Tharanga to replace injured Mendis for SL

2015 World Cup

Batsman Upul Tharanga has been called up to replace injured allrounder Jeevan Mendis in Sri Lanka's 15-man World Cup squad, with the global event currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

Mendis suffered a hamstring injury in training on Tuesday and, although the team management hoped the injury was not serious, scans revealed a mild tear that would keep the leg-spin bowler out for two to three weeks.

Tharanga, who is usually an opening batsman, can slot in anywhere in the batting order from number one to seven, and his versatility probably 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.

Sri Lanka's next match at the tournament is against Bangladesh at the MCG on Thursday.

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