Mendis to replace injured Perera

Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the T20 internationals against Bangladesh, and has been replaced in the squad by Kusal Mendis. Perera had suffered a side strain while batting in Sri Lanka’s third ODI of the tri-nation series that preceded the Tests, and had returned home for treatment. Although he was named in the T20 squad, he has not traveled with the team to Bangladesh.

“According to medical advice, Perera needs more time to recover from the side strain,” an SLC release said. This is Perera’s second injury over the past year. In June he had pulled a hamstring while batting in the Champions Trophy, and was out of competitive cricket until November.

Mendis, his replacement, has been in excellent Test form, but does not have an enviable T20I record. From eight international innings in the format, Mendis has a high score of 22, and a strike rate of 123. It is possible he will not play in the top order, with Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal all jostling for positions. Mendis last played a T20I in February last year.

The first of two games will be played in Mirpur on Thursday, before the action moves to Sylhet for Sunday. (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)