Lankan team
Sri Lankan players limbering-up ahead of a practice session in preparation for the World Cup. Image Credit: ANI

Hyderabad: Spinner Maheesh Theekshana is set to play in Tuesday’s World Cup match against Pakistan after recovering from a hamstring strain, assistance coach Naveed Nawaz said on Monday.

Theekshana sustained the injury during the Asia Cup last month and missed their comprehensive defeat by South Africa in their tournament opener in New Delhi on Saturday.

“I think he should be available for this game,” Sri Lanka batting coach Naveed Nawaz told reporters.

Key players missing

“Obviously, we didn’t want to take a risk with him in the first game and didn’t want to go against the advice of the medicals.”

Sri Lanka arrived with a depleted attack after fast bowler Dushmanta Chameera and spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga were ruled out of the World Cup with injuries.

In New Delhi, South Africa racked up a record 428-5 exposing their bowling limitations.

Ready with the plan

With Theekshana back to lead their spin attack, Nawaz said they would have a proper plan against Babar Azam’s side.

“Somebody will have to come up and take wickets up front and take wickets in the middle overs as well. We have a plan under our belt for that,” he said.

“With Mahesh Theekshana coming in, I think our bowling attack is going to be a little bit stronger as well.”

SPO PAKISTAN TEAM2-1696869505560
Pakistan, who beat Netherlands in the opener, will be eager to continue their winning run as they take on Sri Lanka. Image Credit: AFP

Pakistan began their campaign beating the Netherlands, but would face stiffer challenge against 1996 champions Sri Lanka.

Inside knowledge

Head coach Grant Bradburn said they would bank on the insider’s knowledge provided by team director Mickey Arthur, who coached Sri Lanka between 2019 and 2021.

“We have a secret weapon, if you like, in Mickey Arthur, who has coached them before,” Bradburn told reporters.

“We had our scouting meetings and video meetings this morning, and Mickey was a very, very handy addition to those meetings to be able to add in some intricate points around their batters and bowlers.”