From India and Pakistan, we move to another Asian cricket playing nation and that is Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the 15-member squad on January 27. The team is led by the experienced Chamari Atapattu and the squad looks as follows:
Chamari Atapattu (captain), Harshitha Madavi, Kavisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Dilani Manodara (wicket-keeper), Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Sathya Sandeepani, Anushka Sanjeewani (wicket-keeper), Nilakshi de Silva, Shashikala Siriwardene, Umesha Thimashini
Under the leadership of Chamari Atapattu , Sri Lanka will look to learn from their past experiences and strive to put up a better show this time around. Sri Lanka failed it to make it to the semi-finals in all the six World T20.
|2010||West Indies||Group Stage|
|2012||Sri Lanka||Group Stage|
|2018||West Indies||Group Stage|
So, what does Sri Lanka need to do? How can they possibly make it to the semi-finals this time around? A sneak-peek into their strengths and weaknesses can plausibly give them a fair idea.
Chamari Atapattu will be the one who will lead the Sri Lankan batting. Atapattu is the only player in this outfit to have a T20I century. If she can score the bulk of the runs for her team, Sri Lanka will definitely have an outside chance of qualifying from the league stage. Giving her support will be wicket-keeper Dilani Manodara who has sufficient T20I experience and can bat in pressure situations.
With respect to the bowling, just like its Asian counterparts, Sri Lanka has a good mix of spinners and medium pace bowlers. Udeshika Prabodhani, 34, a left-arm quick will look to rattle the opposition with her pace and line. The experienced off-spinner Shashikala Siriwardene, who has played 77 T20Is will accompany her to keep the scoreboard in check.
From the fielding angle, Sri Lankans are a disciplined unit on the field and are known to have a safe pair of hands. A blend of youth and experience will help the side to enjoy their fielding.
A lot will depend on the performance of skipper Chamari Atapattu. If the opposition is able to get her early, there is a chance that the rest of the batting order can succumb to pressure. Young players like Harshitha Madavi and Kavisha Dilhari will have to rise to the occasion to sail the Sri Lankan ship. Just like their batting, there is a little inexperience in their bowling department. Apart from Prabodhani and Siriwardene, the rest of the bowling attack is relatively new and might take some time to adjust.
It is important that slow left-arm orthodox Sugandika Kumari and right arm slow medium Achini Kulasuriya bowl well in tandem to keep both the ends tight. From the fielding perspective, there are no specific weaknesses per se, it is just that the team should be able to back each other and enjoy each other’s company on the field. The boundary riders will be tested the most as there will be a lot of 2s scored on the big Australian grounds that have quick outfields.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.