Thursday, April 29, 2010

T/20 world cup Srilanka

Since Srilanka won the world cup in 96, they have been consistently talked about as one of the contenders for either one-day tournaments or of course the T/20 world cup. Srilanka are good to watch as they play with flair and as a result they are one of the few teams who people would pay to watch them play. Anyway, they are captained by Sangakkara, though I still believe that Jayawardene is the better captain, but having said that, Sanga has done a good job as the captain of the side as they reached the finals of the T/20 world cup in 2009.

Key players

Dilshan- He is no doubt one of the key players in the side. He was in wretched form in the IPL 2010 as he averaged just 7.25, but in recent times has done well for Lanka, so I expect him to get his form back. He is very strong square of the wicket on the off side and can play some innovative shots like that scoop shot. Dilshan is also a fine fielder and on those slow wickets of the Caribbean, can be useful with his off spin bowling. For Lanka to do well, Dilshan has to fire at top of the order.

Malinga- Malinga has a very unique round arm action, but astonishingly still has great control over his toe-crushing yorkers and slower deliveries which is unbelievable. He has the ability to bowl six yorkers in a over and has a great change of pace. Malinga can be hard to pick as well as he has such a round arm action. Malinga is no doubt a key component of the side and Lanka would expect him to take wickets especially, in the end overs.

Murali- The highest wicket-taker in test cricket wasn't in great form in the IPL yet, was able to perform well in crucial games and that shows his class. Since he developed that doosra and started to go around the wicket to righthanders has flummoxed most batsmen. He should thrive on those slow wickets of the Caribbean especially, when one considers the fact that Lanka are going to play both their matches at Guyana.

Mahela- He isn't a power hitter, still in few game of the IPL showed that he can score quickly. I don't think anyone would forget his century against KKR in the IPL in a hurry. He is a great timer of the ball and good to watch. His ability to pick the gaps by playing with soft hands would be very crucial to Lanka's success on the slow wickets of the Caribbean.

Sanga- The captain of the side, just like Mahela is a pillar of strength in their middle order. He too can score quickly without resorting to slogging and is a great asset to the side. Of course, I haven't forgotten that he is a competent keeper and a decent captain too.

I would also like to mention Mathews. He is a powerful hitter who can come in handy in the end overs of the match and as a bowler has a good change of pace.

Many may point out that I haven't mentioned Jayasuirya, but he hasn't been in good form in recent times. It can be seen by the fact that he has scored more than 30 runs only once in his last 10 T/20 matches in international cricket and averaged only 8.25 in the IPL. He may still come good, but his form in recent times hasn't been anything to write home about. Of course, he can be useful with his restrictive left arm spin bowling.

I have no doubt that Lanka's main strength is in their bowling attack. The team easily has the most balanced attack for the conditions in the Caribbean. Malinga would be even more deadly on those Caribbean wickets as he is skiddy through the air, Murali would always be a threat and I haven't forgotten Mendis either. Batsmen have played him far better in recent times, but on Caribbean tracks that are slow and tend to stay low, he can come in handy as he bowls wicket to wicket. Mathews is a good back up option and they also have other slow bowling options like Jayasuriya and Dilshan.

Lanka have some worries with regards to their batting, as both Dilshan and Jayasuriya didn't do well in the IPL. I do expect Dilshan to fire as everyone can go through a bad patch, but Jayasuriya is more of a concern as he has been in bad form for a while now and seems to be past his best.

Srilanka have a good middle order and the bowling to restrict the opposition to a low score, but for Lanka to win the T/20 world cup, they need their top order to fire.

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