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."