Asela Gunaratne unlikely to return to the Lankan squad for the last two Tests

Asela Gunaratne unlikely to return to the Lankan squad for the last two Tests

Gunaratne, who plays for Sri Lanka Army, was involved in an inter-regiment game last week before playing competitive cricket for Army SC this week.

Asela Gunaratne
Asela Gunaratne. (Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Asela Gunaratne’s return to Sri Lankan Test side during the ongoing Test series against India is uncertain after he fractured his left thumb in July during the first Test against India in Galle. Ahead of the tour to India, the selectors decided to keep him off since they were uncertain about his fitness.

For Gunaratne the plan was to play a few domestic games and then fly to India ahead of the second Test in Nagpur, but the chairman of the selectors Graeme Labrooy has his reservations.

“He has played two games now since the injury,” Labrooy told Cricbuzz on Saturday (November 18). “He bowled, batted and fielded and has come good. We discussed him, but feel this is not the moment to bring him back, but he will be certainly back for the ODIs,” he added.

No point sending him to India

Gunaratne, who plays for Sri Lanka Army, was involved in an inter-regiment game last week before playing competitive cricket for Army SC this week.

“There’s no point of sending him to India and making him to sit on the bench. We are better off getting him to play some competitive games. We will also see what’s the requirement of team management, leave it to them and then make a call.”

Meanwhile, in reply to India’s first innings score of 172 at the Eden Gardens Sri Lanka finished their day’s play at 165 for 4. Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimane scored half-centuries before they were dismissed by Umesh Yadav.

Earlier in the match Sri Lankan fast bowler Suranga Lakmal ran through the Indian batting line up to bowl out them for 172 at a green and bouncy Eden Gardens pitch.

On day four Sri Lanka will need nine runs to surpass the hosts’ first innings total. With only two days left Sri Lanka will want to set a big total sooner and ask India to bat, to have a chance of winning their first ever Test match in India.

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