Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal is almost certainly out of the second Test in Pallekele, after it was confirmed that the injury he sustained during the first Test was a grade one tear in the groin, which will take up to two weeks to heal.
Sri Lanka's team management will give Chandimal every opportunity to heal before the second Test, which starts on Wednesday, but have said they would not risk putting Chandimal into the XI if he is not 100%. Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne were the standby batsmen when the Test squad was named in late September, and may now enter into the squad proper as injury cover.
"Chandimal's injury is grade one tear, and it will take ten to 14 days to recover, so it will be touch and go for the second Test match," Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka's coach, said. "We'll wait and see how his body recovers before we make the call. If he is not 100% fit, he may not play. We have to look at a replacement or stand by player for him."
If he misses the match, it would be the fourth Test out of Sri Lanka's five most recent matches that he would have been unavailable for. He was suspended for the third Test of the West Indies series in June, and the two home Tests against South Africa in July, due to a ball-tampering offence and the spirit of cricket breach that followed it.
He had also missed the second Test Sri Lanka played after he became captain in August last year, due to pneumonia on that occasion.
Suranga Lakmal, the senior fast bowler, is likely to lead the team in Chandimal's absence.