Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal will miss the second Test against England, starting on 14 November, after being ruled out for two weeks with a groin injury sustained in the first Test in Galle.
The ‘grade one muscle tear’, as revealed by Sri Lanka’s coach Chandika Hathurusingha, will likely put Chandimal out of action for two weeks, so the aim will be to have their skipper back for the third Test at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club, which commences on 23 November, but for now he remains a doubt.
Experienced pace bowler Suranga Lakmal will lead the side in Chandimal’s absence, as he did during Sri Lanka’s two-match series against South Africa earlier this year. The home team won both Tests in crushing fashion then, securing the first victory by a margin of 279 runs and the second by 199 runs.
Charith Asalanka, the promising 21-year-old batting all-rounder, has been called up to the squad in Chandimal’s place. The uncapped Asalanka notched a breezy 68 in the hosts’ second warm-up match prior to the series, and he comes straight in to the squad ahead of those who were officially on standby, the more established pair of Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera.
Rangana Herath also made his final appearance for his country in Sri Lanka’s heavy defeat in Galle, after a sparkling 19-year Test career that saw him bow out as the No.8-ranked bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Test standings. Malinda Pushpakumara, the 31-year-old spinning all-rounder who made his debut in the format last year, is tipped to come into the side in Herath’s place.