Aussies rocked by brutal news as cricket drama gets even worse

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·Sports Editor
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Marcus Stoinis, pictured here in action for Australia in the first ODI against Sri Lanka.
Marcus Stoinis in action for Australia in the first ODI against Sri Lanka. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar have been added to Australia's growing casualty list in another blow during their cricket tour of Sri Lanka.

Stoinis has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour, while Agar's injury concerns have pushed Matt Kuhnemann within reach of an international debut.

Stoinis and Agar both sustained side injuries in Tuesday night's series-opening ODI win.

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It takes Australia's injury toll to six players inside the first two weeks of the tour, which includes four more ODIs and two Test matches.

Fast bowlers Kane Richardson (hamstring) and Sean Abbott (broken finger) have already been sent home from Sri Lanka, while Mitch Marsh (calf) and Mitchell Starc (finger) are also sidelined.

Furthermore, Peter Handscomb and Adam Zampa were initially in Sri Lanka but have returned home for personal reasons.

Starc sliced his finger open on his own shoe spike during the first T20 and is unable to bowl while he has a bandage on the wound.

With Stoinis, Abbott and Marsh all injured, Australia now has no fast-bowling all-rounders to call upon.

Cameron Green is also being held back from bowling for at least another game, but could be selected as a specialist batter until then.

Stoinis was ruled out on Wednesday night while Agar will remain with the squad, with Test batsman Travis Head and Queensland spinner Kuhnemann pulled from Australia A's tour match to replace them.

The 25-year-old Kuhnemann is a left-arm off-spinner like Agar and could debut in Thursday's second ODI in Kandy.

Australia are likely to lean heavily on spin now their fast-bowling all-rounders are all sidelined, meaning Kuhnemann could play alongside state teammate Mitchell Swepson.

Ashton Agar, pictured here during the first ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka.
Ashton Agar looks on during the first ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Pat Cummins confident in Australia's depth

Agar was a chance to partner Nathan Lyon and Swepson in a three-pronged spin attack during the Test series, but skipper Pat Cummins is confident in the depth he has at his disposal.

Spinners Todd Murphy and Tanveer Sangha, who has been drafted into the Australia A team to replace Kuhnemann, are both in Sri Lanka and could be drafted into the Test squad for a shock debut.

"I think we've got a bit of time to gather some info," Cummins said.

"There's still one more four-day game next week. We've still got a couple of guys back in Australia.

"If someone has been picked for the Test side, we'll think they're ready."

Starc was initially scheduled to return for the third ODI, but Cummins said the star left-armer won't be rushed back.

"He's a bit of a wait and see," Cummins said.

"He had a bowl the other day. I think the plan was to get the stitches out in the next day or two.

"The key with that is we don't want to rush him, we don't want to put the Test series in jeopardy by reopening that too early.

"There's no timeline on that. A good result would be if he played some of this series."

with AAP

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