India vs Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka downplays absence of Wanindu Hasaranga – Our squad is still strong

India vs Sri Lanka: Highly rated spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to miss the upcoming T20I series but skipper Dasun Shanaka believes the hosts have the firepower to cause problems for India.

Wanindu Hasaranga likely to miss T20I series against India (AFP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to miss the T20I series in India
  • World No. 4 T20I weirdo is still in Covid-19 isolation in Canberra
  • India will play Sri Lanka in 3 T20Is from February 24th

Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said on Wednesday that despite the absence of spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, the visitors have a squad strong enough to take on India in the T20I series starting February 24. The world No. 4 T20I weirdo has been ruled out of the series opener as he is still isolating in Australia after testing positive for Covid-19.

Sri Lanka had arrived in Lucknow earlier this week after losing a 5-match T20I series 4-1 to Australia in Australia. Hasaranga missed the last 3 T20Is in Australia due to Covid-19 and did not recover in time to travel to India with the rest of the Sri Lankan team.

Hasaranga, who was one of Sri Lanka’s menacing bowlers, will at least miss the first T20I in Lucknow as Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed on Wednesday the spinner will be in isolation in Canberra pending a negative RT-PCR test for Covid-19 returns .

“The youngsters have been in the system for a while, they have played in domestic cricket. With the Covid situation, it has become normal. All teams are facing it. Wanindu will be a weakness for us but we know he will be back Nevertheless, our squad is strong enough,” said Shanaka on the eve of the first T20I in Lucknow.

“They have players with a lot of IPL experience. They would be very strong. But we also have a good team,” he added.

Shanaka, meanwhile, urged the top team to take more responsibility against a strong Indian side in the upcoming three-game series. The Islanders suffered a 4-1 defeat in Australia when their batting unit let them down. Aside from Pathum Nisssanka, who hit 184 runs in 5 T20Is and topped the batting charts, none of the other batters in the top order rose.

“We want the supreme order to fire. Whenever the top order is below the runs, we have a better chance of winning,” he said.

“India has a strong bowling lineup and we expect our top order to shoot which will give our bowlers a chance to defend.”

The first T20I will be held in Lucknow on February 24th, while the 2nd and 3rd T20I will be held in Dharamsala on February 26th and 27th.

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