Wednesday 6 August 2008 

No Changes For Sri Lanka Ahead Of Final Test

Sri Lanka have resisted the temptation to make any changes to their 15-man squad ahead of the third and final Test against India in Colombo.

The series is level at 1-1 after India bounced back from an innings victory in Colombo with a 170-run win in Galle.

Despite no changes in the squad, Sri Lanka are tipped to replace seamer Nuwan Kulasekera with Thilan Thushara or Dammika Prasad in the final playing eleven.

"There was no need to push the panic button over just one defeat," a selection committee source said.

"The need for a bowler of extra pace to support Chaminda Vaas was discussed and we decided that Thushara or Prasad should be considered."

Sri Lanka are short of pace bowling options with Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and Farveez Maharoof all unavailable through injury.

Out of form opening batsman Michael Vandort is expected to retain his place despite a run of low scores.

"Michael has been one of the consistent bats in the last six months," his captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

India will go into the match without head coach Gary Kirsten with him after he was given leave to join his sick mother in South Africa.

Mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton has taken over head coaching duties, working alongside Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh.

He denied that Kirsten's departure would leave the squad in disarray.

"Each person knows their role," he told reporters. "It's a case of just doing what we've always been doing and doing that well."

India are also likely to go into the match unchanged, with the only possible selection issue being whether to drop wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik. Karthik has been unimpressive both behind the stumps and with the bat, although with regular wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni certain to return for upcoming clashes with England and Australia, the selectors are tipped to retain Karthik at the expense of Parthiv Patel.

Sachin Tendulkar needs 97 runs to beat the world record of 11,953 Test runs scored by West Indian Brian Lara.

Sri Lanka (probable): Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (wicket-keeper), Chaminda Vaas, Thilan Thushara/Dammika Prasad, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis

India (probable: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Anil Kumble (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma

© Cricket World 2008

More from Cricket World