Sri Lanka has much a chance of winning the Cup as any other team in the tournament. They are not clear favorites yet, it will depend on good team spirit, handing pressure situations well and executing game plans.
Since the ODI’s against the West Indies were cancelled, Sri Lanka lost crucial match practice and the opportunity to fill the remaining slots in the squad. It will be interesting to see who would make the final cut now.
I personally would like to see the following players, in the following batting order:
1.Tillakaratne Dilshan – On his own, he can win a match for sri lanka. Since we’ll be chasing a big score, or trying to post a big score, he’s the ideal man to have at the top of the order to get the team off to a good start. Recently, he has shown the ability to construct a big innings after the initial burst in power-play overs. His bowling and fielding also provide a edge to the team, which makes him a impact player in all areas of the game .
2. Upul Tharanga -Tharanga usually provokes a good debate amongst fans because his form depends on how confident he is. For me, he has done enough to be opening with Dilshan. He probably is a nervous starter and gets into trouble against the moving ball (these days, who doesn’t? ) and he has very limited range of shots in the leg-side. But the good thing is, when he gets over the initial nerves, he’s a very good stroke maker. Since we’ll be playing on good batting wickets, we can expect him to make some good scores.
3. Thilan Samraweera – The ideal anchor-man with a solid technique. He likes to push the the singles in the initial stages and establish himself in the middle. Recently, he has shown he can play the big shots, as well. For me, if he bats at No. 3, he will be better able to push the scoreboard along because the field will be up.
4. Mahela Jayawardene – Most of us will remember the century he scored against New Zealand in the semi final of the last World Cup.He has every shot in the book and a few more in for good measure. He has loads of experience, with sangakkara he will be the centre of the batting. Although going through a lean period now, he can turn on the magic any moment now.
5. Kumar sangakkara -The best and the most consistent batmen in the batting lineup. He has the added burden of being captain and wicket-keeper. He has the ability to adjust to any match situation, or pitch condition. He will have to be at his best if Sri Lanka are to win the Cup.
6. Angelo Mathews – One of the best young players in the world currently. Although more of a batting allrounder, has the knack of picking up wickets. His temperament with the bat will be tested at a biggest of stage. If he comes good, Sri Lanka will go a long way towards winning the Cup.
7. Thisara Perera – For a long time Sri Lanka have been looking for a bowling all-rounder who can hit the ball a long way. Thisara came at the right time for the Lankans; he could be devastating in the end overs with the power plays on. And his bowling is also very solid with the ability hurry up batsmen and bowl yokers at the end. For me, a definite pick for the final eleven.
8. Suraj Randiv – The most successful Sri Lankan spinner in the recent past. Has the ability to pick up wickets and dry up the runs. Also, he is a very good fielder and has decent batting capabilities.
9. Nuwan Kulasekara – Was onced ranked the number one bowler in the world, but went unnoticed by the public and the media. He bowls a good line and length in the beginning of the innings and good yokers at the end. Also has the ability to score runs quickly. Maybe the World Cup will provide him the recognition he deserves.
10. Lasith Malinga – He will be leader of the bowling attack. How well Sri Lanka bowl, will depend on how well he bowls. Because with his variations, he is the only bowler in the squad with the ability to change a match on his own.
11. Muttiah Muralitharan – This will be his farewell. I hope he can find a last bit of magic and turn in one last great performance during the tournament. If we win the Cup, it will be the perfect farewell to a legend of cricket.
Dinesh Chandimal – A future star for sri lanka for sure. But lacks the expirence for a big tournament like this. Could be used in the middle order if there is a injury.
Rangana Hearath – Provides variation, being a left arm spinner.
Chanaka Welagedara/Chaminda Vaas – Both of these guys are left arm swing bowlers. Welagedara was supposed replace Vaas, but has lost his place in the team. Vaas is making a good comeback and his experience is extremely valuable. I think the domestic tournament should decide who gets the nod.
Jeewen Mendis/Chamara Kapugedera -The selectors have had huge faith in the talent of Kapugedera with very little return. Mendis hasn’t played a lot for the national team. If Sri Lanka wants to play three spinners in the final eleven, he fits in nicely because he’s a legspinning all-rounder.