Veteran spinner Rangana Herath has been confirmed as Dinesh Chandimal's replacement as Test skipper after the newly-appointed skipper was ruled out of the first Test against India with illness.
Herath has previously captained the country on a tour of Zimbabwe last year, and in a home series against Bangladesh when former skipper Angelo Mathews was ruled out with injury.
Chandimal will miss the 1st Test against India, & in his absence team will be led by Spin master Rangana Herath. https://t.co/2J1wvkirPy— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) July 21, 2017
Chandimal will miss the opening Tests of the series – in Galle starting next Wednesday – after contracting pneumonia.
"We were actually only told late last night - the blood Test came a bit late. He's got pneumonia," said Sri Lanka team manager Asanka Gurusinha. "He was admitted to hospital this morning at 9am, and he's definitely out of the first Test.
"The doctors have advised us this morning to say: 'Finish the first Test' and they'll advise us afterwards. If they tell us he needs another week to recover, that's it. We can't do anything."
The 27-year-old, who was appointed Sri Lanka’s new Test captain after Mathews stood down last week, was absent from Thursday’s pre-series press conference. Limited-overs captain Upal Tharanga filled in for Chandimal.
Just weeks after his axing from the one-day international squad, Chandimal was appointed as Sri Lanka's 15th Test captain following the resignation of Mathews in the wake of their ODI series defeat by Zimbabwe.
Chandimal, who became Sri Lanka's youngest-ever captain when he was appointed as their T20 skipper in 2013, made his Test captaincy debut last in a one-off match against Zimbabwe in Colombo.
He lead the side in their one-off Test against Zimbabwe, a match in which Sri Lanka relied on some final day fortune to chase down a record fourth-innings score to win.