Sri Lanka’s Performance in T20 World Cup
Sri Lanka Squad for the T20 World Cup 2022
Dasun Shanaka (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan
Strengths – The Sri Lankan team has a lot of potential in both their batting and bowling. In leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and mystery-spinner Maheesh Theekshana seem to be have two extremely valuable turners of the ball. Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera and Matheesha Pathirana are all capable of producing deliveries in excess of 145kmph. Similar promise is there in the batting order too as the likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis keep sending timely reminders of their abilities with the bat. In all, the Lankan side is made up of some extremely talented individuals who can win matches on their own on their day.
Weaknesses – The above-mentioned players have played a lot of cricket together for Sri Lanka in the recent past, yet Sri Lanka’s last series win in the format came in 2019 if one takes out their win over a depleted Team India in 2021. Clearly, the supremely talented individuals have not yet learned to deliver wins.
Opportunities – Wanindu Hasaranga began his Sri Lanka career with a hat-trick in ODIs and since then he has been a wicket-taker for Sri Lanka. Currently, he’s the top spinner in the format and after a stellar year in 2021, he would like to take his reputation a notch higher with a memorable showing on the big stage of World Cup.
Threats – The Sri Lankan team toured Australia at the end of 2021 for a 5 match T20I series which ended with the home team easing to a 4-1 win. The batsmen particularly looked uncomfortable in scoring big runs in the Australian conditions. It would be interesting to see how does Sri Lanka cope with the conditions Down Under during the World Cup.
Sri Lanka’s Performance
When the tournament began in 2007, Sri Lanka looked a team much behind others. However, thanks to the presence of champion cricketers like Mahela Jayawardena, Kumara Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga, the team picked itself and did admirably well in 2009 and 2012 edition where they finished as the runners-up. The biggest night for Sri Lanka in the tournament’s history, however, came in 2014 when they defeated India at Mirpur in the final of the 2014 World T20. The departure of the likes of Jayawardene and Sangakkara left a major void in the Sri Lankan setup and affected their performance in all the three formats in the subsequent years.
Sri Lanka, as a result, have long stopped entering ICC tournaments as contenders, which is strange for a country that had made it a habit of making it to the finals of World Cups from mid 2000s to mid 2010s. Even in the 2021 T20 World Cup, they could only register wins over Bangladesh and West Indies in the Super 12s and failed to make it to the semi-finals of the tournament. With a young team made up of players who are trying to make a mark for themselves at the highest level, Sri Lanka is trying to once again scale those heights which it had once achieved. If the recent results are anything to go by, that journey is going to be a long and arduous one for Sri Lanka. However, a good performance in Australia can be a good start.
Sri Lanka will have to compete in the additional qualifying round and try to book a place for themselves in the Super 12s. They will be competing against Namibia, United Arab Emirates and one other team. If Sri Lanka are to progress to the second round of the T20 World Cup tournament, they would have to finish in the top two from their group.
Facts and Stats about the Sri Lanka T20 Team
- Mahela Jaywardene holds the record for most runs in the history of the tournament with 1016 runs.
- The best figures by a bowler in the tournament’s history are held by Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis who took 6 wickets for 8 runs against Zimbabwe in the 2012 edition.
- Wanindu Hasaranga is one of the four bowlers to have taken a hat-trick at the T20 World Cup. He dismissed three South African batsmen off consecutive balls in the last World Cup.
- Hasaranga had the most number of wickets in 2021 which he finished with 36 wickets from just 20 matches.
- Sri Lanka also holds the record for the highest score in a match in the T20 World Cup.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sri Lanka’s T20 Squad
Has Sri Lanka ever won the T20 World Cup in the past?
Yes. Sri Lanka won the 2014 World Cup held in Bangladesh by defeating India in the final.
Who was Sri Lanka’s captain when they won the T20 World Cup?
Lasith Malinga captained Sri Lanka in the later stages of the tournament, including the final of the tournament. However, at the start of the 2014 World T20, the designated skipper was Dinesh Chandimal.