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Depleted bowling line up an opportunity for new names, says Karunaratne

Depleted bowling line up an opportunity for new names, says


Sri Lanka’s captain also said he wasn’t confident with his own batting during the first Test

Dimuth Karunaratne’s seam attack has been decimated by injury. But he’s confident (or at least he’s hoping) that despite his bowlers’ inexperience, their hunger to earn a more stable place in the team will translate to good results for Sri Lanka at The Wanderers.

There was a slim chance Suranga Lakmal would be cleared to play this game, but as he failed a fitness test on Friday, that seems unlikely. The most likely seam attack will comprise of fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera, left-arm swing bowler Vishwa Fernando, medium pacer Asitha Fernando, and fourth seamer Dasun Shanaka. None of these bowlers have played 10 Tests. Asitha Fernando would be on debut.

“You can’t play in your comfort zone all the time, and it’s a good opportunity for me and the players who will play to show what they’ve got,” Karunaratne said on the eve of the Test. “It’s going to be a challenge for me to work out how to utilise this inexperienced side.

“The players who will likely play – Chameera, Vishwa, Asitha and Shanaka – are all players who have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. They have a fast bowlers’ wicket to bowl on, which has got a lot of bounce and seam. I think they’ll relish this chance, and they’ll have the opportunity to firm up a place in the Test side if they do well.”

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