined with back injury

Cricinfo staff

Nuwan Zoysa: joins Vaas on Sri Lanka's injury list © Getty Images

Sri Lanka's injury woes have deepened with the news that Nuwan Zoysa has suffered a back injury and will not be available for selection for the opening game against India on Saturday. Zoysa injured his back during a practice match on Thursday night and has been sent back to Colombo for medical treatment.

Sri Lanka will now go into the first match of the IndianOil Cup without their two most experienced new ball bowlers. Chaminda Vaas, in devastating form against the West Indies in the recent Test series, has already been ruled out of the match with a grade one hamstring tear.

The selectors have called up uncapped Pradeep Jayaprakashdaran, a 21-year-old seamer, as a replacement. Pradeep, who has played only 12 first-class matches, leapfrogged above other contenders after his impressive bowling against India earlier in the week, when he took 3 for 35.

Zoysa's injury leaves Sri Lanka with a selection headache over the make-up of their fast-bowling attack. Lasith Malinga is now certain to play and is likely to be joined by Dilhara Fernando and Dilhara Lokuhettige, an allrounder who impressed during the practice game with both bat and ball.