Chamika replaces injured Shanaka in Sri Lanka squad
Source : island
Captain Dasun Shanaka has been replaced by Chamika Karunaratne in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad, after Shanaka sustained a quadriceps tear in the team’s last match, against Pakistan. The recovery time for this injury is expected to be roughly three weeks, during which time Sri Lanka will have played most of their round-robin matches.
Karunaratne is essentially a like-for-like replacement – a seam-bowling allrounder, who bats down the order. Though where Shanaka’s strength is his batting, Karunaratne’s bowling has typically been his foremost discipline. He had been travelling with the team as a standby player, and will be available for Sri Lanka’s match against Australia on Monday.
Sri Lanka’s team management has confirmed that Kusal Mendis will lead in Shanaka’s stead, as he has served as the team’s vice-captain for the past few months, and in fact led them in one of Sri Lanka’s warm-up matches, which Shanaka had missed. Team manager Mahinda Halangoda also said that despite Shanaka exiting the squad, he will remain with the team “for the time being”.
Shanaka’s place in the XI had anyway been under substantial pressure over the past few months, in which he had been abysmal with the bat. He had passed 35 only once in his last 15 ODI innings, a stretch which featured the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
The team had largely done well under him, however, winning that Qualifier unbeaten as well as making it to the final of the recent Asia Cup, which was mostly played in Sri Lanka.
But Sri Lanka have had a poor start to their World Cup campaign, suffering defeats at the hands of South Africa and Pakistan. They have conceded a whopping 775 runs in the two matches so far, so the addition of a bowling allrounder may be welcome.