Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been ruled out of the third Test against England after failing to recover from a groin strain sustained during the first Test.
According to ESPNcricinfo, opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka has been brought into the squad as his replacement after team management was forced to admit Chandimal’s injury still lingers beyond the initial prognosis of two weeks needed for recovery.
‘I did a fitness test on Monday, and afterwards there were still symptoms of this injury,’ Chandimal told ESPNcricinfo. ‘The physio has said it will take about another week for it to be 100%.’
His replacement Gunathilaka returns to the side after initially being excluded from the Test squad. His most recent outing with Sri Lanka in red-ball cricket saw Gunathilaka break curfew in the middle of a Test to be the latest transgressor in a string of Sri Lankan disciplinary mis-steps over the last two years.
Gunathilaka is likely to feature in the third Test against England with incumbent opener Kaushal Silva having been unable to make an impact over the first two encounters.
With the series already decided (England have an unassailable 2-0 lead), and with a very busy southern-hemisphere schedule ahead, Sri Lanka will be especially keen for Chandimal to make a full recovery before he takes the field again.
Sri Lanka leave on 4 December for a two-Test tour of New Zealand before travelling to Australia in January and finally South Africa in February.
Including this next match Chandimal will have missed five of Sri Lanka’s six most recent Tests – three of those absences being due to ball tampering and spirit of cricket related suspensions.
Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal is likely to captain Sri Lanka once again and Roshen Silva is again set to fill Chandimal’s position in the middle order.
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