Sun, 03 Jul 2022

Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 19 (ANI): Sri Lanka remain hopeful that star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will be fit to take on Australia in the third ODI in Colombo on Sunday.

Hasaranga sat out Sri Lanka's narrow 26-run victory over Australia in the second match of the five-game series on Thursday due to a groin complaint but has remained with the team in an attempt to feature later in the series.

Sri Lanka know how vital Hasaranga is to their team structure and medical staff are doing everything they can to ensure he will take the field at R Premadasa Stadium.

"Wanindu Hasaranga, who suffered a groin muscle strain, while fielding during the 1st ODI is currently under the supervision of the Team's Medical Team," Sri Lanka Cricket tweeted.

"The medical team is assessing his situation and will update the team management on a daily basis about the player's condition. Hence, Hasaranga will continue to remain with the squad during the entirety of the ODI series," said in another tweet.

Hasaranga scored a quickfire 37 with the bat and claimed four crucial wickets while bowling with his sore groin in the opening match of the series last week and was also Sri Lanka's leading wicket-taker during the recent T20I series against Australia.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne knows how important Hasaranga is to his side and believes the 24-year-old could prove the difference if able to return later in the series.

"He is one of the best all-rounders in the world. If he comes into the team we will be much stronger and we will have a good opportunity to win a series against Australia. We have a good batting line-up and it is gelling very well," said Karunaratne in a statement.

"As players, we are pushing our levels to improve with every game individually as well as for the team. We can make small mistakes but we have to rectify them as we go along. We are pushing ourselves more than 100 per cent to win the series," he added.

Australia have their own injury concerns heading into the third match of the series, with a cloud over veteran batter Steve Smith.

Smith hurt his quad while batting during the second match of the series and looks unlikely to be risked for the Colombo clash on Sunday.

It could pave the way for all-rounder Mitch Marsh to return from injury, while Cameron Green and Josh Inglis are other options the strong Australian team have at their disposal.

Australia have already lost Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis and Kane Richardson to injury this tour, while left-arm quick Mitchell Starc is expected to return for Sunday's match. (ANI)

More Sri Lanka News

Access More

Sign up for Sri Lankan News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!