Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne January 11, 2013

A fourth keeper could replace injured Chandimal


Sri Lanka may be forced to field their fourth wicketkeeper of the tour in the second ODI in Adelaide on Sunday, after Dinesh Chandimal hurt his hamstring during the loss to Australia in Melbourne. The uncapped gloveman Kushal Perera is part of the one-day squad and could make his debut on Sunday, depending on how Chandimal recovers during the short break between games.

Chandimal top-scored for Sri Lanka with 73 in their unsuccessful chase at the MCG, and although he was able to run between the wickets, he was clearly hampered by his hamstring during the innings. Perera, 22, is the second leading run-getter in Sri Lanka's domestic one-day competition this season, with 376 runs at 62.66 for Colts, and Jayawardene said he would be ready for international cricket if called upon.

"Chandi has hurt his hamstring and the physio will assess him," Jayawardene said. "He did run, he wasn't that bad. So we just need to monitor him and see how he is going to come up tomorrow morning and how bad it is. Luckily we have got another reserve wicketkeeper on tour. Hopefully it's not too bad. We'll see how it goes. The next match is going to come up pretty soon for us on Sunday, and then we have got a break. We will assess it.

"Kushal is a pretty decent batsman. He's been very consistent in one-day cricket for us in domestic cricket. He has been part of our A team for the last couple of years, and he is a pretty decent wicketkeeper as well. We knew that when Sanga went down we needed to have that backup for Chandi, so he is a good all-round package for us to have as an extra batsman or as a wicketkeeper-batsman."

Sri Lanka have had awful luck with their wicketkeepers during this trip. Prasanna Jayawardene, the first-choice Test gloveman, suffered a fractured thumb while batting in the second Test at the MCG, and Kumar Sangakkara took over the wicketkeeping duties during the game. However, Sangakkara also broke his hand while batting late in that same match, and Chandimal had to take the gloves for the third Test in Sydney.

The injury to Chandimal was just another disappointment for Sri Lanka on a day that brought a 107-run defeat at the hands of George Bailey's inexperienced Australia side. Bailey and the debutant Phillip Hughes put together a 140-run partnership that was the key for Australia, and Jayawardene said his men had "lost the plot" at times as they tried to break that stand.

"We did try a lot of things, we did put a little bit of pressure on," Jayawardene said. "But at times we lost the plot. We didn't build pressure enough, there were a lot of four balls from a couple of our bowlers in those middle overs. We didn't create enough pressure on those two guys and they batted really well. It's just one of those days."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Phil Hughes was "gifted" a century by the SL bowlers.PH is mainly a off side player and the bowlers were bowling to his strength His weakness is balls attacking the stumps.He is very vulnerable there.It is the straight balls that got him in the Tests and yesterday in the ODI.

  • Chanaka on January 12, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Chandimal's injury really highlights yet another poor piece of selection. There are only six specialist batsmen in the squad of sixteen. Surely Fred Karuraratne, who was acclimatised and in form, should have stayed with the squad; in fact, selectors with any vision would have played him through the ODI series as an opener instead of Thranaga who will always struggle in Australia (remember where the next World Cup will be). As for the rest of the series, Mahela seems to contribute more to the ODI team as an opener and Tharanga should drop to six. We should also acknowledge Australia's intimidatory fielding and far superior fast bowling. As for our "attack" - lets hope Lakmal doesn't get a game. It's going to be hard to win this series from here with the current personnel.

  • narbavi on January 12, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    @sinhaya: Brother see the positive side of things, those run outs helped our chandimal to fight it out and score well, this augurs well for the future, we are improving, by the time the t20 series comes up we would be in perfect shape to beat them 2-0

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    OZWally nice comment. We were beaten by a seconed string Australian side. I cant imagine the carnage if they had Clarke, Warner and Hussey? I was at the match and there were some bright spots for Lanka. Our youngsters have showed lot of promise. Angelo was looking tired yesterday. Malinga was not at his best ( he is a different cricketer when he puts on SL shirt). Tharanga has a technical problem against moving ball and this was well known and publicised. I hope I will be able to see a better performance from SL on Sunday. I am making a 7 hour drive to Adelaide tonight. Who knows we may need the inclusion of some foreign born players such as KP, USMAN,and Nash etc. Good Luck SL. Pathetic may not be the correct word for the last nights performance. I hear Indian stars are used now in Sinhala cinama and our cricket should follow the same.

  • rob on January 12, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    I hope Chandimal isn't seriously injured. He's a real star on the horizon for SL. I'm very impressed with his keeping and his batting is obviously high quality. Sl hasn't had much luck with injuries and having to go to your 4th keeper would test any countries wicket-keeping stocks. .. Javeen Mendis's innings was interesting. He looked a million bucks against the admittedly poor spinners but the way he folded up when confronted with some pace was very telling. .. it looked to me as though he had given up the ghost b4 he had faced his first ball from one of the quicks. .. to my way of thinking an attitude like that is usually picked up from his mates in the dressing shed. .. surely he couldn't be playing international cricket if he really is as scared of fast bowling as he looked on this occasion. .. I suspect it might be a general feeling in the team and he picked it up by osmosis.

  • Rici on January 11, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    Good Luck Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was beaten due to 54°C heat in Australia. When I think of the heat in Australia, I forget Cricket and my lungs start to burn. So Sri Lanka forgets about the blistering heat and play cricket in Australia.

  • Anthony on January 11, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    The SL wicketkeepers should team up with Australia's fast bowlers and see if they can get a group discount at a local medical facility.

  • Prashan on January 11, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    MJ please drop yourself and let Herath play. What is wrong with our batting seriously? 3 Run outs is totally unacceptable.

  • Mihil on January 11, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Only positive from this tour is one of my former class mates is playing for the country,Kushal. Having many allrounders without a fronline bowler is folly. Get rid of an all rounder and add a good bowler. Herath is not getting any test matches in the future so why don't he play??

  • Desmond on January 11, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Pls MJ bat properly like those days ...........i mean with respect . Pls drop Tharanga and allow Thisara to open ,at least he will get some runs with the new ball . Provided if you consider him for the second test.?

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