Island Cricket

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tharanga out in the cold

Tharanga out in the cold: Sri Lanka have omitted Upul Tharanga from their team for the first Test against England starting in Kandy on Saturday.


Opening batsman Tharanga performed well for the Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI in their two warm-up matches against the tourists.

However, his scores of 112 and 86 were not enough to bring him a return to international cricket.

Although Sri Lanka have not finalised their XI for the three-match series opener, captain Mahela Jayawardene confirmed the batting personnel.

"He had a very lean period, then scored some useful runs in the last few games which is great for him but he will have to be a bit more patient," Jayawardene said.

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya will revert to the top of the order, having batted at five in the recent Test series in Australia, while Jehan Mubarak has been recalled.

The only selection decision for Sri Lanka to make is whether to include Dilhara Fernando in a three-pronged pace attack or include leg-spinner Malinga Bandara.

While Muttiah Muralitharan targets the five wickets he needs to overhaul Shane Warne's 708 career tally, Chaminda Vaas will be earning his 100th Test cap.
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Two ways to look at this, in my mind atleast. Did Lanka sacrifice a batsman for Vaas' 100th Test match? Or are they looking at Jehan [Video] as a more suitable prospect to replace Jayasuriya?

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