July 18, 2024

World Cup 2023: Sri Lanka lose captain Dasun Shanaka to thigh injury

Sri Lanka have suffered a major blow as their skipper and Sri Lanka lose captain Dasun Shanaka. All-rounder Dasun Shanaka has been ruled out of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 due to a thigh injury. Read more about how this affects their chances and who will replace him in the squad.

Sri Lanka’s chances of progressing to the semi-finals of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 have taken a massive hit as their skipper and star all-rounder Dasun Shanaka has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury. The ICC announced on Saturday that Chamika Karunaratne, a fast-bowling all-rounder, will replace Shanaka in the Sri Lankan squad.

How did Shanaka get injured?

Shanaka suffered a right thigh muscle injury during Sri Lanka’s second World Cup match against Pakistan, which they lost by six wickets. He was unable to bat or bowl in the match, and had to be taken off the field for medical attention. He underwent scans and tests, which revealed that he will need around three weeks to recover from the injury.

What does Shanaka’s absence mean for Sri Lanka?

Shanaka’s absence is a huge blow for Sri Lanka, who are already struggling in the World Cup. They have lost both their opening matches against Bangladesh and Pakistan, and are currently seventh in the points table. They need to win at least four of their remaining six matches to have a realistic chance of making it to the top four.

Shanaka was one of Sri Lanka’s most experienced and versatile players, having played 57 ODIs and scored 1,012 runs at an average of 25.30 and a strike rate of 97.77. He also picked up 33 wickets with his medium pace bowling. He was also the captain who led Sri Lanka to a historic 2-1 series win over India in July this year, and was expected to inspire his young and inexperienced team in the World Cup.

Who will lead Sri Lanka now?

Sri Lanka will now be led by vice-captain Kusal Mendis, who is also their leading run-scorer in the tournament so far with 95 runs in two innings. Mendis will have a tough task ahead of him, as Sri Lanka face Australia in their next World Cup match on Monday in Lucknow. Australia are the defending champions and have won both their matches convincingly against Afghanistan and New Zealand.

Who is Chamika Karunaratne?

Chamika Karunaratne, who has been named as Shanaka’s replacement, is a 25-year-old fast bowler who has played 14 ODIs and taken 16 wickets at an average of 29.68 and an economy rate of 5.77. He made his ODI debut in January this year against West Indies, and impressed with his pace and variations. He also scored a quick-fire 44 off 33 balls in the same match. Karunaratne will join the Sri Lankan squad in India soon, and will hope to make an impact with both bat and ball.

Can Sri Lanka bounce back from this setback?

Sri Lanka have a proud history in the World Cup, having won the title in 1996 and reached the finals in 2007 and 2011. However, they have been struggling in recent years, and failed to reach the semi-finals in the last two editions in 2015 and 2019. They will hope to turn things around in this edition, and prove their critics wrong with some spirited performances.

They will need to regroup quickly and overcome the loss of their captain if they want to keep their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals alive. They will also need some of their senior players like Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lasith Malinga to step up and perform consistently.

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