Having been of the most successful sides across all formats a decade ago, Sri Lanka finds itself in its worst cricketing turmoil ever. While there isn’t a clear-and-concise dearth in talent, their shocking decline has come to a stage where they don’t just find themselves deprived of direct qualification to Super 12 stages, but are also not clear favorites in their group.
Sri Lanka won’t have an easy time shrugging past Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. It is purely by their history they remain favorites to move through, but there is a very imminent possibility that two of the other three units will provide them a sucker punch.
Dasun Shanaka and his men have a huge responsibility on their shoulders, which is to not travel back after the group stages. It is imperative for the future of Sri Lankan cricket they make it to the Super 12 stages, and they cannot afford any slip-ups.
Captain: Dasun Shanaka
Head coach: Mickey Arthur
Claim to Fame
Sri Lanka were crowned champions of this prestigious tournament in 2014, when they defeated India in the final at Mirpur. They are also the only team in the tournament history to reach the final thrice, having done so in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
Sri Lanka Squad for T20 World Cup 2021
Dasun Shanaka (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lahiru Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana
Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Pulina Tharanga
Some of their big-name players are have exhibited positive form in recent months, like Dinesh Chandimal, Wanidu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva. They need this experienced core to power in some crucial performances if they wish to have no hiccups in the group stages.
Their batting department has remained largely inconsistent over a long period of time, and runs have not been coming in regularly from some sources. In case of an emergency, there isn’t one batter in their side who would provide a sense of assurance to the Lankan fans, and this facet could prove to be fatal for them on occasions.
Key Sri Lanka Players
Avishka Fernando: The 23-year-old opener is a technically sound cricketer, who bats at a strike-rate of 130+ in T20 cricket. He is slowly starting to show his worth at the international stage, and no better place than the T20 World Cup to establish yourself as a primal source of runs for the side.
Dinesh Chandimal: The only name from their 2014 triumph who remains to be a part of this lineup besides Kusal Perera, Chandimal got some runs against South Africa in the T20I series, which they lost 3-0. The 31-year-old has played 59 T20Is in his career, and although his average remains a little underwhelming, his experience adds a major tick to their checklist.
Wanidu Hasaranga: Although his IPL stint didn’t prove to be fruitful, Wanidu Hasaranga has been one of the most phenomenal T20 cricketers in recent months. Capable of producing match-winning spells at regular intervals, he will relish bowling in the UAE and Oman, and opposing teams will spend a lot of time in their training to negate the massive threat he poses.
Probable Sri Lanka Playing XI for T20 World Cup 2021
Avishka Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, Akila Dananjaya, Maheesh Theekshana