Review of Sri Lanka’s World Cup: Familiar issues persist despite renewed hope

In the Super 12s, Sri Lanka managed to beat only Bangladesh, a team that lost to Scotland in the qualifiers and to every team they played against in the Super 12s, and the West Indies, a team that lost to everyone but Bangladesh. Sri Lanka were thoroughly vanquished by Australia in Dubai, and though they seemed competitive against England in Sharjah with the help of the toss and the injury to Tymal Mills, they fell way short of their target. Against South Africa in Sharjah, Sri Lanka managed to drag the game to the last over of the match, liberally aided by Temba Bavuma’s momentum-sucking run-a-ball 46, but lost to David Miller’s power.

The outcomes were consistent with Sri Lanka’s recent record with the win against the West Indies being the only exception. Sri Lanka have lost bilateral series to Australia, South Africa, and England in the last two years. They also lost a series to the West Indies this year. Nonetheless, the West Indies were indifferent with their bowling, and batting tactics throughout this World Cup, so the win against them cannot simply be attributed to improved performance.

Sri Lankans need to take cognizance of the fact that this team has not actually shown significant progress. The losses to England, Australia, and South Africa prove that. I do not mean to say that this team should be belittled and criticized. Instead, we need to be realistic about this team and acknowledge the amount of work that needs to be done to become competitive in world cricket again.

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