In the very first session of the series-opener against India at Galle on Wednesday (July 26), Sri Lanka suffered a huge blow as their middle-order batsman Asela Gunaratne has been ruled out of the game with a fractured left thumb. The mishap occurred in the 14th over of the innings when he was fielding at second slip to the bowling of Lahiru Kumara.
Dhawan had tried to play a cut short but only managed to edge it to the slip cordon where Gunaratne spilled the catch and the ball hit his thumb as he clutched his wrist, grimacing in pain. He soon left the field and was later rushed to Colombo for a surgery. The injury has also put a doubt over his participation in the remainder of the series.
The injury will be a big blow for Sri Lanka who are already missing their newly-appointed skipper Dinesh Chandimal because of pneumonia. Gunaratne had recently starred with the bat for Sri Lanka when his unbeaten knock of 80 had helped the island nation to chase down a record 388 in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe.
The dropped catch, meanwhile, has proved costly for the hosts as Dhawan, who was batting on 31 when he got the reprieve, has gone on to register a fine century. After deciding to bat first, India were off to a poor start when Abhinav Mukund departed after scoring just 12 but Dhawan along with Cheteshwar Pujara took India to 115 for 1 at lunch. Post the break, Dhawan completed his century off just 110 balls.