In a major setback to Sri Lanka, the middle-order batsman and medium pacer Asela Gunaratne has been ruled out of the entire India series except for T20 international. The all-rounder injured his left thumb while attempting a catch of Shikhar Dhawan at second slip. The catch was dropped but soon after Gunaratane’s hand was in deep pain. He left the ground and was immediately taken to Colombo for some medical aid. The x-ray revealed that batsman has fractured his left thumb.
Confirming the news Arjun de Silva, member of Sri Lanka’s medical committee, said, “Asela will be taken for surgery soon. After this kind of injury, a player requires about six weeks to recover and play again. He is definitely out of the Test and ODI’s. Maybe he stands a chance for the T20 international.”
Big blow for Sri Lanka
Losing Gunaratane on the very first day of the test is a big blow for Sri Lanka as now they will bat with only 10 players in both their innings. Gunaratne was a key player for Sri Lanka and he was in good form too. He was awarded man of the match in Sri Lanka’s last test where he led the team to a final-day victory against Zimbabwe. He also played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s victory in a three-match T20 series in Australia, last summer.
Expressing disappointment SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha said, “We lost Asela as both batsman and bowler. He is a fighter and he has been scoring lot of runs. Losing him is going to put lot of pressure on us.”
The batting order of Sri Lanka is not in one of its most stable situations. It is struggling hard to get its rhythm back. Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal was ruled out of the series when he went down with pneumonia. In such a situation, losing Gunaratne will make it even tougher for Sri Lanka to make a comeback against India.
India, on the other side, recovered quickly after initial jolt in the form of Abhinav Mukund. India ended day 1 of the test at 399/3 with both Dhawan and Pujara scoring centuries.