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Spin not SL’s strength anymore, says skipper

Sri Lanka Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne expects the pacers will do the job in the two Tests against Bangladesh.

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The series begins Wednesday morning, after the bilateral affair was pushed back twice due to pandemic.

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Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have named their final squads in less than 18 hours time before the match, which is a rarity in modern top-level cricket.

The hosts have four spinners – Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ramesh Mendis and Praveen Jayawickrama, the uncapped player. Of them, Dhananjaya and Ramesh are primarily batters.

With Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara likely to be the frontline seamers, Sri Lanka can also use part-time seam bowling from veteran Angelo Mathews and Dasun Shanaka. Left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushanka is another debutant.

For obvious reasons Sri Lanka are looking up to their pacers against Bangladesh. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, the host for the two matches, has readied a green pitch.

As Sri Lanka are yet to find one following the legacies of Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath, the focus now remains on the quicks.

“Spin used to be our strength but not anymore,” Karunaratne told AFP.

“Our seamers have done a pretty good job in recent months. We have Suranga Lakmal who bowled so well in the Caribbean and was named player of the series. So we are backing our seamers and see what we can get out of them. The spinners we have are young and raw.”

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Lahiru Thirimanna, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Roshen Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Praveen Jayawickrama.

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