Sri Lanka is a team which many cricket fans find it easy to love. The players are humble, the crowd is always jubilant and there is always that never-say-die attitude which is associated with the team. But in the upcoming 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, it is team Sri Lanka which is coming with the least amount of expectations following turmoil in the country’s cricketing authorities.
Since May 25, 2015, the Islanders have only managed to win just 24 matches in the 50-over format out of 85, a record which is worse than the like of Afghanistan (34 wins in 63 matches)
and Zimbabwe (24 wins in 78 matches). During this time, Sri Lanka’s win-loss ratio of 0.43 is by far the worst amongst 11 Test playing nations.
If those results were not enough to ring the alarm bells, Sri Lanka’s selection committee ended up selecting the most bizarre team for the upcoming mega event which will be captained by Dimuth Karunaratne, who did not represent the country in a competitive 50-over contest since March 2015. His selection as the leader of the pack was not the only surprise as former captain Dinesh Chandimal, in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and ace off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya were left out because of some unknown reason, whereas the 36-year-old all-rounder Jeevan Mendis made a miraculous comeback to the national side.
The team’s strongest aspect is their batting where they have the likes of Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thiramanne, wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Mendis and captain Karunaratne to put up a decent total on the board. Those five players will have the services of few all-rounders to accompany them as well with the likes Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Mendis, Isuru Udana, and Milinda Siriwardena, who are more than capable with the bat in hand.
In the bowling department, the team will be heavily relying on the pace battery which will be led by veteran pacer Lasith Malinga and will be accompanied by Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep.
Sri Lanka’s weakest area is their spin attack which consists of Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardena, and Jeevan Mendis.
Captain – Dimuth Karunaratne
Batsmen- Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Lahiru Thiramanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis
Experienced Angelo Matthews will be expected to top the batting charts for Sri Lanka in this year's World Cup.
All-rounders- Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardena, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis
Experienced all-rounder Thisara Perera will be keen to deliver crucial contributions with bat and ball in this World Cup.
Bowlers- Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Jeffrey Vandersay
Veteran Pace bowler Lasith Malinga has all the experience of playing in World Cup competition. Given his recent performance in the Indian Premier League, Malinga is expected to do well in this year’s competition.
Sri Lanka’s record in the mega events is pretty decent to say the least. From 1975 till 1992, Sri Lanka made an impact in the showpiece event. Things certainly changed when Arjuna Ranatunga become the captain of the side in limited-overs cricket.
With the likes of quality players like Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Aravinda De Silva, Sri Lanka managed to win the 1996 World Cup played in the sub-continent. The Islanders miserably in the 1999 Cricket World Cup and were knockout in the group stages of the competition.
The Islanders are one of the five teams to have already lifted the coveted trophy which they did back in the 1996 edition by beating favorites Australia in the final. Sri Lanka played exceedingly well and managed to qualify for the finals of 2007 and 2011 World Cups respectively.
In the tournament’s previous edition, Sri Lanka was knocked out from the quarter-finals stage after suffering a disastrous nine-wicket defeat against South Africa. Since the retirement of premier players like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, the side has struggled to produce positive results in limited-overs cricket.
Here is Sri Lanka's performance throughout the previous cricket world cup tournaments and the respective champions:
Sri Lankan Cricket Team will start their campaign when they take on New Zealand in their opening fixture at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on 1st June.
At Betrally, Sri Lanka is placed at the 8th place to Win 2019 Cricket World Cup and outright odds for the side are 67.00*
The Islanders have not been in the best of form in limited-overs cricket and is expected to exit the competition in the round-robin stages. The outright odds in the Top Batsman category for Angelo Matthews are 101.00*.
For the first time in a big competition, Sri Lanka is not favorites to win the World Cup due to their poor form in limited-overs cricket in the past couple of years. The side is expected to beat low-ranked sides like West Indies, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the round-robin stage of the tournament.
Cricket Pundits feel that they do not have enough firepower in their batting and bowling department to challenge teams like England, India, and Australia in this World Cup. Given the unpredictable nature of big competitions, Sri Lanka will be looking to make an impression in this World Cup.
For all the news and updates related to the Sri Lanka cricket team, you can check circbettingbuzz.com. Cricket Punters, who will be supporting Sri Lanka in this year’s World Cup, can place their bets on their favorite with our selected list of premium cricket betting sites. Also, you can check our cricket prediction articles for the 2019 Cricket World Cup to get more information on your favorite team and their scheduled games in the competition.
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