Sri Lanka make do without Lasith Malinga threat
Sri Lanka are resigned to life without paceman Lasith Malinga in test matches and do not expect him to make a dramatic return in the series against Australia, captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Thursday.
Malinga, who retired from test cricket earlier this year, gave a reminder of what a devastating bowler he can be by taking six wickets for seven runs in Australia's domestic Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday.
Jayawardene on Thursday named a largely unheralded trio of seamers in his team for the first test and said it was unrealistic to ask the 29-year-old to return to the test arena.
"I think Lasith has made up his mind," he said. "With the injuries he has had over the last couple of years, I think it's unfair to ask him to come and play test cricket.
"He's in our one-day team and Twenty20 team and he's contributing a lot. Do we risk all that? Test cricket is about bowling 20-25 overs, (Australia's) Peter Siddle the other day bowled 60.
"Can Malinga do that? I don't think so. I don't think we can make that decision and risk his career."
In Malinga's absence, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera and Shaminda Eranga were the trio named to try to make the most of what is expected to be a lively Hobart track.
Jayawardene defended his bowlers against the charge that they were the worst pace attack ever to tour Australia.
"Teams have to start somewhere, we've lost some fast bowlers in the past and some to injury," he said.
"This is an attack which is different, we probably don't have the pace that you think is required to win test matches in Australia.
"But we've got guys who will bowl a good line and length and create opportunities and if we do that, we've got a chance."