Sri Lanka is likely to be dealt with a major blow ahead of the first T20I match against India on Sunday night (25th) with the participation of batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa remains doubtful due to a finger injury, ThePapare learns.
Rajapaksa, an aggressive left-handed batsman, was struck on the finger by Hardik Pandya during his knock of 65 in the last ODI game on Friday. The scans have revealed severe damage to his finger and he may be racing against time to be fit for the all-important T20I series. He recovered from a knee strain whilst fielding in the 2nd ODI in time to play the 3rd ODI.
With Rajapaksa set to miss the first T20I, Ashen Bandara is the most likeliest candidate to come into the side. Apart of Bandara, Sri Lanka only have two batsmen – Sadeera Samarawickrama and Pathum Nissanka as replacements in the squad.
However, Sri Lanka will have the services of leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga for the T20I series after missing out on the 3rd and final ODI due to a leg-injury. Hasaranga might replace Ramesh Mendis in the playing XI if he gets through the fitness test prior to the match.
Also, fast-bowler Kasun Rajitha has been ruled out of the entire T20I series due to an injury which he picked up in the second ODI match. Uncapped fast-bowler Udith Madushan has been named as the replacement.
Left-arm fast bowler Binura Fernando, who was ruled out of the ODI series after spraying his left-ankle during training, has been reportedly not recovered still. He may not play a part in the entire T20I series.
The three T20I series will be played on the 25th, 27th and 29th of July at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
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