Asia Cup 2018: Unsettled Sri Lanka Have Their Task Cut Out to Make it Past Group Stage

(Picture: AP)

Sri Lanka are the second-most profitable aspect in Asia Cup historical past behind India, having gained the event 5 occasions since its inception in 1984. The latest of these wins got here in 2014 once they beat Pakistan within the closing by 5 wickets.Nevertheless, their type main as much as the event to date has been combined, to say the least. Whereas they gained the One-Day Worldwide tri-series that includes Bangladesh and Zimbabwe earlier than the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 Worldwide tri-series, they suffered a 5-Zero ODI drubbing by the hands of  Pakistan previous to that and likewise misplaced 2-1 in a three-match ODI sequence to India.

Additionally they not too long ago suffered a 3-2 ODI sequence loss at house to South Africa regardless of beating the hosts 2-Zero in a two-match Check sequence simply previous to that. It’s secure to say they don’t come into the event in the perfect of type, however they’re an Asian cricket heavyweight and can’t be discounted.

Positioned in Group B alongside Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Sri Lanka must be at their finest to make it out of the group. Here’s a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Alternatives and Threats) evaluation of Sri Lanka:

Strengths – The aspect will see a number of key gamers return to the nationwide fold. Lasith Malinga, who hasn’t represented Sri Lanka for over a yr now, makes a comeback. Quick bowler Dushmantha Chameera, and middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva (each injured) can even be worthwhile additions to the workforce.

Sri Lanka have had key gamers lacking in essential sequence in latest occasions and coach Chandika Hathurusingha will probably be hoping that having a near-full power squad – Dinesh Chandimal is not going to be a part of the event as a result of a damaged finger – will see a revival of the island nation’s ODI fortunes.

Weaknesses – One in every of Sri Lanka’s greatest points of late has been the lack to benefit from the Powerplay in addition to being unable to bat out the total 50 overs. However maybe nothing beats their struggles within the subject. In reality, it gained’t be a stretch to say that they’re one of many weakest fielding sides within the event.

Skipper Angelo Mathews had slammed his aspect’s ineptitude within the subject after the second ODI towards South Africa, stating that his teammates fielded like a “bunch of schoolboys”. Given the power of their group in addition to the challenges that await within the knockout levels, enhancing within the subject is a should.

Alternatives – As talked about earlier, this event would be the first time shortly that Sri Lanka will subject a close to full-strength aspect. Whereas not all of their struggles will be attributed to key personnel not being part of the squad, the perfect gamers being accessible for an enormous event at all times helps.

Sri Lanka’s latest type in limited-overs sequence has been nothing to write down house about. The Asia Cup 2018 might properly be an opportunity for the struggling workforce to exorcise their previous demons and begin afresh forward of the 2019 World Cup.

Threats – The most important hazard posed to Sri Lanka could be their group members. Bangladesh have change into a aggressive aspect in restricted overs cricket lately whereas Afghanistan, have confirmed match-winners within the aspect in addition to a plethora of spinners who will probably be harmful in Dubai’s circumstances.

Nevertheless, there’s additionally the possibility that Sri Lanka might discover themselves undone by all of the errors they’ve made beforehand. Their squad is an effective one however given the variety of returns going down, query marks stay over their means to instantly gel as a unit in addition to whether or not these returning stars can hit the bottom working, one thing that’s obligatory in a event this quick.

Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilake, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhanajaya de Silva, Akila Dhananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dusmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga.

First Printed: September 14, 2018, 4:55 PM IST


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