Too much cricket is taking its toll on Sri Lanka, writes The Times Of India, adding that the unit that looked so competitive in Australia is struggling at the Asia Cup. Angelo Matthews, their No 1 all-rounder has been ruled out of the Asia Cup with a calf injury. The team management is sending him back to Sri Lanka so that he can be fit in 10 days’ time for the home series against England.
“There’s no point complaining about the schedule, but it’s true that five games in 10 days in Australia took a lot out of us. After that the travelling and now we have two games in three days,” said skipper Mahela Jayawardene, at the press conference.
Hindustan Times too adds that with the fatigue and resultant injures, Sri Lanka go into the match against Pakistan as underdogs. They have played five matches in 10 days in the CB Series, including the travel from Hobart to Melbourne and then to Adelaide, and will be playing their second match in three days here. Except for Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake and Seekkuge Prasanna, who were picked for the Asia Cup, others have directly travelled here from Australia. They were so tired that Jayawardene admitted that most players were happy to stay at the hotel when a political rally deprived them of their only training session here before the match against India on Tuesday.
“I'm really happy with the way the boys played. We lost the match for our mistakes. The boys are really tired and we cannot do much about it,“ Jayawardene said on Wednesday, ahead of their first training session since they landed in Dhaka on Saturday.
"The last couple of days Angelo has had some fitness tests, he hasn't pulled through those well, so we made a call to send him back home. He will try to get ready for the Test matches (against England) that starts in about ten days' time. The selectors back home will decide (on his replacement)," Mahela Jayawardene said.
Meanwhile, injured Australia captain Michael Clarke will be fit to play the first Test against the West Indies, says a report in The Indian Express, adding that the selectors named a squad that saw the return of spinner Michael Beer.
Clarke was ruled out of the one-day series in the Caribbean that starts Friday after injuring his hamstring in a tri-series clash against Sri Lanka earlier this month. But after intense treatment, he was included in the 16-man Test squad.
"It is anticipated Michael Clarke will be fully recovered and take his place as captain for the first Test match in Barbados beginning on Saturday April 7," said national selector John Inverarity.