England captain Joe Root insists his side have no qualms about facing spinner Akila Dananjaya in the second Test against Sri Lanka, despite question marks over his action.
The 25-year-old was reported to the International Cricket Council after the tourists’ victory in Galle, with umpires Chris Gaffaney and Marais Erasmus querying the legality of his stock off-spin delivery in their official report.
He was given 14 days to undergo assessment at an ICC testing centre but was cleared to bowl in the interim and Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal confirmed he would be in the home XI at Pallakele Stadium on Wednesday.
England are relaxed about facing Dananjaya, who took just two wickets for 183 runs in almost 39 overs at Galle, with Root taking a sympathetic view.
“Whenever you see someone have a question mark against their action you hope they can get through that testing and that it doesn’t hamper their career,” he said.
“I think that’s an unfortunate thing he has to deal with but ultimately, for us, we played him pretty well throughout the last game and we’ll just have to try and do exactly the same this time.
“It didn’t really stand out to me personally, but it doesn’t really matter what his action is like – it’s how well we play him. Ultimately it comes down to us playing the ball not the guy bowling or the action.
“It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out for him. Hopefully he gets cleared and he can carry on playing because it’s never nice to see.”
Lakmal, who will captain the hosts in Kandy in the absence of the injured Dinesh Chandimal, has thrown his support behind a player who has been pegged for a big role in the aftermath of Rangana Herath’s retirement.
“There are no rules from the ICC saying he cannot play – he can still play and he’s in a good mentality, so he will still play the next match and correct his mistake,” said the seamer.
“I talked to him and said ‘don’t worry about anything – just focus on this game’. I’m sure he will get cleared for the next match.
“He’s bowled well in the past and he has to do that again. Getting reported is just another thing, forget that and bowl well in this game.”