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July 27, 2008
The Sri Lankan selectors have added Dammika Prasad, a right-arm fast-medium bowler to the squad for the second Test against India starting at Galle on Thursday.
Selection committee sources said they need a quick bowler who can beat the bat quite often and it was with this in mind they had added the 25-year-old Prasad to the squad. Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Kulasekara, the new-ball bowlers for the first Test, are among the slowest Sri Lanka have had in recent times.
The two averaged between 120 and 125kph in Colombo and bowled only 30 overs in all in a Test dominated by the spinners. Vaas went wicketless for 50 runs and there were times his pace dipped to as low as 110 kph.
Prasad impressed with his bowling in the three-day tour match with 4 for 58 against the Indians. He played three ODIs for Sri Lanka in 2006 and has taken 129 wickets in 41 first-class matches.
However sources said if Vaas was left out of the XI, he would be replaced by left-arm fast bowler Thilan Thushara, who played in West Indies in April this year, and not Prasad.
"We brought Prasad into the squad to get a closer look at him and keep him in the frame," the source said.
The first Test which Sri Lanka won so convincingly by an innings and 239 runs in four days was dominated by spinners Muthiah Muralitharan and debutant Ajantha Mendis who between them took 19 wickets.
Sri Lanka squad: Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chamara Silva, Thilan Thushara, Chamara Kapugedera, Dammika Prasad.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough