SWOT analysis: Sri Lanka looks to overcome odds

The challenge for Sri Lanka will be to play as a team, with the young and experienced players taking responsibility and showing application.

Suranga Lakmal (right) celebrates after taking a wicket in Sri Lanka's World Cup warm-up game against South Africa.   -  AFP Photo

Sri Lanka secured direct qualification for the World Cup (only narrowly, though) by being the eighth-ranked team on September 30, 2017.

Strengths

Sri Lanka's major strength is its batting and the experience of the bowling attack. The challenge will be to play as a team, with the young and experienced players taking responsibility and showing application.

Weaknesses

Sportsmen often talk about being in a good mind space to achieve positive results. For Sri Lanka — which hasn’t won a bilateral ODI series since June 2016 and whose squad has shown a lack of harmony on countless occasions in the recent past.

Read: Former Pakistan players urge Sarfaraz to bat higher up the order

Going into the World Cup, the major worry for Sri Lanka would be the mental side of their game.

Opportunities

The expectations of Sri Lanka are low this time and unless the team pulls off two-three wins in succession, it's unlikely to worry the likes of India, England, Australia, South Africa and New  Zealand for the top-four spots. However, the lengthier World Cup this time gives Sri Lanka the chance to assess itself against the stronger teams.

Threats

The key to Sri Lanka’s chances of qualifying for the semifinals will be to have the likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, who have been injury-prone, fit for the duration of the tournament.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

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