IND v SL: Maheesh Theekshana gets ruled out of T20Is, Kusal Mendis' participation in doubt

IND v SL: Maheesh Theekshana gets ruled out of T20Is, Kusal Mendis’ participation in doubt

Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have now been added to the T20I squad for the final two matches.

Maheesh Theekshana
Maheesh Theekshana. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka would be hoping to showcase a better performance in the second T20I against India at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on February 26 after a humiliating 62-run defeat in the series opener in Lucknow. Ahead of the all-important contest, the visitors have suffered a huge setback just when they looked forward to keeping the three-match series alive as one of their key players has been ruled out of the series while other’s participation is doubtful.

The players in the discussion are Maheesh Theekshana and Kusal Mendis who are deemed as two of the best players in the Lankan squad. The setback has come at a time after star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was forced to miss the entire series after being tested COVID-19 positive and now, Maheesh has joined him in the list as well.

Maheesh Theekshana ruled out of India T20I series

According to reports in ESPN Cricinfo, a hamstring injury has ruled spinner Maheesh Theekshana out from the remainder of the T20I series against the Rohit Sharma-led side. At the same time, the report also states that the participation of leggie Kusal Mendis is doubtful after having sustained a hamstring niggle but, he should recover in time for the two-match Test series starting March four. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva who are members of the Sri Lanka Test squad have now been added to the T20I squad for the final two matches.

Apart from these two, pacer Shiran Fernando, who is yet to make his debut at the highest level has also been ruled out of the ongoing series due to a glute injury.

Coming back to the first T20I,  splendid knocks from  Ishan Kishan (89 runs off 59 deliveries) and Shreyas Iyer (57 runs off 28 balls) propelled India to a stiff total of 199/2 from their 20 overs.  In reply, the visitors struggled right from the beginning and kept losing wickets at regular intervals that hampered their chase.

At 97/6, it seemed to be all over for them but, middle-order batter Charith Asalanka soldiered with a valiant knock and remained unbeaten on 53 off 47 deliveries. Nonetheless, he was the lone warrior for Sri Lanka and no support from the other end meant that the 2014 T20 world champions were eventually restricted to 137/6 from their 20 overs.