Fernando's loss weakens Lankan pace attack

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

Sri Lanka's speed bowling attack looks shaky heading into Monday's first Test against Australia with paceman Dilhara Fernando ruled out due to injuries.

Fernando's loss weakens Lankan pace attack

Colombo:

Sri Lanka's speed bowling attack looks shaky heading into Monday's first Test against Australia with paceman Dilhara Fernando ruled out due to injuries. Fernando, 24, Sri Lanka's fastest bowler clocking 147 kilometers per hour, was to play in the three-day warm-up match against Australia that started yesterday, but he was ruled out of the team after failing in a fitness test. With Prabath Nissanka also sidelined by injury, Sri Lanka is short of quality fast bowlers for the Test series. Champaka Ramanayake, former Sri Lankan fast bowler turned bowling coach said the decision to leave out Fernando was taken by selectors who found he was not up to match fitness. "We do have worries about his fitness for the first Test and it looks increasingly likely that he will not play," Ramanayake said. An MRI scan taken last weekend on Fernando's back has revealed that his injuries have healed, but experts are of the opinion that he will take two more weeks to be fully fit. Fernando suffered a second stress fracture in his back during the third Test against England in December. He was given a pain killing injection and bowled in second innings, taking three wickets for 27, as England was routed for 148. "We are trying to work on his bowling action again and make sure there is no repetition of what has happened," Ramanayake said. Nissanka underwent a knee operation after returning from the 2003 World Cup and was expected to be fit for the Australian series, but his recovery has been slow. The Sri Lankan attack is now left with its fast bowling workhorse, Chaminda Vaas. (AP)

Topics : Cricket
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