What’s the story?
Ahead of their must-win tie against India, Sri Lanka have a good news as their skipper Angelo Mathews is set to be back in the playing XI after missing his team’s first match against South Africa due to a calf injury. At the same time, Sri Lanka have some bad news as their middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedera has been ruled out of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy due to a knee injury he sustained in the team's practice session.
“Kapugedara had a heavy pounding on the right knee when he landed on it awkwardly during a fielding drill this morning, and “ radiographic investigation has revealed a meniscal tear coupled with an acute tendon injury. Tournament and SLC Medical experts have recommended a supervised convalescence of two weeks, followed by a review of the injury," a board release said.
In case you didn’t know...
Kapugedera, who has played for Sri Lanka in 8 Tests, 97 ODIs and 43 T20Is, hadn't played a single ODI for the Lankans since 2015 before he was recalled for the Champions Trophy. The right-hander played in the first match against South Africa and was dismissed for a duck, thanks to a googly from Imran Tahir that foxed the batsmen and trapped him plumb in front of the stumps.
In his place, Sri Lanka Cricket has announced that 26-year-old opener Danushka Gunathilaka will be the replacement for the injured Kapugedera. Sri Lanka are already set to miss the services of Upul Tharanga in their remaining two league games as the Lankan stand-in skipper was banned for two matches for slow over-rate.
Extra cover: 5 reasons why India should be wary of Sri Lanka
However, Gunathilaka is likely to join the team before the clash against India and in all likelihood, he will open the innings in place of Tharanga with skipper Mathews taking Kapugedara’s place in the middle-order.
Sri Lanka take on India in their second match at the Oval on June 8 and in the third match of the league stage, they take on Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 12. If they manage to win both their matches, they have a chance of making it to the semis.
It is unfortunate for Sri Lanka to lose one of their experienced players ahead of a must-win game against India. At the same time, the Sri Lankans could have preferred someone like Dhananjaya de Silva as a replacement instead of Gunathilaka.Published 08 Jun 2017, 01:54 IST