By Arjun Prasad
If you were ever looking for a consistent side with respective to world cup performances in the recent past, look no further than the islanders situated below the Indian coastal belt. Yes, we’re talking about the mighty Lankans. Ever since they turned from underdogs to over lords in the span of a decade and winning the big one in 1996, the Lankans have been a force to reckon with.
They were the finalists in the last two editions of the tournament and were unlucky to miss out on a second world cup gold. This time however, with many experienced players in their ranks, the Lankan lions will be hoping for one last happy swansong.
Strengths– Sri Lanka boast of a finely chiseled side to start proceedings with. Armed with some fine talent, the islanders have star performers in all three facets of the game. They also boast of a rare breed of all rounders ranging from the likes of Mathews to Perera, who have been consistent for them in the recent past.
Adding to this, batting stalwarts Sangakkara and Mahela seem to always be in form to bail them out of any situation. The two legends of the game will look to bow out on a high in what will be their final world cup and hence there is added pressure on them to perform.
Weakness – Dependence on spin may pose a threat to Sri lanka’s chances. With Herath, Mendis, Dilshan and Senanayake in the side, you can expect at least 20 overs from them in what are pace and bounce oriented conditions. This is an area of concern and their campaign shapes up on how they will tackle it.
Trump Card – Malinga is fighting against fitness to make it to the tournament and many sides will hope he fails to do so. His path of destruction has spared no nations and he will once again be their ‘key player’ and wrecker in chief.
Squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake