What’s the story?
Sri Lankan premier fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep will not be taking further part in today’s play after he suffered a hamstring injury. Simon Doull, the New Zealand commentator, mentioned the news during his commentary stint for the second Test.
During the 81st over of the innings on Day 1 of the second Test in Colombo, the fast bowler shown signs of discomfort in his hamstring and went off the field to have some treatment. Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara bowled the remaining two balls of that over.
Pradeep bowled 17.4 overs and conceded 63 runs with two maidens to show for. However, he was not able to pick up a wicket during any of his spells.
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Sri Lanka was humbled by the visitors in the first Test when India pinned them by a mammoth 304 runs. It was also India’s most emphatic overseas Test victory by margin of runs. Sri Lanka stumbled at every point of the game and could not garner any sort of momentum.
Nevertheless, every silver dark cloud has a silver lining. Sri Lanka had one in Nuwan Pradeep. The robust fast-bowler bowled his heart out and returned with figures of 31-2-132-6. Though he couldn’t stem the wave of runs, he picked up crucial wickets.
With the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, he was arguably Sri Lanka’s best bowler in the Test. He also used the bouncer to good effect to get rid of the Indian skipper early in his knock.
Pradeep has been suffering from the hamstring injury for quite a while now. Sri Lanka played a one-off Test match against Zimbabwe earlier in June and was sidelined because of the injury.
His career has been marred by the same for the past one year, which has been frustrating to say the least from the pacer’s point of view.
India has played exceptionally well on Day 1 of the first Test, piling on 344 runs at nearly 4 runs per over.
Sri Lanka’s bowling looked off-colour and India’s batsmen made hay under bright sunshine. It will be interesting to see how the other Lankan bowlers make up for Pradeep’s overs during the innings.
Rangana Herath will also have a task on his hands, rotating the bowlers to good effect.
In a dynamic sport like cricket where a player has to play during most part of the year, injuries are pretty common. However, every team appoints physiotherapist to take care of these aspects in order to keep the players fit during the entire season.
Pradeep is an integral part of the team and Sri Lanka will hope that he gets back on to the field as soon as possible.