In a huge blow to the Sri Lankan team, star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is set to miss the third and final ODI against India due to an injury. It is being learned that Hasaranga suffered a minor injury but the team is likely to rest him as a precautionary measure so that it does not aggravate into something major. The home team has already lost the three-match series against the Shikhar Dhawan-led side and will play to salvage some pride in the final fixture of the ODI series.
Furthermore, Kasun Rajitha is also likely to be unavailable for this game which is set to commence in Colombo in a few hours from now. This suggests that the Lankan side could make a minimum of two changes for this match. Meanwhile, an Indian team, which has already clinched the series, could also make a few changes to hand opportunities to youngsters who haven't had a go yet.
Hasaranga was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers in the second ODI
Injury to Hasaranga implies, the likes of Ramesh Mendis, Akila Dhananjaya, Ishan Jayarathna and Praveen Jayawickrema could be roped in for this game. It also comes as a major blow to the team since the leg-spinner was the pick of the bowlers for the side in the second ODI, riding on which, the team came close to winning the match and levelling the series 1-1. Hasaranga had finished with excellent figures of 3-37 in his 10 overs, picking up wickets of Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan and Krunal Pandya.
However, a record partnership for the eighth wicket between Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, both of whom are not primarily known for their batting talent, snatched win from the Sri Lankan side and instead brought enormous joy to the Indian team which was followed by an animated celebration.
Sri Lanka did some mistakes, they are an inexperienced side: Muralitharan
Despite his superb performance, for some reason, Hasaranga was kept for the end overs, which did not go down too well with the experts including legendary Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan.
"They (Sri Lanka) did some mistakes, they should have bowled out Wanindu Hasaranga. Rather than keeping him, they should have bowled him and tried to take a wicket. If they had taken one wicket out of Bhuvneshwar or Chahar, then two tailenders are coming and it would have been tough to chase about 8 or 9 runs per over. Its an inexperienced side," Muralitharan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
It remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka can come up with an inspired performance in the final ODI, work on their mistakes, and perhaps stitch a solitary win to sign off the series.