Avishka Fernando, a 23-year-old batter, has been ruled out of the next three-match Twenty20 International series against India due to a knee injury. Ramesh Mendis, an all-rounder, and fast bowler Nuwan Thushara are also out owing to a fractured thumb and a side strain, respectively.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the middle order batter, also fails not make the squad due to fitness concerns. In fact, Rajapaksa had intended to retire from international cricket in January of this year before changing his mind.
Avishka has struggled to create an impression in the shortest format, scoring 331 runs at an average of 12.25 in T20Is. The right-handed hitter averaged 5.50 in T20Is in Australia but has yet to score a fifty. Ramesh Mendis did not play in Australia, and Thushara only took one wicket.
Meanwhile, off-spinner Ashian Daniel has been called up to the team. His inclusion, however, is subject to “ministerial approval.” The 21-year-old, who made his T20 debut for Nondescripts Cricket Club in March 2021, was a reserve for the ODI series against Zimbabwe in January of this year.
Wanindu Hasaranga and Binura Fernando, both of whom tested positive for Covid-19 during the series in Australia, have been included following their seven-day isolation period.
Dasun Shanaka will lead the team once more, with Charith Asalanka serving as his deputy. The three-match T20I series will begin on February 24 in Lucknow and Dharamsala.
Sri Lanka T20I squad:
Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashian Daniel – Subjected to Ministerial approval