Sri Lanka’s cricket squad received an unwelcome blow as opener Pathum Nissanka has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming ODI series against Zimbabwe due to a suspected case of dengue. The Sri Lanka Cricket Board confirmed that Nissanka has been admitted to the hospital for treatment.
In response to Nissanka’s unavailability, 19-year-old Shevon Daniel has been named as the replacement. Although primarily an opener, Daniel faces competition from Avishka Fernando and captain Kusal Mendis, both capable of opening the batting. The first ODI, scheduled for Saturday, awaits the selection decision for the playing XI.
Nissanka’s Formidable Record
The absence of Pathum Nissanka is a substantial setback for Sri Lanka, considering his outstanding performance in 2023. Nissanka amassed 1151 ODI runs at an impressive average of 44.26, boasting a strike rate of 87. He emerged as one of the team’s most consistent batters, making his absence keenly felt in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe.
In four innings against Zimbabwe, Nissanka maintained an exceptional average of 82.33, underlining his significant impact on Sri Lanka’s batting lineup. His ability to anchor the innings and contribute consistently will be sorely missed during the ODI series.
Dengue Suspicions and Hospitalization
The suspected case of dengue adds an element of concern to Nissanka’s health. With dengue being a mosquito-borne disease prevalent in certain regions, the cricketing community hopes for a swift and complete recovery for the talented opener.
All three ODIs against Zimbabwe are scheduled to be played at Khettarama, as will the subsequent T20I series. The focus will now shift to the resilience of the Sri Lankan team in adapting to Nissanka’s absence and the role Shevon Daniel might play in filling the void.
As Sri Lanka prepares for the ODIs and T20Is against Zimbabwe, the team management will need to strategize effectively to overcome the challenges posed by Nissanka’s unexpected absence. The dynamics of the series have certainly shifted, and cricket enthusiasts will keenly observe how the team copes with this setback and performs in the upcoming contests.