Perera scored a useful 30 in the second match of the ODI series to help his team rebuild after a poor start but suffered a hamstring injury that has ruled him out of the rest of the series.
Despite being in and out of the Sri Lankan set-up for the last three years, Perera’s replacement, Mendis, is just 23 years old.
Mendis was one of those made to pay for Sri Lanka’s disappointing Asia Cup campaign last month – Mendis was dismissed for a duck in both of Sri Lanka’s matches. The team crashed out of the tournament at the group stage suffering defeats to Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The diminutive batsman has recorded five Test centuries though and will be hoping to convert his obvious promise in white-ball cricket into match-winning efforts for his country.
He will hope to have an opportunity in the remaining matches of the rain-affected series. The first ODI was abandoned, while the second had to be decided by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. The third ODI had yet to start at the time of writing due to persistent rain.