Sri Lanka is one of the eight teams that have qualified for the ICC World Cup 2023, which will be held in India from October 5 to November 19, 2023. The island nation has a rich history of cricket, having won the World Cup in 1996 and reached the finals in 2007 and 2011. However, in recent years, Sri Lanka has struggled to maintain its consistency and performance in the international arena.
In this blog post, I will analyze the Sri Lanka squad for the World Cup 2023, their match schedule, their strengths and weaknesses, their key players, their recent performances in ODIs, their World Cup history, and their chances of winning the coveted trophy.
ICC World Cup Sri Lanka Squad 2023 Player List and Details
The Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee selected the following 15-member Sri Lanka squad to take part in the ICC World Cup 2023:
|Player||Role||Batting Style||Bowling Style|
|Dasun Shanaka ©||All-rounder||Right-handed||Right-arm medium-fast|
|Kusal Mendis (vc)||Batsman||Right-handed||Right-arm leg-spin|
|Dimuth Karunaratne||Batsman||Left-handed||Right-arm medium|
|Charith Asalanka||Batsman/All-rounder||Left-handed||Right-arm off-spin|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||All-rounder||Right-handed||Right-arm off-spin|
|Dushan Hemantha||All-rounder||Left-handed||Left-arm orthodox|
|Maheesh Theekshana||Bowler/All-rounder||Right-handed||Right-arm off-spin|
|Dunith Wellalage||Bowler/All-rounder||Left-handed||Left-arm orthodox|
|Kasun Rajitha||Bowler||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|Matheesha Pathirana||Bowler/All-rounder||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|Lahiru Kumara||Bowler||Right-handed||Right-arm fast|
|Dilshan Madushanka||Bowler/All-rounder||Left-handed||Left-arm medium-fast|
Source: Sri Lanka Cricket
Wanindu Hasaranga, who is one of the best all-rounders in the world and a key player for Sri Lanka, has not been included in the squad as he is still recovering from an injury. His recovery will be monitored, and if he is declared fit to play, he will be considered a replacement in the event of an injury to a squad member during the tournament.
ICC World Cup 2023 Sri Lanka Match Schedule
Sri Lanka will play nine matches in the group stage of the World Cup 2023, facing each of the other seven qualified teams and two teams from the World Cup Qualifier. Here is their match schedule:
|Oct 07, Sat||South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 4th Match||Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Oct 10, Tue||Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 8th Match||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Oct 16, Mon||Australia vs Sri Lanka, 14th Match||Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Oct 21, Sat||Netherlands vs Sri Lanka, 19th Match||Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow||05:00 AM GMT / 10:30 AM LOCAL|
|Oct 26, Thu||England vs Sri Lanka, 25th Match||M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Oct 30, Mon||Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka, 30th Match||Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Nov 02, Thu||India vs Sri Lanka, 33rd Match||Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Nov 06, Mon||Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 38th Match||Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
|Nov 09, Thu||New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 41st Match||M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru||08:30 AM GMT / 02:00 PM LOCAL|
Sri Lanka will have to finish in the top four of the group stage to qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held on November 14 and November 15. The final will be played on November 19 at Ahmedabad.
Consider reading: South Africa vs Sri Lanka World Cup 2023 – Line Up and Prediction
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Sri Lanka Squad
Sri Lanka squad has a balanced squad with a mix of experienced and young players. Some of their strengths are:
- Batting depth: Sri Lanka has a strong batting line-up with players who can score runs in different situations and conditions. Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, and Dimuth Karunaratne are proven performers at the top of the order, while Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Dushan Hemantha can provide firepower in the middle and lower order. Sri Lanka also has several all-rounders who can contribute with the bat, such as Charith Asalanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, and Matheesha Pathirana.
- Spin bowling: Sri Lanka has a variety of spin options to choose from, depending on the pitch and the opposition. Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Maheesh Theekshana, and Dunith Wellalage are all capable of bowling economical and wicket-taking spells. If Wanindu Hasaranga recovers from his injury, he will be a huge asset for Sri Lanka, as he is one of the best spinners in the world and can also bat aggressively.
- Experience and leadership: Sri Lanka has several players who have played in previous World Cups and have a wealth of experience in international cricket. Dasun Shanaka, the captain, is a calm and composed leader who can inspire his team with his all-round skills. Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Lahiru Kumara are some of the senior players who can guide the younger ones and perform under pressure.
Some of their weaknesses are:
- Pace bowling: Sri Lanka’s pace attack lacks experience and consistency. Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, and Dilshan Madushanka are all talented bowlers who can bowl fast and swing the ball, but they have not played many matches at the highest level and can be erratic at times. They will have to bowl with discipline and accuracy to contain the opposition batsmen and take wickets at regular intervals.
- Fielding: Sri Lanka’s fielding has been a major concern for them in recent years. They have dropped catches, missed run-outs, and conceded extra runs due to their sloppy fielding. They will have to improve their fielding standards and be more agile and alert on the field to support their bowlers and create pressure on the opposition.
- Form and confidence: Sri Lanka has not been in good form in ODIs in recent years. They have lost 39 out of their last 50 ODIs since January 2018. They have also lost their last six bilateral ODI series against India, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia, and Bangladesh. They will have to overcome their poor form and low confidence and play with more aggression and passion to compete against the stronger teams in the World Cup.
Key Players to Watch Out for in Sri Lanka Squad
Sri Lanka squad has some players who can make a difference with their individual brilliance and match-winning abilities. Some of them are:
- Kusal Perera: The wicket-keeper batsman is one of the most explosive and destructive batsmen in world cricket. He can take on any bowling attack and score runs at a rapid rate. He has scored 3,047 runs in 107 ODIs at an average of 31.32 and a strike rate of 92.66. He has four centuries and 16 fifties to his name, with a highest score of 135. He also holds the record for the second-highest individual score by a Sri Lankan in ODIs: 153 not out against South Africa in Durban in 2019. He will be a key player for Sri Lanka at the top of the order.
- Dhananjaya de Silva: The all-rounder is one of the most consistent and reliable players for Sri Lanka in all formats. He is a technically sound batsman who can play according to the situation and anchor the innings. He is also a handy off-spinner who can bowl tight spells and break partnerships. He has scored 1,916 runs in 60 ODIs at an average of 34.83 and a strike rate of 82.38. He has two centuries and nine fifties to his name, with a highest score of 119. He has also taken 44 wickets at an average of 39.38 and an economy rate of 5.19. He will be a vital player for Sri Lanka in the middle order.
- Maheesh Theekshana: The young off-spinner is one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Sri Lanka in recent times. He made his ODI debut against South Africa in September 2021 and impressed everyone with his variations and control. He took four wickets for 37 runs in his first match and became only the second bowler after Taijul Islam to take a four-wicket haul on ODI debut. He has taken 10 wickets in six ODIs so far at an average of 21.10 and an economy rate of 4.22. He can also bat lower down the order and score some useful runs. He will be a key player for Sri Lanka in the spin department.
Sri Lanka Performance in World Cup Matches
Sri Lanka has played in every edition of the World Cup since its inception in 1975. They have won the trophy once, in 1996, when they beat Australia by seven wickets in the final at Lahore. They have also reached the finals twice, in 2007 and 2011, but lost to Australia and India respectively. Here is a table showing their performance in each World Cup:
|1987||India and Pakistan||6||Group stage|
|1992||Australia and New Zealand||8||Group stage|
|1996||India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka||8||Champions|
|1999||England, Ireland, Netherlands, and Scotland||10||Group stage|
|2003||South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya||10||Semi-finals|
|2011||India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh||9||Runners-up|
|2015||Australia and New Zealand||9||Quarter-finals|
|2019||England and Wales||9||Group stage|
Sri Lanka has played a total of 93 matches in the World Cup, winning 37, losing 43, tying one, and having 12 no results. Their overall win percentage is 43.02%.
Prediction of Sri Lanka Performance in ICC World Cup 2023
Sri Lanka will face a tough challenge in the World Cup 2023, as they will have to compete against some of the best teams in the world. They will also have to adapt to the different conditions and pitches in India, which may not suit their style of play. However, they have some talented and experienced players who can rise to the occasion and surprise their opponents. They also have some young and promising players who can showcase their skills and potential on the big stage.
They will have to play with more confidence and aggression and improve their consistency and performance in all aspects of the game. If they can do that, they may have a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals and beyond.
My prediction is that Sri Lanka will finish fifth in the group stage, with four wins and five losses. They will beat South Africa, Netherlands, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, but lose to Pakistan, Australia, England, India, and New Zealand. They will miss out on the semi-finals by a narrow margin, but they will show some fight and spirit in their matches. They will also discover some new stars who will be the future of Sri Lankan cricket.