In a significant development for Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign, the team has been forced to make an unexpected change in leadership and squad composition. Captain Dasun Shanaka’s injury, a quadriceps tear, sustained during the team’s last match against Pakistan, has led to his replacement by the seam-bowling allrounder Chamika Karunaratne. This decision comes as a challenge for Sri Lanka, as they navigate the highly competitive World Cup 2023.

Dasun Shanaka’s Injury

Dasun Shanaka’s unfortunate injury has sidelined him for an estimated three weeks, with recovery expected to span most of Sri Lanka’s round-robin matches. The injury comes at a crucial juncture in the tournament, necessitating swift and strategic changes.

Chamika Karunaratne’s addition to the squad as a replacement is seen as a like-for-like switch. Karunaratne is a seam-bowling allrounder who also contributes with the bat in the lower order. While Shanaka excels primarily in batting, Karunaratne’s strength has traditionally been his bowling prowess. He had been travelling with the team as a standby player, making his transition into the playing XI relatively seamless. He will be available for Sri Lanka’s upcoming match against Australia.

Kusal Mendis Assumes Captaincy:

In the absence of Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Mendis will lead the Sri Lankan team. Mendis has served as the vice-captain for the past few months and has previously captained the team in one of Sri Lanka’s warm-up matches. Shanaka will continue to remain with the squad temporarily, providing support and experience.

Before his injury, Dasun Shanaka’s place in the playing XI was under scrutiny due to his recent struggles with the bat. He had recorded only one score above 35 in his last 15 ODI innings. This lean patch extended to the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, raising concerns about his batting form.

Sri Lanka’s Mixed World Cup Start

Sri Lanka’s World Cup journey began with mixed results, suffering defeats at the hands of South Africa and Pakistan. The team has conceded a substantial 775 runs in their two matches, highlighting the need for a bowling allrounder like Karunaratne, who can contribute both with the ball and the bat.

As Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign progresses, the injury to Dasun Shanaka has necessitated a change in leadership and squad composition. Chamika Karunaratne’s inclusion provides a valuable boost, particularly in the bowling department, as Sri Lanka aims to regain momentum and make their presence felt in the tournament. The road ahead promises both challenges and opportunities as the team seeks to overcome early setbacks and perform at their best on the global stage.

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