In-form Karunaratne replaces injured Dilshan for Sri Lanka-New Zealand first Test
By Staff Writers | November 16, 2012
Tillakaratne Dilshan will miss the first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Galle on Saturday due a back injury he picked up in the recent ODI series between the two sides.
Sri Lanka had rested the 36-year-old for the final two matches of the five-match ODI series in hope that he would recover in time for the Test series.
The uncapped opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, 24, has been named as Dilshan's replacement.
Karunaratne, who has played two ODIs previously for Sri Lanka, has been in good form in the ongoing mercantile cricket tournament, scoring two centuries this season for John Keells.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene told reporters on the eve of the first Test that Dilshan was fit enough to bat, but when fielding his back was "giving him problems".
"We assessed him on Wednesday and he wasn't 100 percent. We have a week to see whether he could be fit for the next Test," Jayawardene said.
Jayawardene said that Karunaratne's performances at the domestic level and on A-team tours has earned him a call up to the Test side.
"Dimuth has been consistent last season and had a good A-team tour to South Africa. Opportunities need to be given when he is doing well," he said.
The first Test of the two-match Test series takes place at the Galle International Cricket Stadium from November 17–21.
© Island Cricket