Lakmal backs Dananjaya to focus on Kandy Test

Published : 12:38 am  November 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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.Suranga Lakmal



Sri Lanka’s stand-in Captain Suranga Lakmal has backed Akila Dananjaya, confirming the spinner will play in the second Test against England starting today at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy.
Dananjaya was reported for a suspect action by the match officials after the first Test in Galle, which England won by 213 runs to take a 1-0 lead. The 25-year-old will need to be tested in the next 14 days but is free to play in this period.

There were thoughts Sri Lanka may leave Dananjaya out for this fixture, given the distraction of being called coupled with his ineffectiveness in the first match, taking two for 183 from 38.5 overs. 
But Lakmal has stuck by his man, who has 19 wickets from his first two Tests, and believes he is in the right frame of mind to succeed.

LATE-CITY-DM-1-5“The Umpires have taken that decision, but Dananjaya can play in this game,” said Lakmal. 

“I spoke to him and said don’t worry about anything – just focus on this game. I’m sure he will get cleared for the next match. He’s bowled well in the past and he has to do that again. Getting reported is just another thing. Forget that and bowl well in this game.”

Lakmal also confirmed Sri Lanka have asked for a spinning pitch here and believes, after inspecting the surface this morning, that the request has been approved. 

“Our weakness right now is batting, and given that, I don’t think we can play with one batsman fewer. We’ve asked for a pitch that favours the spinners, and I think that’s basically what we have got here,” confirmed Lakmal.
The squads

Sri Lanka: Suranga Lakmal (Captain), Akila Dananjaya, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva and Kaushal Silva.

England: Joe Root (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes.