Madushanka suffers injury scare; Asalanka likely to sit out World Cup opener

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 - Reporting from Geelong, Australia

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Dilshan Madushanka has suffered an injury scare in Sri Lanka’s final training session ahead of the team’s T20 World Cup opener against Namibia at Kardinia Park in Geelong.

Madushanka left the session just 4 balls into his first over, holding on to his hip, but according to batting Coach Naveed Nawaz, the extent of the injury is yet to be ascertained.

The 20-year-old left arm quick was one of the brightest stars for Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Asia Cup, where he picked up 6 wickets at 25.83.

If Madushanka is ruled out of the game, Sri Lanka will likely get Lahiru Kumara into the side, though he has not played any international cricket since March 2022. Kumara and Dushmatha Chameera were a real force during the last World Cup, but the former has not been able to get any consistent game time since that tournament.

On the batting front, Charith Asalanka is almost certain to remain on the bench, with Dhananjaya de Silva and Danushka Gunathilaka set to occupy the No. 3 and 4 spots in the batting order.

Asalanka was one of Sri Lanka’s best performers at last year’s tournament, scoring 230 runs in 8 games, including a match-winning 80* vs Bangladesh. However, the left hander has been terribly out of form of late, making just 235 runs in 15 games this year.

The left-hander was dropped from the playing XI for the last two game in favour of de Silva, who himself was benched for the entirety of the last World Cup in 2021, despite coming in as vice-captain under Dasun Shanaka.

The likely playing XI for Sri Lanka is as follows:

Kusal Mendis (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilake, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka ©, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara