Opening batter Kusal Janith Perera is a doubtful starter while captain Dasun Shanaka is expected to be available for Sri Lanka’s World Cup opener versus South Africa, to be played in New Delhi on Saturday.
Both Perera and Shanaka, who hurt themselves during Sri Lanka’s warm-up tie against Bangladesh here on Friday, were unavailable for its Tuesday’s warm-up match against Afghanistan.
The duo’s unavailability prompted Sri Lanka to release a fitness update through the International Cricket Council. The statement explained that Shaanka strained his left elbow last Friday while Perera experienced pain in his right shoulder during the same match.
“He is under medical treatment and is in the process of recovery,” was the identical update for both.
The Hindu understands that Shanaka will definitely be available – he was “not stretched unnecessarily” on Tuesday, according to a source. However, Perera is uncertain to recover in time for the opening fixture.
Having undergone a surgery on the same shoulder last year, neither the player nor the team’s medical staff wants to risk his comeback. It may result in Dimuth Karunaratne being persisted with as Pathum Nissanka’s opening partner on Saturday.
The only bright development in the Sri Lankan camp is Maheesh Theekshana will definitely be available for the entire stretch. Since Theekshana was recovering from an injury he suffered during the Asia Cup, he did not travel with the squad last week.
The statement clarified that Theekshana will join the squad in New Delhi on Wednesday.