World Twenty20 team preview: Sri Lanka

Reports & previews

They reached the final in the previous installment on home soil, and conditions are similar enough that they could win it this time.

<b>Captain:</b> Dinesh Chandimal<br><b>Coach:</b> Graham Ford<br><b>WT20 Best:</b> Losing finalists, 2009 and 2012

<b>Overview</b><br>This team is on fire! They won the Asia Cup and went unbeaten in that tournament, playing consistent, solid cricket in every match and taking full advantage of their opponents' mistakes, as they've done over the past 12 months.

Angelo Mathews has proven himself to be a capable leader, and his own form has improved too, playing some crucial middle order knocks and forming stabilising partnerships when required. His all-round abilities will be vital.

Added to that, they have an experienced team, with both bat and ball, with Kumar Sangakkara one of the more deadly batsmen in this format, Lahiru Thirimanne is good nick, and Lasith Malinga slinging it like a machine at the death.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>So many to pick from… you'd think Sangakkara, but his T20 record isn't actually that good, oddly. In fact, Sri Lanka don't have a batsman in the T20 top 10. But we're going to tip Mathews for this role, given his recent string of not out half centuries.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Spinner Ajantha Mendis is in and out of the side, but he is their premier bowler in this format and the only one in the top 10. The tracks will suit him, and he has enough variation to bamboozle most opponents. We predict he'll have a place in the Best XI come tournament end.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>This is tough, because Mr Ford likes to switch things up, and this squad tends to get equal game time. One player who might not be as fortunate though is Seekuge Prasanna. He has only two T20 caps, and though he does amazingly domestically, his international exploits haven't been a threat to Ajantha and Herath's places.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>They're not as exciting as the West Indies, but we reckon they could go all the way this time. They reached the final in the previous installment on home soil, and conditions are similar enough that they could win it this time.

<b>They Said:</b> "It's not easy to play consistently, especially for the fast bowlers who especially tire out so much. We don't have a lot of time in between matches so it's always useful to manage the fast bowlers, especially their workloads." – all-rounder <b>Angelo Mathews</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Chaturanga De Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Seekuge Prasanna.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>22 March: v South Africa, Chittagong<br>24 March: v qualifying team, Chittagong<br>27 March: v England, Chittagong<br>31 March: v New Zealand, Chittagong

Latest