SL vs AUS: Praveen Jayawickrama ruled out of the 2nd Test

Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia after testing positive for COVID-19. The second and final match of the red-ball series is scheduled to be held at the Galle International Stadium on Friday, July 8. The frontline spinner being ruled out due to health concerns has turned out to be a huge setback for the hosts with the series on the line.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team management has decided to add a new-look spin attack to bolster their chances in this Test match against a mighty Australian line-up with emerging cricketers Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage being possible options. Now, it remains to be seen whether either of them will be making their Test debut on this occasion.

Angelo Mathews tested positive during 1st Test

Praveen Jayawickrama who was Sri Lanka’s reserve spinner for this series tested positive after senior all-rounder Angelo Mathews contracted the deadly virus during the first Test match. All Sri Lankan players were sent for testing and have come out with negative results. At the same time, it also learned that Mathews is available for selection in the series-deciding second match.

Having been completely outplayed in the series opener by 10 wickets, a demoralized Sri Lanka will now hope for a revival in fortunes in this all-important contest with a key focus on their batting that had miserably let them down in the first game despite winning the toss on a spin-friendly wicket.

In contrast, the Aussies showcased a far superior batting performance in their first innings forcing the Lankans to play a catch-up game from there on. Australia, on the other hand, are just a victory or a draw away from winning their second consecutive Test series in the subcontinent this year. They had beaten Pakistan 1-0 in the three-match series earlier this month.

This victory would also mark a third straight Test series win for the Pat Cummins-led side starting their 4-0 annihilation of arch-rivals England in the 2021/22 Ashes series at home.