Chandimal’s injury leaves Sri Lanka in the lurch

Kandy, Aug 28 (PTI) A bruised and battered Sri Lanka’s woes were further aggravated today after senior batsman Dinesh Chandimal was ruled out of the remainder of the limited-overs’ fixtures against India due to a hairline fracture in his right thumb.

He was hit off a Hardik Pandya delivery whilst batting in the third ODI at Pallekele on Sunday, which India won by six wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Chandimal’s absence from the ODI side has been subject of intense speculation as he is also the Test captain.

Yet, he was not selected for this series originally, nor was he part of the ODI series against Zimbabwe at home prior to this Indian tour.

In fact, it is a wonder that he wasn’t even named full- time captain after Angelo Mathews stepped down following the embarrassing 2-3 defeat at home against Zimbabwe, while Upul Tharanga was named ODI skipper.

A school of thought says that Chandimal, who has only played 39 Tests, shouldn’t be burdened with the additional load of captaincy in the shorter formats.

The other school of thought, which gained a lot of fuel with his initial exclusion from the ODI side, is that the team management Asanka Gurushinha and chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya are not on the same page regarding his leadership skills.

Interim coach Nic Pothas, whose days are also expectedly numbered as Sri Lanka might opt for a home-grown coach after this series, reportedly doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the team management, albeit he was forced to retract his strong words of previous criticism.

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