The players’ injuries seem like the never-ending development in the ongoing T20I series between India and Sri Lanka. Ahead of the three-match leg that started on February 24, both sides have lost a few of their star players due to respective injuries.
The trend has continued with the latest to feature in the list are Maheesh Theekshana and Kusal Mendis, who have been ruled out of the ongoing series with hamstring issues, confirmed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
To add to the troubles, Lankan seam bowler Shiran Fernando, who is in the squad and yet to make his international debut, has also been ruled out of the T20Is, due to a glute injury.
Notably, ahead of the start of the T20I battle against India, Sri Lanka’s mainstay in spin bowling Wanindu Hasaranga became unavailable for selection due to COVID-19.
In the absence of Hasaranga, Theekshana became the go-to bowler for the Islanders. However, with Theekshana also getting ruled out, the tourists are in deep trouble to bounce back, especially after losing the series opener by 62 runs in Lucknow on Thursday.
Now, in order to strengthen their squad, Sri Lanka have added Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva – members of the Test squad – to the T20 set up for the remaining fixtures.
However, there was some sort of good news for the visitors. Seamer Binura Fernando, who had tested positive for Covid-19 in Australia, has been medically cleared to start the regular training. It’s expected that Fernando will be available for selection for the remaining two matches, to be played on February 26 and 27 at HPCA stadium in Dharmsala.
Theekshana has so far played 15 T20Is, in which he has taken 14 wickets at an average of 25.64, with 3/17 being his best. Similarly, Mendis has appeared in 32 T20Is, scoring 638 runs at a strike rate of 124.36 with six half-centuries.