Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Pradeep ruled out of Australian tour
Sri Lanka were already sweating over Kusal Mendis’ fitness ahead of the first Test.
Updated - Jan 20, 2019 3:56 pm
Sri Lanka had a mixed 2018 in Test cricket. They’ve struggled in the shorter forms but they’ve had a decent year in red-ball cricket. They started off well with a series-win in Bangladesh before competing hard in the Caribbean and eventually drawing the series 1-1. They thrashed the visiting South African team 2-0 before crashing to a humiliating white-wash against England at home.
Nuwan Pradeep has been in and out of the Sri Lankan sides over the last one year and has been struggling with fitness and injury. In fact, the entire 2018, he played a mere nine international games (5 ODIs and 4 T20Is). He last featured in a Test match back in October 2017. Hence, he was finally back in the Test side for the upcoming series in Australia. However, his return has been further delayed as he has been ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury.
The 32-year-old right-arm pacer hobbled off the field after bowling only two overs on the first day in Sri Lanka’s only practice game against Cricket Australia XI. After undergoing a scan, it was determined that he has sustained a grade I strain on his left hamstring.
Kusal Mendis declared fit for the first Test
Sri Lanka were already sweating over Kusal Mendis’ fitness ahead of the first Test. However, the right-handed batsman has been declared fit to play the day-night Test at the Gabba (first Test) which starts on the 24th of January.
Mendis suffered a blow on his hand while fielding at short-leg in the day-night practice game. Left-handed batsman Jake Doran swept a ball fiercely and it struck Mendis’ right ring finger. He was in considerable pain after the ball hit him and walked off the field.
However, an X-ray cleared him off any serious injury. Though he didn’t bat in Sri Lanka’s first innings, he is declared fit to play the first Test. He is an important part of the side and has been in very good form. He was one of the only two players to have amassed more than 1000 runs in Test cricket in 2018.