HomeMatch PreviewICC T20 World Cup 2023: Team Preview - Sri Lanka

ICC T20 World Cup 2023: Team Preview – Sri Lanka

Like many other countries, Sri Lanka is not represented among the top teams, but it will be eager to change that at the nearing T20 World Cup this month. When the tournament last took place in Australia in 2020, the hosts won the championship for a record-tying fifth time. The remaining five teams, including Sri Lanka, would be aiming to make history by qualifying for the summit match as the tournament’s 2023 edition draws near. 

Unfortunately, their chances of winning this event are severely stacked against them. They have not had much opportunity to play international cricket over the past couple of years. Between the 2020 World Cup and January of last year, they did not play any series. Since then, they have only faced Pakistan and India twice in a series at the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers and the Commonwealth Games in the middle of last year.

What could we expect?

They did not have to participate in the qualifiers to compete in this event but given the paucity of matches they have recently had against strong teams, that may not be a good thing.

Since the Asia Cup ended in October 2022, Sri Lanka has not participated in a T20I match. They advanced to the Asian event finals but fell to India in the title decider.
Due to an injury, Hasini Perera, who was a member of the team at the time, was unable to compete in the World Cup.

Although the team hasn’t played a game in the format in the last three months, it will also be a challenge. They intend to take advantage of the practice games to their advantage. With only eight victories in their last 27 games, Sri Lanka’s performance in the ICC T20 World Cup events has not been great. Few teams perceive Sri Lanka as a threat, but for the Islanders, it is the opposite.

All of Sri Lanka’s opponents in Group 1—Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa—will pose a threat to the island nation, and Athapaththu will have a difficult job leading her team against the imposing opposition. Another issue is relying too heavily on a small number of players.

Chamari Athapaththu, the team’s regular captain and standout hitter, will serve as the team’s leader. On February 10, they will face the tournament’s hosts, South Africa, to begin their campaign.

Sri Lanka will compete in the T20 World Cup hoping to improve their meagre record of eight victories in 27 matches. Their emphatic nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh represented their lone triumph in the 2020 edition.

They are grouped with South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Bangladesh in Group A of the competition and are expected to do well.

Players to watch out for in Sri Lanka:

Chamari Athapaththu:

The team’s greatest strength is its captain, Chamari Athapaththu. She is the ideal all-rounder due to her leadership experience, capacity to score runs, and ability to take wickets on crucial occasions.

With 2181 runs under her belt, she now holds the top spot for her squad in the 20-over format. Once more, the team will rely on her experience and skill set and high dependency on her, their most successful hitter in T20Is, at the top of the batting order, the same as at the Commonwealth Games last year. If she fails, the Sri Lankans are most likely to run into difficulties.

Sathya Sandeepani:

Sathya Sandeepani, who had only played one T20I for the team during the T20 World Cup in 2020, has been summoned back. Veteran Ama Kanchana, who has been in and out of the international setup, has also returned for the global tournament and will be aiming to make the most of the occasion. While she will be looking to retain her spot in the side for a long duration.

Harshitha Samarawickrama:

Also batting in the top order is Harshitha Samarawickrama, whose most recent achievements include a match-winning 81 from 69 against Thailand in the Asia Cup 2022.

Vishmi Gunaratne:

However, they have Vishmi Gunaratne on hand this time, who should relieve some of Athapaththu’s load. Gunaratne is coming off a recent Under 19 World Cup in which she was her side’s top batter, so she and the Sri Lankans will undoubtedly be hoping she can carry on that form in the senior competition.

Inoka Ranaweera and Sugandika Kumari, two spinners, will be the attack’s main bowlers, but there are also a lot of fast bowlers that can support them. Hasini Perera, who is expected to miss the competition after hurting her finger, would be missed. Sathya Sandeepani comes in instead to take the slate.

Anushka Sanjeewani, a wicketkeeper-batter, has occasionally played as an opener but more often has been used as a floater. In the middle order, Nilakshi de Silva and Kavisha Dilhari will appear. Dilhari has 16 T20I wickets under her belt, making her a useful off-spinner as well. The seasoned Oshadi Ranasinghe, who took 23 wickets at an average of 15.56 last year, is another all-around choice.

Sri Lanka Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (c), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Vishmi Gunaratne, Tharika Sewwandi, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani

Sri Lanka’s Itinerary:

10th February 2023: Sri Lanka vs South Africa
12th February 2023: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
16th February 2023: Sri Lanka vs Australia
19th February 2023: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

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