Cricket-Sri Lanka get Theekshana boost, Pakistan bank on Arthur’s inside knowledge


Sri Lanka Boosted by Theekshana, Pakistan Relies on Arthur’s Insights in Cricket Clash

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Spinner Maheesh Theekshana is set to make a comeback in Tuesday’s World Cup match against Pakistan after recovering from a hamstring strain, as confirmed by assistant coach Naveed Nawaz on Monday.

Theekshana had suffered the injury during the Asia Cup last month, causing him to miss Sri Lanka’s comprehensive defeat by South Africa in their tournament opener in New Delhi on Saturday.

Nawaz explained, “I think he should be available for this game. 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 medical staff.”

Sri Lanka had faced challenges with an understrength bowling attack, as fast bowler Dushmanta Chameera and spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga were ruled out of the World Cup due to injuries. Their bowling limitations were exposed when South Africa posted a record 428-5 in New Delhi.

With Theekshana’s return to lead the spin attack, Nawaz expressed confidence in having a proper plan against Babar Azam’s Pakistan side, stating, “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. With Mahesh Theekshana coming in, I think our bowling attack is going to be a little bit stronger as well.”

Pakistan had started their campaign with a victory over the Netherlands but would face a tougher challenge against the 1996 champions, Sri Lanka.

Head coach Grant Bradburn noted that they would rely on the inside knowledge provided by team director Mickey Arthur, who had coached Sri Lanka from 2019 to 2021. Bradburn explained, “We have a secret weapon, if you like, in Mickey Arthur, who has coached them before. 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.


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