The Story of Srilanka winning the World cup 1996 is no less surprising like India winning the 1983 World Cup. Srilanka in those was ever improving side . Since their win against Newzealand in Napier in 1995 , Srilanka showed they were taking strides . Still no one imagined they couldÃ go on to win the World Cup . However 17 March 1996 changed the way world used to take Srilanka as a team . Since Srilanka has achieved remarkable achievements including being Runner-Ups in last two World cup.
This time However Angelo Matthews led Srilanka enters with back of inconsistent performances in past 3 months. Series Losses in Newzealand and India cannot be covered by home win against English team. Moreover losses in both the Warm Up matches especially against Zimbabwe has been quite demoralizing . But then Everyone Knows that Srilanka is one of the few teams which rises above at Global Tournament . They have never been like India and Pakistan who failed miserably or have performed exceedingly well.
Yet the problem have which Srilanka faces is that it is too much reliant on its experience players . The trio of Jayawardene, Dilshan and Sangakkara will be the key for their chances. While Angelo Matthews will also play an important role too. Srilanka has failed to search a suitable opening partner of Dilshan ,who despite being in his last leg as international player at 38. Kushal Perera from whom Srilanka had high hopes has not been able to find the consistency while Upul Tharanga comeback was cut short by selectors. Lahiru thirimanne has been opening for Srilanka and has been doing decent job yet there is a feeling that his game is more suited for middle overs. Therefore Srilanka might go with Jayawardene, Dilshan pair and Sangakkara at no.3. They would love to see their best Batsman playing most of the overs. This is last chance for the pair of Sangakkara and Jayawardene to win the prestigious event which has eluded them by a whisker in 2007 and 2011. The Trio knows that they have to share most of the burden of the batting. While Thirimanne at 4 provides them with youth and exuberance though Srilanka might want Jayawardene there to hold up middle overs. Angelo Matthews at no.5 has been one player who has helped Srilanka won Lot of matches and changed the game accordingly. He has played the role of anchor as well as accelerator. At no 6 and 7 Dinesh Chandimal, Thisera Perera and Jeevan Mendis will be given the responsibility and these youngsters who have been playing for quite sometimeÃ but have never been able to justify their talent will have to punch above their weights to share the responsibility,especially Chandimal who has been talked quite high but he has really been disappointing.
The fielding of Srilanka has always been no.1 among all the subcontinent teams but the problem currently lies somewhere else The bowling unit has suffered heavily in previous few months . In absence of Lasith Mallinga the bowling has looked below par as the young faces failed to grab the chances. However the return of Mallinga will provide much needed. He has been hailed one of the best death overs bowlers in Oneday internationals history .While Nuwan Kulasekhra at 32 has past his prime but still better than many others and in conditions of Australia and Newzealand he will be dangerous. Suranga Lakmal will provide the third option. He has been the only bowler who has performed consistently well in last 1 year or so . While Thisera Perera's ability with bat and ball is well known but his temperament is something which will be at test in this World Cup. If he will be in form Srilanka will be in much better position. The spin department will be lead by evergreen Rangana Herath. He has been lone fighter for Srilanka in case of Bowling department . Sachitra Senanayeke will assist him with his varying offspin. He has been included in place of Ajantha Mendis and he will have to perform to sustain the trust. Jeevan Mendis with his leg spin all round ability provides variation to the attack. While Young rookie Dasmantha Chameera provides X Factor to the attack.
Yet the Srilanka despite being a contendor is not hot favorite to win the World Cup and that is because of the over reliance on their great players . It is well understood by the opposite team once they take any two of the three Mahela, Sangakkara or Dilshan there is huge chance others will surrender. This is why this is a big litmus test for Younger generation of Srilankans players like Thirimanne, Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Lakmal and Chandimal that they are ready not to fight in this tournament but also ready to take Srilankans Cricket in its next generation safely and strongly.