Jeevan Mendis is now dealing with a hamstring injury which he acquired on Tuesday in training. The team management hoped that the injury would not be serious but the scans revealed a mild tear that would keep Mendis out of action for two-three weeks.
Tharanga, an opening batsman can play anywhere from number one to seven and it was his versatility that got him the nod over other candidates.
Captain Angelo Mathews said: “Upul will be arriving tonight, but Jeevan will be out for a minimum of two to three weeks. Jeevan will be out of the series and he’ll be going back after the next game.”
Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya told the Daily Mirror: “Tharanga has batted at all positions from No. 1 to 7, and has performed equally well. That is an advantage.
“His vast experience is the biggest plus. We also considered the fact that he has shown good recent form in domestic cricket.”
Tharanga has played in 176 ODI’s and has a batting average of 33.57, including 13 centuries and 28 fifties.
Tharanga has played 176 ODIs for Sri Lanka and holds a batting average of 33.57, including 13 centuries and 28 fifties.