With simply two weeks to go till the Cricket World Cup will get underway, we’re previewing all ten groups within the event, beginning with the facet set to wrestle greater than another: Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka World Cup squad
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
No workforce’s squad raised extra eyebrows than Sri Lanka’s. The 1996 champions revealed a facet with out skilled batsman and former skipper Dinesh Chandimal, hard-hitting wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, and handed the captaincy to Dimuth Karunaratne. Whereas he led the Take a look at facet of their current tour of South Africa, Karunaratne hasn’t performed an ODI for the reason that final World Cup.
We’re greedy at straws right here, however the Lankans’ bowling assault is what they’ll be banking their hopes on. Lasith Malinga has been round endlessly and remains to be nearly as good a demise bowler as there may be in world cricket. His expertise and nous will likely be essential.
Suranga Lakmal has taken a wicket each 35 balls throughout his ODI profession and would be the facet’s strike bowler through the event. He confirmed a bit of sophistication with the pink ball in opposition to Australia earlier this 12 months, and is able to getting early breakthroughs. Sri Lanka will definitely want him to.
There may be some expertise alongside Malinga in the remainder of the facet – Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis are not any strangers to worldwide cricket. However not all of them are confirmed performers within the 50-over recreation, and there’s simply as a lot inexperience within the squad.
Batting. Consistency. Management. Current type. There’s lots to take your choose from right here for Sri Lanka.
They’ve misplaced all eight of the ODIs they’ve performed this 12 months, have a captain whose final recreation within the format is much less current than the final World Cup remaining, and their greatest bowler in Malinga was faraway from the captaincy as a result of, in accordance with selector Asantha de Mel, he “doesn’t get alongside nicely with a few of the senior gamers”.
However the greatest downside must be the facet’s batting shares. Solely three of the 15 gamers picked common greater than 30 with the bat in ODIs, considered one of whom (Isuru Udana) solely has three innings to his identify. Thirimanne (34.7) and Mathews (42.three) are the opposite two.
Sri Lanka have handed 300 as soon as in ODIs this 12 months – 326 of their first recreation of the 12 months, after New Zealand had already racked up 371 – which is by the way the variety of innings they haven’t been bowled out.
The one time Sri Lanka didn’t lose all ten of their wickets this 12 months was when their innings was decreased to 24 overs beneath the Duckworth-Lewis technique – and even then, they have been 5 wickets down.
Key participant: Kusal Mendis
Mendis is an rising star of the Take a look at area, however his ODI bonafides are non-existent. He’s scored only one century in his 60 innings, and averages within the excessive twenties.
However with Sri Lanka crying out for a batsman to construct their innings round, this World Cup is the proper alternative for him to show he’s able to transferring his undoubted expertise and strong method to the ODI area.
If Mendis can fireplace in England, his facet simply may be capable to snatch a shock victory or two.
The decision: Easybeats
This will likely be a tough event for Sri Lanka. There’s hardly a side of their recreation which doesn’t have severe query marks surrounding it, and with many anticipating England’s tiny grounds to throw up 300-plus rating after 300-plus rating, being bowled out seven of eight innings this 12 months tells us Sri Lanka simply don’t have the runs to compete.