Herath Ruled Out Of Third Test Due To Back Injury

Sri Lanka suffered a massive blow ahead of the third Test against India when veteran spinner Rangana Herath was ruled out from the final game to be played in Pallekele, starting August 12. Herath is the latest casualty in the series after Sri Lanka lost Asela Gunaratne (fractured left thumb), Suranga Lakmal (back) and Nuwan Pradeep (hamstring). Captain Dinesh Chandimal also missed the first Test due to illness.

"Rangana complained about back pain and we don't want to take any chances with him. He is our leading bowler and we have a hectic season ahead. Hence we thought not to risk him for the final game with the series already lost," a Sri Lanka Cricket source told Cricbuzz.

Sri Lanka will play Pakistan in the UAE in September in a two-Test series followed by a three-Test series in India in November. The left-arm spinner, who captained the side in the first Test in the absence of Chandimal, has bowled as many as 151 overs in the last three Tests in just over three weeks.

Herath is also Sri Lanka's highest wicket taker with 389 Test wickets to his name. The 39-year-old had also hurt his left middle finger while fielding during the Galle Test but was declared fit for the second Test. Sri Lanka are likely to bring in fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera in place of Pradeep, who injured his hamstring during the second Test.

Sri Lanka were beaten by 304 runs in the first Test in Galle and then by an innings and 53 runs in Colombo as India completed a comprehensive series win.