New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) One of the most exciting teams in world cricket, Sri Lanka will aim to recreate the magic of their 1996 title triumph when they embark on their campaign at the ODI World Cup in England and Wales later this year.
The task however, will not be easy. The Lankans have struggled with their performances in recent times.
The island nation has featured in 15 One-Day International (ODI) series since the 2015 World Cup.
Of these, the Lankans managed to register victories in bilateral series against Ireland and the West Indies. They also won two tri-series, one in Bangladesh and another in Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka’s last series win against a team in the top eight of the ICC ODI rankings came way back during the 2014-15 season when they managed to defeat England.
At the 2019 World Cup, the Lankans will depend on veteran stars Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera to spearhead their challenge.
Young pacer Lahiru Kumara is also an emerging star who has the ability to create a splash at the biggest stage of 50-over cricket.
The Lankan squad also boasts of experienced players like Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Danuska Gunthilka, Akila Dhananjaya, and Lahiru Thirimanne, who have the ability to trouble any team on their day.
The Lankans will take heart from their recent exploits in the Test arena.
Just a couple of months ago, they were literally down in the dumps, having suffered a humiliating 0-3 whitewash in a home Test series to England.
But the situation has changed dramatically in a short span of time. On February 23, the Lankans thrashed South Africa by eight wickets in the second Test in Durban to sweep the two-match series and become the first Asian team to win a Test series in the rainbow nation.
If the former champions can take that form and confidence into the 50-over format, they will pose a tough challenge on the biggest stage of world cricket.