Wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the first two ODIs against Bangladesh, after sustaining a hamstring strain during Wednesday's warm-up match in Colombo, Sri Lanka's cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha confirmed.
The strain - to his left thigh - was a "very minor" one, Gurusinha said, and though there was a chance Kusal could be fit enough to play in the second ODI in Dambulla on March 28, the selectors have chosen to keep Kusal in Colombo while the team travels to Dambulla. A replacement is expected to be named on Thursday or Friday, but Kusal will rejoin the squad ahead of the third ODI at the SSC on April 1, provided he recovers as expected.
The timing of this injury is unfortunate for Kusal, who had just worked himself up to some form in his last three competitive innings, after having suffered a lean run of scores going back to the Zimbabwe tour in October. With Kusal dropped from the side for limited-overs series in South Africa and Australia, Sri Lanka had deployed Niroshan Dickwella in the opening position, and it is possible this hamstring strain will deny Kusal the chance to immediately reassert his case.
The first of three ODIs is set to be played on Saturday.