Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia received a body blow on Friday (December 28) when Kumar Sangakkara was ruled out for the third Test match with a broken finger.
Sangakkara, who became only the 11th batsman to cross 10000 Test runs, was hit on the left hand by a rising delivery from Mitchell Johnson, and was forced off the field for scans in the second innings of the second Test at Melbourne.
When Sangakkara was struck by Johnson he was quick to call for medical attention on the field, and significant swelling to the index finger meant that the worst was immediately suspected.
The injury was severe enough to warrant surgery that could rule out Sangakkara for as many as eight weeks. Sangakkara was set to undergo surgery late on Friday evening.
Also ruled out of the Sydney Test was Chanaka Welegedara, the medium pacer, who suffered a hamstring injury. Welegedera was expected to return home to Sri Lanka shortly, having not been picked in the squad for the limited-overs leg of the tour.
Sri Lanka’s selectors named Lahiru Thirimanne, the batsman, and Shaminda Eranga, the seam bowler, as replacements. Also present in the squad are Dinesh Chandimal, who could take up wicketkeeping duties if Prasanna Jayawardene fails to recover from a hamstring strain picked up in the second Test, and Nuwan Pradeep, the medium pacer.
Sri Lanka lost the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne by an innings and 201 runs, and with it the series 2-0.