Sri Lanka fast bowler Shaminda Eranga has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against West Indies after recurring another injury during his period of rehabilitation.
Eranga who missed the two home Test series against Pakistan and India both of which Sri Lanka lost by 1-2 margins was well on the road to recovery and looking good to make a comeback to international cricket following a back injury that had kept him out of action since last December.
However last week it was revealed that he had got another niggle that would keep him out of action for a further period of time.
“Eranga unfortunately has been really struggling to recover from a few of his injuries. He started off with a back injury in December and when he was recovering from that towards June-July he developed a groin injury and since then every time he was rehabilitated and tried to get into the normal routine of bowling he had a few tightness in his hamstring,” said chief selector Kapila Wijegunawardene.
“The physio Steve Mount is now really looking at taking him to a more medical solution. Eranga is likely to be ruled out for the upcoming West Indies series. The latest injury is he’s developed a groin injury.
“Everytime he recovers he develops a new injury which is worrying us a little bit. When you are recovering from an injury your natural tendency is to protect that injury and invariably you end up putting strain on another part and you tend to tear that. That is what is happening. This is about the third time that he is experiencing a recurring injury,” he said.
Until his injury Eranga was looked up as the spearhead of the Sri Lankan bowling attack having bowled them to a historic maiden Test series win in England last year. He captured 11 wickets in two Tests which included the scalp of last man James Anderson that signaled that significant win by 100 runs at Headingley, Leeds.
In Eranga’s absence Dhammika Prasad has put his hand up and taken over the role of main strike bowler picking up 29 wickets in the two series against Pakistan and India. Prasad also had a history of injuries unable to go through an entire Test series until quite recently when he worked assiduously on his fitness to become the bowler he is today.
“It’s about understanding your body, understanding which areas you need to strengthen. Today the workloads are far more than what a fast bowler had to endure a few years ago,” said Wijegunawardene, a fast bowler who played two Tests and 26 ODIs for Sri Lanka in the nineties.
“It’s all to do with how disciplined you are on the physical fitness side and understanding which parts of your body needs to be focused on. These boys really need to be professional and focused and care for their own well-being over and above the routine that you do in a team environment. These boys need to be looking at themselves individually also.”
Wijegunwardene said that apart from Eranga the rest of the fast bowlers were fit and available for selection.
“They are all looking lean and mean and ready to go. They do understand there is competition now and there are a few young boys yapping at their heels,” he said.
He was not prepared to reveal the mode of attack for the upcoming series but said, “Our fast bowlers have bowled really well. Naturally we will have to keep a close eye on the weather it has not been too helpful when it comes to our preparations also. If we are going to continue to encounter wet weather like we have experienced over the last week or so then we will have to look at going with our fast bowlers.”