Sri Lanka was stretched across the spectrum during its recent 13-match winning streak in ODIs. It dismissed the opposition in 14 consecutive matches but its batting collapses were a persistent refrain during this period.
With Wanindu Hasaranga’s injury ruling him out of the World Cup, Sri Lanka will miss its star all-rounder, whose leg-spin was pivotal to the team defending a string of low scores during its unbeaten run in the World Cup Qualifiers. Whether Maheesh Theekshana’s mystery spin and Dunith Wellalage’s recent exploits are enough to take Sri Lanka over the line will depend on the batters, who will be under the scanner on Indian pitches that are either rank turners or flatbeds.
Be it Kusal Perera or Kusal Mendis’ flamboyance at the top or Sadeera Samarickwarama’s composure in the middle, Sri Lanka has the personnel to counter different conditions. During the rough transition since 2015, the island nation has developed the knack of discovering unlikely match-winners and the Asia Cup title in 2022 was testimony to this ability.
While Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva will be called upon to deliver with bat and ball, the burning concern for Sri Lanka is the form of captain Dasun Shanaka in the lower order. His woeful form with the bat reflects in Sri Lanka’s third-lowest run rate at the death since 2022, which contrasts sharply with its death bowling, led by rising star Matheesha Pathirana.
Samarawickrama in ODIs in 2023
Theekshana in ODIs in 2023
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Despite a precipitous fall since its glory days between 2007 and 2014, Sri Lanka often defies expectations. However, translating success at the continental level to the global stage will be a bridge too far and in reaching the semifinals, Sri Lanka will exceed expectations again.
Sri Lanka in ODIs in 2023
SRI LANKA SQUAD
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