A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ajantha Mendis’ fitness Sri Lanka’s top priority ahead of home series against New Zealand

Mendis has been injury-ridden for the past year

Sri Lanka spin bowler Ajantha Mendis’ fitness is the top priority for the country ahead of their Twenty20 match against New Zealand on October 30.

Mendis picked up a side strain during the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 and has not yet fully recovered.

Sri Lanka’s team manager¬†Charith Senanayake said: “Ajantha is still recovering from a side strain which he suffered during the World T20. That is our only concern right now.”

Mendis sustained the injury in Sri Lanka’s opening match against Zimbabwe, but went on to play in every game except a rain-affected group game against South Africa.

Despite his injury, Mendis still managed to finish atop of the wickets list, claiming 15 victims at an outstanding average of 9.80.

“Ajantha played these matches taking painkillers, he has still not recovered 100% from the injury. He is still under treatment,¬†We have made practice optional for the World T20 players, but the rest of the squad is at practice,” Senanayake said.

As of right now, Sri Lankan selectors are still debating who to include in the squad.

The selection panel chairman Ashantha de Mel stated that he had spoken to former Twenty20 captain Mahela Jayawardene, who stepped down as captain after Sri Lanka lost in the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 to the West Indies, about whom to pick in the squad.

De Mel added that he would be speaking to Jayawardene and national coach Graham Ford about who should be picked for the ODI and Test teams as well.

De Mel further mentioned that more of the younger talents would be featured in the Twenty20 squad, while the senior players would be included in the ODI and Test teams.

“We are looking at resting some of the senior players and fielding a young team for the T20 game. The seniors will be back for the ODIs and Tests,” De Mel said.

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