Sri Lanka will be without their regular captain Dinesh Chandimal for at least the next Test against England, which starts on November 14 in Pallekelle.
He has been ruled out for two weeks with a groin injury – a grade-one tear – sustained during the first Test, which the visitors won by 211 runs in Galle.
In his absence, deputy skipper Suranga Lakmal will take over leadership duties. He stood in for Chandimal in West Indies and against South Africa at home recently.
The hosts’ have brought in uncapped, left-handed batsman Charith Asalanka – who wasn’t on the standby list – as a replacement for Chandimal.
Interestingly, the 21-year-old usurped Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne – who were on stand-by when the Test squad was named.
Asalanka’s inclusion is likely to have been based on his very recent outing for Sri Lanka Board XI in the second warm-up match that England played before the series in the first week of this month. In a drawn affair, the left-handed middle-order batsman scored an enterprising 63-ball 68 before retiring out.
Former Richmondite, Asalanka is yet to earn his national cap at the highest level, but has led the Under-19 team in the World Cup in 2016. In 29 first-class games, Asalanka has scored 1,185 runs at an average of 26.93 while also picking 24 wickets with his off-break bowling.