Overview- The totally out of form and low in confidence Sri Lankan side is not at all a strong contender for the cup this time. They had a poor run in Asia Cup and also lost the T20 series to India. None of the players could put down a good show or show a fighting spirit in the recent matches. Sri Lankan team may have strong and experienced players in their team but they are not doing justice to their game. They suffered another blow as their captain Lasith Malinga stepped down from the captaincy. Sri Lanka won the last World Cup under the captainship of Malinga. The defending champions will kick off their campaign in Kolkata against an unknown side. They will contest their match against the West Indies team. They recently lost their first practise match against New Zealand which affected their World Cup preparations. Sri Lankan team had much time to practise before the World Cup but they lost all the series prior to World Cup. It will be a difficult task for Lankan team to defend the title but still it is unfair to write off any team in this format.
Players to watch out for- The Sri Lankan side has many star players starting from their opening batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan himself. He is the most senior player on the side. His experience will surely be a big asset to the team. He knows how to overcome the difficult situation and how to play in the big tournaments. He was the highest run score of WC 2011. The other key player is the lethal bowler and former captain Lasith Malinga who can alone turn the fortune of the game and can force the comeback of his team in the match. Who can forget his heroics against South Africa in WC 2007? Surely he is a star player but he needs equal backing from other bowlers and from batsmen. Another player to watch is the all-rounder and newly appointed captain Angelo Mathews. His presence gives a competitive advantage to the team as he can contribute equally with both with bat and ball. He can get you wickets and is capable of stopping the flow of runs too. He can change his batting gears at any point in time. Surely the presence of these three players is a big boost and performance of these players is must watch.
Strengths and Weakness- Their biggest strength is the presence of experienced players like Dilshan, Malinga, Mathews and Herath. The presence of experienced players boosts the morale of young players. Also, most of the members of the Sri Lankan team have played IPL so surely their IPL experience will come into play too. The biggest weakness of this team is the inconsistency of players and their current poor form. They certainly need a lot of backing and support if they want to have a successful campaign at World Cup.
Team Ranking- the Sri Lankan team is placed at a sixth position in the T20I rankings on 111 ratings.
Recent win/loss ratio- Recently the Lankan side lost the three matches T20 series against Indian and also failed to qualify for the Asia Cup final. Their only win came against U.A.E. They suffered a loss to the Bangladesh side too.
Expectation- A lot is expected from the defending champions as fans are expecting for another rocking show from the players. Sri Lanka team has a well-balanced squad with the presence of both senior players and young players who are striving to showcase their talent at the big stage. The only key to success is hard work. The players have to put down a lot of hard work and have to contribute in both the departments of the game so as to have a successful campaign.
Coach- The former South African player Graham Ford will coach the side and will give his best for a successful campaign in World Cup.
Squad- Angelo Mathews(C), Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal(VC,WK), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne.