Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st Test, Galle November 16, 2012

Dilshan misses out, Dimuth Karunaratne to debut

Tillakaratne Dilshan will miss the first Test against New Zealand due a back niggle and, in his place, 24-year-old Dimuth Karunaratne will debut.

Dilshan's bad back had kept him out of the final two New Zealand ODIs as well. He had picked up the injury before the third ODI in Pallekele, where he made a century, and the team management left him out of the squad for the last two ODIs as a precaution.

Sri Lanka are hoping he will be fit for the second Test, Mahela Jayawardene said. "Dilshan has not come good with his back problem. We had a scan done. Batting he can probably manage, but on-the-field movements are still giving him problems," Jayawardene said on the eve of the Test. "We assessed him on Wednesday and he wasn't 100%, so we gave him this Test off and a week to see whether he could be fit for the next Test." The second match of the two-Test series begins on November 25 in Colombo.

Karunaratne, who had played two one-day internationals against England and Scotland last year, will partner Tharanga Paranavitana at the top of the order in Galle. "Dimuth has been consistent last season and had a good A-team tour to South Africa as well," Jayawardene said. "Opportunities need to be given when he is doing well.

"We have to see the bigger picture and that's why the selectors made the call on Dimuth. He has been very consistent for us and everyone is quite happy that he is going to make his debut tomorrow and looking forward to see him open the batting with Tharanga."

With the tour of Australia coming up, the selectors are looking to have several options for the openers' slot, Jayawardene said. "We might take an extra opening batsman. A tour of Australia doesn't come that often. If we can, we'll use that as a stepping stone for our youngsters to get to know what to expect in the future."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rishi on November 17, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    @Vikrum72: I like your idea wearing white clothing. The most whitewashed team (IND) in entire history of cricket must wear WHITE for the sake of symbolism.

  • Chandima on November 17, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    sobersfan on (November 16 2012, 12:08 PM GMT): Even if ICC opt to use coloured clothing for tests in future, Indian team will always appear in whites when playing abroad as they are always getting 'white-washed'.LOL. Worry about your own team's performances in Australia & England before commenting on others.

  • Uwaisul on November 16, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Nice to see Dimuth getting an opportunity to pla y in a Test match specially after his performance in South Africa. Why not they consider Chandimal for the opening slot with Dimuth, he can play the role Dishan does. Anyway I hope this will be the last opportunity for Para.

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Thank you Dilshan, best of luck to Dimuth Karunaratne.

  • Nick on November 16, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    Where is Chandimal? I thought he should be in the side first place. Please don't waste such a talent due to selection blunders. De Mel, you have done enough harm to the country, please go home and let someone who can do a proper job handle the selection (ex. Aravinda).

  • Sachin on November 16, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Only Karunaratne, selectors should also have given to young Banuka Rajapakshe against this New Zealand side by resting one of the senior batsmen as it would have been good to test all the future prospects together with Sanga and Mahela or one of them playing with them. Karunaratne, Thirmanne, Rajapakse, Sangakkarra, Chandimal (Wk), Mahela, Mattews, Herath, Eranga, Randiv, Welegedara.

  • associate cricket fan on November 16, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Please dont include ordinary players like paranavitharana. Give a chance chandimal,thirimanne or tharanga. They are much better than him.

  • adithya on November 16, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    yes jayawardene a tour of aus doesn't come that often since ur team is still a minnow....i expect nz to win this series eventhough sl always lions at home at home lambs abroad but when they r facing ind they r cats even at their home......

  • sujan on November 16, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Good Luck Dimma... Make us proud.

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