Chandika Hathurusingha has brought in Victoria’s Tim McCaskil to help sort the team’s injury concerns.
Former Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal have been declared fit for the upcoming Test tour of the Windies, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Thursday.
The two cricketers had been named in the 17-man squad for the three-Test series earlier, but their participation was subject to them passing a fitness test. The test was carried out this week and both players have been cleared.
Mathews has been out of action for the past four months after picking up a hamstring injury during Sri Lanka's tour of Bangladesh in January. He had recovered from it but missed the Nidahas Trophy at home against Bangladesh and India in March after having picked up a calf injury during training.
Chandika Hathurusingha believes Sri Lanka can win their first Test series in the Windies/ICC.
Lakmal, expected to lead the Sri Lankan pace attack, had picked up a side strain. He, however, is likely to play only two of the three Tests as the team management is concerned about his workload.
With the team grappling with injury issues for a while now, Sri Lanka have sought the services of Cricket Victoria's High-Performance Manager Tim McCaskil to work with the bowlers.
“I wanted to get Tim's expertise. He is more of a fast-bowling bio-mechanics expert. He took a look at our bowlers' mechanics,” Chandika Hathurusingha, the Sri Lanka head coach, was quoted as saying. “He went through all the bowlers. He had studied footage before he had come and he was prepared.”
Emphasising on the need to modify the bowlers' training as well as strength and conditioning regimes, Hathurusingha said, “We went through what our bowlers need to do. What stage they are at. Whether they need to change anything. Or if we cannot change, what are the areas that we need to strengthen.
Suranga Lakmal is expected to lead the Sri Lankan pace attack in the Windies/ICC.
“We have to modify their training or do strength and conditioning. That was very successful. When we get back to Colombo, Tim is going to sit with our medical staff and discuss how to go about things.”
Sri Lanka will leave for the Caribbean at the end of May and will play a three-day warm-up game in Trinidad before the first Test begins on 6 June in Port of Spain. The second and third Tests will be played in St. Lucia and Barbados, respectively. The Barbados Test will be a day-night affair.
Sri Lanka have never won a Test series in the Windies, something Hathurusingha sees as ‘motivation’ for his team. “That's a motivation for us. That's something that we can look forward to,” he said. “We are preparing well. The outcome is something that we cannot control. If we do what we are capable of doing and adjust to conditions sooner, we can overcome the challenge.”