Johannesburg, Jan 5 (IANS) Injuries hampered Sri Lanka’s chances of putting up a competitive front in their Test series against South Africa, said captain Dimuth Karunaratne. Sri Lanka slipped to a 10-wicket defeat in the second Test at Johannesburg, thus ending the two-match series at the wrong end of a 2-0 whitewash.
“A lot of players got injured, and I think that was the biggest thing we missed,” Karunaratne said in the presentation ceremony after his team lost at The Wanderers. “When we were playing without those injuries in the first Test, we were in the match and could potentially have won it. We got a good start, which is a difficult thing to achieve, and then we lost our bowlers. When you lose six or seven players, you do go into a negative mindset and that’s difficult. On these tracks it’s a huge challenge.”
Four players were injured during the first Test and could not play at The Wanderers while leading fast bowler Suranga Lakmal and opening batsman Oshada Fernando were unable to play in either match because of injuries.
“As a captain I’m really worried about the result. But at least we have some young talents we can use in the future. And there are a few positives from the series. Kusal Perera is in form. Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando and Wanindu Hasaranga also did well,” said Karunaratne.
“We did quite a few positive things, like score the most runs a Sri Lanka team has ever scored in South Africa [their first-innings total of 396 at Centurion], and also score more runs than any previous Sri Lanka teams at The Wanderers [their second-innings total of 211]. In patches we played well, but we weren’t able to sustain that, partly because of the injuries.”