Johannesburg [South Africa], January 2 (ANI): Ahead of the final and second Test against South Africa, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne feels that it will be a good opportunity for him and new players to step up as the team is struggling with injuries.
There was a slim chance Suranga Lakmal would be cleared to play this game, but as he failed a fitness test on Friday, that seems unlikely. The most likely seam attack will consist of fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera, left-arm swing bowler Vishwa Fernando, medium-pacer Asitha Fernando, and fourth seamer Dasun Shanaka. None of these bowlers have played 10 Tests. Asitha Fernando would be on debut.
"You cannot play in your comfort zone all the time, and it is a good opportunity for me and the players who will play to show what they have got. It is going to be a challenge for me to work out how to utilise this inexperienced side," ESPNcricinfo quoted Karunaratne as saying.
"The players who will likely play - Chameera, Vishwa, Asitha and Shanaka - are all players who have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. They have a fast bowlers' wicket to bowl on, which has got a lot of bounce and seam. I think they will relish this chance, and they will have the opportunity to firm up a place in the Test side if they do well," he added.
Sri Lanka were without their two most experienced batsmen - Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.
"We have got some good youngsters who have done well in domestic cricket in Sri Lanka. We will need to be competitive every day and every session to win the match. In the last series, we didn't have senior players like Chandimal or Angelo. I still believe we can do it," Karunaratne said.
"Although I have played Tests in South Africa before, I did not have a lot of confidence in the first Test. And I am coming into this series after a break of about eight or nine months. Since playing against West Indies (in February), I have not been able to play any competitive cricket. I could not play any domestic cricket either," he added. (ANI)