Fri, 06 Dec 2019

CWC 2019 team profile: Sri Lanka

News24
23 May 2019, 23:42 GMT+10

Cape Town - The 2019 Cricket World Cup gets under way on Thursday, May 30 when the Proteas take on England at The Oval in London.

With the squads all confirmed and the IPL now a thing of the past, attention will move swiftly to the World Cup and South Africa's efforts to finally taste success in a tournament that has haunted them for decades.

Sport24 will be bringing you all of the news you need to know before and during the showpiece.

We will be profiling all 10 of the sides competing, highlighting their chances at the competition and players to look out for.

2019 CWC team profile: AFGHANISTAN

2019 CWC team profile: AUSTRALIA

2019 CWC team profile: BANGLADESH

2019 CWC team profile: ENGLAND

2019 CWC team profile: INDIA

2019 CWC team profile: NEW ZEALAND

2019 CWC team profile: PAKISTAN

2019 CWC team profile: SOUTH AFRICA

We'll be providing one team preview every day, moving along in alphabetical order.

Next up, we have Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA

Overview

Nobody is giving Sri Lanka a chance in 2019, but that was also the case in 1996 when they stunned everyone to win the World Cup on the subcontinent. It was one of cricket's great stories, but the days of Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan are long gone. Nothing has gone right for Sri Lanka in their build-up to this year's tournament with allegations of match fixing and unrest between players and the board all contributing to what looks a largely disrupted group. Batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has now stepped in as an emergency skipper, replacing Lasith Malinga, and he will have his work cut out for him.

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

Coach: Chandika Hathurushinga

Bookies prediction: 8th

Best WC finish: Champions - 1996

Batsman to watch

South Africans will remember Kusal Perera all to well after his Kingsmead heroics against the Proteas in a famous Test win earlier this year, but it is Kusal Mendis who is the real threat. The Sri Lankan batting line-up has a largely fragile feel to it, but in Mendis they do have real quality in the top order. For whatever reason, Mendis has under-performed in ODI cricket, averaging just 28.67, but there is no doubting his ability and he will need to fire in England if Sri Lanka are to stand any chance of making the semi-finals. Kusal Mendis (Gallo).

Bowler to watch

Lasith Malinga is the seasoned veteran in the Sri Lankan bowling attack, but he cannot do it all alone and it is time for the lanky Suranga Lakmal to stand up and be counted. The 32-year-old boasts plenty of experience and has been generally consistent for Sri Lanka over the years, but he needs to find an extra gear in England. Scores at this World Cup are expected to be high, and on paper it looks like the Sri Lankan bowling attack could be in for a tough time. Wickets with the new ball are key for them, and that is where Lakmal can play a major role.

Realistic expectation

It is very difficult to see Sri Lanka challenging for a semi-final spot. They simply do not have the depth in quality that most of the other sides in England have. They will expect to beat Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and then a couple of surprising wins over the bigger nations will be required to get them in the running for the knockouts.

Fixtures

June 1 v New Zealand (Cardiff)

June 4 v Afghanistan (Cardiff)

June 7 v Pakistan (Bristol)

June 11 v Bangladesh (Bristol)

June 15 v Australia (The Oval)

June 21 v England (Leeds)

June 28 v South Africa (Chester-le-Street)

July 1 v West Indies (Chester-le-Street)

July 6 v India (Leeds)

Twitter: @OfficialSLC

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