It hasn't been an ideal build-up to the India series for Sri Lanka. While there were COVID-19 cases in their camp on their return from England, they have more reasons to worry as vice-captain and star batter Dhananjaya de Silva is doubtful for selection in the opening ODI on Sunday. While they had already received a setback with injuries to Kusal Perera and pacer Binura Fernando, another injury scare to De Silva comes as a huge blow for a side already struggling with form and consistency.
It is being reported that De Silva was sent for scans after he complained of a back injury after training on Friday. If he is not available for selection, the management could have a tougher task to put up a team that could challenge a strong Indian line-up in the absence of Perera, Angelo Mathews among others. De Silva, with 50 ODIs under his belt, also happens to be the most experienced player on the squad. To put things into perspective, Dasun Shanka, who has been entrusted with the leadership role, has just featured in 28 ODIs.
Tour was earlier scheduled to commence on July 13
Although the Indian team, on paper, seems to be a second-string side without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and others, who are in the United Kingdom, they also boast of experienced players like Dhawan himself, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey apart from vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar and skipper Dhawan who is a veteran of 142 ODIs and 34 Test matches.
The white ball tour was earlier scheduled to commence on July 13 but with just 48 hours to go for the scheduled commencement of the first match, Sri Lanka Cricket announced that the series needed to be rescheduled after batting coach Grant Flower and performance analyst GT Niroshan were found Coronavirus positive.
But after all the players have tested negative, they have been allowed to train and participate in the rescheduled series beginning on Sunday. However, injuries have made matters worse for them since they are already under pressure to perform marred with controversies surrounding the board.