Team Combination

Sri Lanka enter the tournament as one of the least
fancied sides. The return of Lasith Malinga, who last
played an ODI in November 2015, will boost the
pace attack. Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara
and Nuwan Pradeep are the fast bowling options
with Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera offering
support. The left-arm chinaman of Sandakan
and Seekuge Prasanna's off-spin are the
spin bowling options. Asela Gunaratne's
dibbly-dobbly right-arm medium could come
in handy too.


The top order looks settled with an in-form Upul Tharanga
and Kusal Mendis manning the opening and no. 3 slots
respectively. The real headache for Sri Lanka could
be their brittle middle order comprising an inconsistent
Chamara Kapugedera, and an injury-prone Angelo Mathews.
Asela Gunaratne, who played some heroic knocks in
Australia earlier in the year, will have a bigger
role to play to carry the batting along with
Dinesh Chandimal if the top three fail.


Dinesh Chandimal averages an impressive 48.25 in the last 12
months with 2 of his 4 ODI tons coming in this period. His
career average in comparison is a middling 34.03.

Opponents and Key Tactics


Sri Lanka open their campaign against South Africa
followed by games against India and Pakistan.


South Africa
Sri Lanka's tactic against South Africa
should be to use the mystery left-arm
chinaman Sandakan as a weapon. South Africa
have a history of being nervy chasers and
in such a short tournament with little scope
for error, Sri Lanka might find an opportunity
to cause an upset if their bowling comes off.
Sri Lanka were handed a 5-0 drubbing on their
tour to South Africa earlier this year in which
Suranga Lakmal's economy rate of 6.1 was the best
for Sri Lanka. South Africa scored over 300
each time they batted first and won each
game comprehensively.


India
Sri Lanka can surprise an India who are
coming after playing a long home season by
being aggressive from the outset and putting
pressure on a middle-order comprising of
Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav.
The tactic should be to bowl first and test
the Indian batting with swing. The two teams
last played an ODI back in 2014 when India
swept the home series 5-0. Virat Kohli averaged
82.2 in that series and Sri Lanka will be wary
of his threat. Sri Lanka have a 2-8 win-loss
record against India in the last 10 ODIs.


Pakistan
Pakistan were once scrapping to make the cut
in the top eight but have found a good balance
of youth and experience off late. Sri Lanka will
look up to their pace attack to produce the goods
against a line-up that is known to struggle against
the moving ball. Sri Lanka have a 6-12 win-loss
record batting first and 7-8 batting second in
the last two years and chasing seems to be their
preferred mode. They have a 4-4 record against
Pakistan during this period and this might be the
easiest of the three group stage matches.
If three teams win a game each, it might come
down to net run-rate, and both Pakistan
and Sri Lanka will look to this game to
raise their chances of qualification.

Recent ODI performances


Sri Lanka are coming into the
tournament with a drawn home
series against Bangladesh although
they should have won if it wasn't
for a washed out second ODI.
They did win a hard fought
tri-series involving
West Indies and Zimbabwe
and that should hold them
in good spirits.


In England, their last series was completely
dominated by the hosts. Apart from a tied game,
they suffered three one-sided losses conceding
300+ each time they bowled first.


Predicted Outcome
Sri Lanka might struggle given the tough
nature of the tournament. They don't have
the players who can win a game on individual
brilliance and it will take a team effort
if they are to progress to the knock out stage.

Probable XI:

1. Upul Tharanga
2. Kusal Perera (wk)
3. Kusal Mendis
4. Dinesh Chandimal
5. Angelo Mathews (c)
6. Asela Gunaratne
7. Thisara Perera/Niroshan Dickwella
8. Nuwan Kulasekara
9. Lasith Malinga
10.Suranga Lakmal
11.Lakshan Sandakan

Team Combination
Sri Lanka enter the tournament as one of the least fancied sides. The return of Lasith Malinga, who last played an ODI in November 2015, will boost the pace attack. Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara and Nuwan Pradeep are the fast bowling options with Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera offering support. The left-arm chinaman of Sandakan and Seekuge Prasanna's off-spin are the spin bowling options. Asela Gunaratne's dibbly-dobbly right-arm medium could come in handy too.

The top order looks settled with an in-form Upul Tharanga and Kusal Mendis manning the opening and no. 3 slots respectively. The real headache for Sri Lanka could be their brittle middle order comprising an inconsistent Chamara Kapugedera, and an injury-prone Angelo Mathews. Asela Gunaratne, who played some heroic knocks in Australia earlier in the year, will have a bigger role to play to carry the batting along with Dinesh Chandimal if the top three fail.

Dinesh Chandimal averages an impressive 48.25 in the last 12 months with 2 of his 4 ODI tons coming in this period. His career average in comparison is a middling 34.03.

Opponents and Key Tactics
Sri Lanka open their campaign against South Africa followed by games against India and Pakistan.

South Africa
Sri Lanka's tactic against South Africa should be to use the mystery left-arm chinaman Sandakan as a weapon. South Africa have a history of being nervy chasers and in such a short tournament with little scope for error, Sri Lanka might find an opportunity to cause an upset if their bowling comes off. Sri Lanka were handed a 5-0 drubbing on their tour to South Africa earlier this year in which Suranga Lakmal's economy rate of 6.1 was the best for Sri Lanka. South Africa scored over 300 each time they batted first and won each game comprehensively.

India
Sri Lanka can surprise an India who are coming after playing a long home season by being aggressive from the outset and putting pressure on a middle-order comprising of Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. The tactic should be to bowl first and test the Indian batting with swing. The two teams last played an ODI back in 2014 when India swept the home series 5-0. Virat Kohli averaged 82.2 in that series and Sri Lanka will be wary of his threat. Sri Lanka have a 2-8 win-loss record against India in the last 10 ODIs.

Pakistan
Pakistan were once scrapping to make the cut in the top eight but have found a good balance of youth and experience off late. Sri Lanka will look up to their pace attack to produce the goods against a line-up that is known to struggle against the moving ball. Sri Lanka have a 6-12 win-loss record batting first and 7-8 batting second in the last two years and chasing seems to be their preferred mode. They have a 4-4 record against Pakistan during this period and this might be the easiest of the three group stage matches. If three teams win a game each, it might come down to net run-rate, and both Pakistan and Sri Lanka will look to this game to raise their chances of qualification.

Recent ODI Performances
Sri Lanka are coming into the tournament with a drawn home series against Bangladesh although they should have won if it wasn't for a washed out second ODI. They did win a hard fought tri-series involving West Indies and Zimbabwe and that should hold them in good spirits.

In England, their last series was completely dominated by the hosts. Apart from a tied game, they suffered three one-sided losses conceding 300+ each time they bowled first.

Predicted Outcome
Sri Lanka might struggle given the tough nature of the tournament. They don't have the players who can win a game on individual brilliance and it will take a team effort if they are to progress to the knock out stage.

Probable XI:
1. Upul Tharanga
2. Kusal Perera (wk)
3. Kusal Mendis
4. Dinesh Chandimal
5. Angelo Mathews (c)
6. Asela Gunaratne
7. Thisara Perera/Niroshan Dickwella
8. Nuwan Kulasekara
9. Lasith Malinga
10.Suranga Lakmal
11.Lakshan Sandakan