8 Keys for Sri Lanka versus New Zealand

This clash lacks the intensity of the do or die type clashes. For both Teams are qualified for the next round.Though both Teams with a win can finish top depending on the outcome of the Pakistan versus Australia match.So on that basis there is a bit riding on this contest.

Here are the keys:

Sri Lanka

1. Which Chamara? – Please be Chamara K!

This seems like an eternal question for Sri Lanka between Chamara Silva and Chamara Kapugedera. In Chamara Silva you have a decent middle order batsman that is in the twilight of his career. Though in Kapugedera you have a batsman that has frustrated so far in his career, but no one will deny his class. And if he starts to display that class Sri lanka is the winner. Also he’s a useful part time bowler and a fine fieldsman

So why not play him!

2. The Opening Pair

In the game against Zimbabwe the pair put on 282 in a bit over 44 overs. Which was a great credit to their batting, but then more evidence of the weakness of the opposition Zimbabwe. Im sure ill be accused of being a tad critical, but after their initial blitz they didn’t show an ability to truly rip the attack to pieces. It again lead me to believe that Sri Lanka would be better served with the class of Mahela Jayawardene opening the batting with Dilshan and Tharanga reverting to three. For Jayawardene through his supreme skill and explosiveness could go up a few gears and turn a great start into a devastating total.

For in that game Sri Lanka got to 327 and against a decent Team that’s very chasable-but 427 wouldn’t have been.

Which would have been possible with openers being able to change gears-like Mahela.

3. Spin or Pace?

The Sri Lankan’s have two constants in the bowling in the lethal pace of Malinga and then the genius spin of Murali. Then you throw in the medium pace of Angelo Mathews. Which leaves two bowling spots open to question with many combinations possible. I think from a balance point of view Thisara Perera should be included for he not only his useful medium pace but also his late order hitting. Which gives Sri Lanka a great threat. Then for me especially against non Asian teams id include Ajantha Mendis. For the Asian Teams might claim to have figured him out but the non Asian Teams have barely seen him.

So good luck playing him!

4. Give Us A Reason To Believe Sri Lanka!

In the lead up to the World Cup and even during it the Sri Lankan’s have been viewed as one of the favourites. Though during the World Cup they have won, but haven’t been impressive in doing so. Then against Pakistan in a match against one of the better Teams a few of their weaknesses were exposed. That started to pose a few questions against them. These questions more than likely would have been answered. If Mother Nature didn’t intervene when they were in a very powerful position against Australia.

Though here against New Zealand, a crushing defeat of the Kiwi’s will renew the faith.

New Zealand

1. The Use Of Jacob Oram

Oram has in the past shown himself to be truly devastating with the bat. So to me it defies belief that he has had to come in after players like Nathan McCullum and James Franklyn. All due respect to those players, but Oram is good enough to bat in the Kiwi top 6. For he can play in a conventional manner and keep out the good balls and then take over an innings with his brutal hitting.

He could be to New Zealand in this World Cup what Andrew Symonds was to Australia.

2. Finally Kane Williamson is in the Team

In every form of the game this young player has shown himself to be class.Though inexplicably he wasn’t in the Kiwi side with others like Franklyn being preferred. Which makes no sense at all. For Williamson can bat anywhere in the top 6 and with the class on a very fine batsman. His fielding is exceptional and then his off spin is more than useful

3. Has Tim Southee Finally Arrived?

For years the word potential has been hung over Tim Southee’s head and we’ve all brought into it for on occasion he’s looked very accomplished. At this World Cup on the basis of how he’s bowled. We are being made to consider whether Southee is starting to turn potential into performance and be the bowler New Zealand so needs.

If he can continue with his form in this match he could ruffle a few Sri Lankan feathers.

4. The New Zealand Ambition

Prior to the World Cup and in the initial parts of the World Cup. The Kiwi’s were kicked from pillar to post on the basis of their terrible performances. To the point where qualifying for the Quarters is seen as a relief rather than a fait accompli considering the weakness of the Group. Keeping this in mind. They might be satisfied with qualifying and not so determined to finish higher up in the Group by winning this match. The fact their essentially resting players such as Mills and Vettori gives credence to this belief too.

So if their not 100% determined in the mind, they’ll have no chance of winning

Posted with permission from Tim Holt.

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