Kosala Kulasekara replaces injured Eranga
Shaminda Eranga has been ruled out of Sri Lanka's Test series against Pakistan in the UAE with a shoulder injury to his right arm, and will be replaced in the squad by uncapped seamer Kosala Kulasekara. Eranga had looked dangerous on Test debut, picking up four first-innings wickets against Australia in Colombo and his absence is a blow to Sri Lanka.
Kulasekara, a tall 26-year-old, has been a regular member of the Sri Lanka A squad over the summer, and impressed with a five-wicket haul in Leicester. He was also part of the Sri Lanka Board XI that played Australia during their recent tour, and took two wickets. He plays for Nondescripts Cricket Club in Sri Lanka's domestic competitions and has 148 wickets in 72 first-class matches.
"I have developed and matured quite a lot as a fast bowler," Kulasekara said. "Former national fast bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake has helped me to improve on my technique, pace and ball release." He also said he had worked hard on his batting. "I love playing the lofted on-drives and off-drives and I have made a lot of runs by just hitting straight. I have learnt to be more patient and to wait for the bad balls to hit."
Sri Lankan team physio Steve Mount said that Eranga had damaged his cartilege on his right shoulder while fielding (throwing) during the one-day international series against Australia and is presently under treatment. "He will be fit in a few weeks. We are trying to get him ready for the South African tour later this year," Mount said.
Sri Lanka do have cover in the fast-bowling department with Chanaka Welegedara, Dhammika Prasad, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep all in the squad.
The first Test of the series starts on October 18 in Abu Dhabi.