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Ashan Priyanjan included in the Sri Lankan squad as cover

Priyanjan is yet to make his T20I debut while he has featured in 22 ODIs.

Ashan Priyanjan
Ashan Priyanjan. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

On the eve of the Sri Lanka vs India one-off Twenty20 International, the Sri Lankan selectors have called up batting all-rounder Ashan Priyanjan as a cover in the squad. He will join the team as all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana has reportedly complained of stiffness in his back as well as in the hamstring and the selectors don’t want to take a chance thus have called-up Priyanjan.

If Siriwardana does miss out, it will be a huge blow for the already weak looking Lankan batting line-up as he aggregated 144 runs in the recently concluded ODI series that his team lost 5-0. He was only one of the three Sri Lankan batters to have crossed the 100-run mark in the series as the others fell on their knees against an imposing Indian bowling attack. The right-hander was on September 4, also named in the 25 men provisional squad for the Test series against Pakistan.

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The Colombo born Priyanjan, is yet to make his T20I debut while he has featured in 22 ODIs for the blue team, though his international numbers aren’t promising just yet, he displayed prime batting form in the Districts One Day Tournament representing his state team, Colombo the 28-year-old scored a match-winning 107 in the final to crown his team the champions.

On the other hand, Siriwardana has represented the national team in 22 T20Is and has scored 275 runs, that coupled with his current form and partnership breaking ability with his left-arm spin makes him a prominent player in this depleted Sri Lankan team.

As many as six Lankan players have suffered various injuries on this tour ranging from fractures to spasm and tear to be ruled out of a few fixtures or the rest of the tournament. If Milinda is declared unfit for the game, he will join the likes of Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Chamara Kapugedera in the list of players who were forced out of the team due to injury.

Sri Lanka Squad for the one-off T20I:

Upul Tharanga (C), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilshan Munaweera, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal and Vikum Sanjaya.

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