Akila Dananjaya to get action tested at Chennai's SRMC-CSS

The Sri Lanka off-break bowler was reported for a suspect action after the first Test between Sri Lanka and England last November.

Even sub-continental batsmen, who are normally efficient playing spinners, have struggled to read Akila Dananjaya from his hand.   -  Getty Images

Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya will get his bowling action tested and analysed at the biomechanical facility of Sri Ramachandra’s Centre for Sports Science (CSS) here Saturday.

The 25-year-old Panadura-born spinner arrived here on Friday and spent a quiet time at the hotel training his thoughts on the crucial day ahead.

Dananjaya, who bowls an assortment of leg-spinners, wrong‘uns, carom ball and the off-spinner, was reported for suspect action following the first Test between Sri Lanka and England at Galle in November last year.

He had to complete the testing within 14 days and was allowed to play the second Test at Pallekele.

Since the CSS here was in the process of renewing its accreditation with the ICC - it was accredited in 2014 and sought a fresh five-year contract - Dananjaya travelled to Brisbane instead of making the shorter trip to Chennai to get his action tested.

The biomechanists in Brisbane came to the conclusion, on December 10, 2018, that Dananjaya’s stock ball - the off-spinner - travelled beyond the 15 degree flexion limit.

It was a blow to Sri Lanka’s World Cup hopes. Dananjaya, with his variety, had been shaping well for the Islanders in the ODIs; he has 46 wickets in 30 matches at 26.93.

He has been among the wickets in Tests too - 27 scalps in five matches at 24.25 - and batsmen, on several occasions, have struggled to pick him.

To a Sri Lankan team going through a transition phase and hit by both player retirements and fitness concerns, the loss of Dananjaya was an additional blow.

All was not lost for Dananjaya, though. He could, according to ICC regulations, apply for reassessment after remodelling his action.

And by this time, the CSS here had also got its ICC accreditation renewed. So, Dananjaya, with a new action, journeyed to Chennai in a bid to revive his career.

The Sri Lankan will be assessed by ICC biomechanist Ben Leaver, who has flown in specially for the Test from London.

Dananjaya will be required to bowl all his variations and particular focus will be on his off-spinner that he will send down with a remodelled action.

Will Dananjaya be cleared? It would depend on the work he has put on remodelling his action. The bigger question is, even if he passes the test, will the Sri Lankan, with his new action, be as effective?