From on-field performance to off-field tussle with Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) over the new contracts, nothing seems to be going right for Sri Lanka at the moment. The Lankan Lions suffered utmost humiliation in England where they failed to win a single game. They were expecting some favourable results against a relatively inexperienced India. However, ahead of the series, they have been dealt with a huge blow as their ace opener Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the series due to a shoulder injury. Also, pacer Binura Fernando will miss the ODIs due to an ankle sprain.
Perera picked up the injury on England tour but continued playing as there was no apt replacement available. However, things got worse for him upon returning from England and he couldn’t take part in Sri Lanka’s training sessions. It was later confirmed that Perera won’t be able to take part in the ODI and T20I series against India. Binura Fernando, on the other hand, had a lateral ligament sprain that can take a week to heal.
Perera’s absence is a massive setback to Sri Lanka as he was their best batsman in the squad. More often than not, he sets the platform for the middle order with some blazing knocks. He is one of the few cricketers in the current setup that can single-handedly win the game for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka and India kick start the ODI series on July 18. The series was scheduled to start on July 13 but was postponed by few days as Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst GT Niroshan tested positive for COVID-19.
Sri Lanka are having a torrid time and would be keen to get some results in their favour against a new-look India. The visitors are without the services of their key players who are in England for the five-match Test series against the 'Three Lions'. However, the Men in Blue still are not short on quality and boast of some promising youngsters. The team will be led by Shikhar Dhawan while Rahul Dravid will don the coach’s hat for the series.