IND vs SL: Sri Lanka has suffered yet another blow on Wednesday (February 23) after two more of its players were ruled out of the T20I series against India. Bowler Maheesh Theekshana and wicket-keeping batter Kusal Mendis had both sustained hamstring injuries during the final T20I against Australia.
Both the players are yet to be declared completely fit for the India series and will now sit out alongside Wanindu Hasaranga, who is still recovering from covid-19.
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka spoke at the press conference ahead of the first T20I and stated that both Mendis and Theekshana are carrying minor injuries. They are awaiting the results of their MRI tests, therefore, the final decision on their availability for the T20I series will be taken tomorrow.
Sri Lanka named spinner Ashen Daniel in the Sri Lanka Cricket squad for the three-match T20I series against India on Monday. Daniel comes in as the replacement of Ramesh Mendis, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. The other two players Avishka Fernando and Nuwan Thushara had also sustained injuries during the Australia tour.
Meanwhile, skipper Dasun Shanaka insisted on more consistency from the team’s top order ahead of the first T20I against India in Lucknow on Thursday.
“We want the top-order to fire. Whenever the top order is among the runs we have a better chance of winning” Shanaka said during the pre-match conference on Wednesday.
“India has a strong bowling lineup and we are expecting our top-order to fire which will give our bowlers a chance to defend,” he added.
The skipper also said that the side will miss out on the services of Wanindu Hasaranga due to his absence from the T20I series, but he also emphasized the role of youngsters.
“The youngsters have been in the system for a while, they have performed in domestic cricket. It has become normal with the COVID situation. All the teams are facing it. Wanindu will be a weakness for us but we know that he will be back soon. Still, our squad is strong enough,” Shanaka said.
Sri Lanka T20 squad – Dasun Shanaka (captain), Charith Asalanka (vice captain), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Goonetileke, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Vanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Mahesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Wandersey, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashen Daniel.