Sunday, February 08, 2015

CWC 2015: Team to watch - Sri Lanka

A team who were just one game away from winning the last 2 World Cups will come into this event with a much tougher proposition this time. Sri Lanka has a huge mountain to climb this time mainly because of injury to some of their key players and their lack of match practice. On the positive side, they have the most experienced squad of the lot, a trait that is bound to help them overcome high pressure moments / event like this World Cup. Will they take their performance one notch ahead of what they achieved in the last two editions of the World Cup?

Recent ODI Form – last 12 months *
Sri Lanka team stats - Recent Form in ODI Cricket (last 12 months)

Form in Australia – last 24 months *
Sri Lanka team stats - Recent Form in ODI Cricket in Australia (last 24 months)

Form in ODI World Cup events *
Sri Lanka Cricket team statistic- Form in ODI World Cup events
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sri Lanka have played more ODIs than any other team in the last one year. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have won more ODIs than any other team in the same duration. Their success ratio is a decent 56.4% and a win loss ratio of 1.4. Of the 22 games they have won in a year, 16 have come in Asian countries and only 6 were away wins. They have not played in Australia in recent times but have recent experience playing in New Zealand, something that can help them acclimatize.  Although the result of the series against the Black Caps will be something they want to forget (lost 4-2). Their batting will rely heavily on Sangakkara, Dilshan and Jayawardene along with All-Rounder Angelo Mathews (currently injured but will be fit for the World Cup). Their bowling rests heavily on Malinga. If these players perform, Sri Lanka can go the distance, else it will be an early flight back home.

SWOT Analysis – 
  • Strengths – 
    • Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are still present
    • Strong performances in a World Cup stage (finalist in 2007 and 2011)
  • Weaknesses – 
    • Relatively poor fielding team
    • Non-performing bowlers in the death overs
    • Too much dependence on some players
  • Opportunities – 
    • 2nd position in the pool is up for the taking
    • Have played in New Zealand before the world cup (similar conditions)
    • Less expectation considering the recent performances and loss of key players
  • Threats – 
    • They can easily self-destruct (a trait applicable to all Asian teams)

Although Sri Lanka has the most experienced squad, it is not spread equally among batsmen and bowlers. And that is where the disparity lies. Lasith Malinga is returning from injury and his form will be a huge factor, either ways. Sri Lanka doesn’t have a quality death bowler as proved in their series against New Zealand and this deficit will haunt them especially in matches against the top teams. Even Malinga hasn’t been effective for Sri Lanka in the last two years (economy rate of 5.79 against career economy of 5.21). Bowlers have no alternative but to step up big time (big ask at this point). 

Sri Lanka would want to win this cup for their batting legends (who will retire after the World Cup) just the way India did in 2011. In more ways than one, Sri Lanka circumstances are similar to the Indian team in 2011. Despite the obvious flaws, they have the heart in the right place and this time, they can just take it one step ahead of where they were in the last 2 World Cups.

PS: A special thanks to Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene for providing cricket fans with a wonderful batting treat spanning across many years. Your boots will be tough for Sri Lanka to fill.

Click here to view all the posts on Cricket World Cup 2015.

* The above statistics have been compiled using for the duration of 1 year or 2 years (based on the statistic) till 31st Jan 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All yours..

wibiya widget

You might also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...