It is a great irony that the defending Asian T20I champions had to fight through the qualifiers to book a place in the Super 12 round of the T20 World Cup 2022. That is the amazing story of Sri Lanka arriving in Australia on the back of a superb Asia. 2022 Cup victory, but the harsh reality is that they need to cross some hurdles. The main event kicks off next Sunday, with Dasun Shanaka’s side taking on Namibia in the first game of Round 1. But they’ve found a wizard in new head coach Chris Silverwood, who is believed to have turned the fortunes of the 2014 T20 world champions.
Also read: T20 World Cup 2022: Ireland replace injured Craig Young with Graham Hume in squad
The Lankans are placed in Group A, along with Namibia, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. Similarly, teams such as the West Indies, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe are placed in Group B. The top two teams in each group will advance to the next round which begins on October 22, with clashes in Sydney and Perth.
Of the 8 Round 1 entrants, Sri Lanka stands out not only because they won the Asian Cup, but also because the guys from Shanaka certainly discovered the art of winning games. The team that was beaten 3-0 on Indian soil in early March bounced back a few months later and emerged as the new Asian champions. And now the trophy awaits one of its former champions for others to feel its presence in Australia.
Also read: “It’s a big setback, all players dream of playing in WC”
Ahead of their opening round match against Namibia on 16 October, Sri Lanka will have a chance to acclimatize to the conditions in Australia when they take on Zimbabwe and Ireland in vital warm-up matches before the tournament begins.
How was the last time?
Sri Lanka was in a similar position almost a year ago when the 2021 T20 World Cup was held in the United Arab Emirates. Although they were at the top of their group in Round 1, things took a turn for the worse when they began competing in the Super 12.
Placed in Group 1 with England, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka managed to win just 2 games out of 5. They defeated Bangladesh and the West Indies to finish fourth in their group points table with a negative. net execution rate of -0.269.
Players to watch
Wanindu Hasaranga: No matter what Sri Lanka’s record was last year, the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup will always be remembered for Hasaranga’s hat-trick against South Africa. It has been moving forward and upward ever since. In 2022, the Lankan revolving star has taken 19 wickets in 11 games. In the 2022 Asian Cup, he hit back-to-back three-pointers against Pakistan and will be eager to play once he is in action on Australian soil.
Bhanuka Rajapaksha: Lanka’s middle order lies on Rajapaksa’s back and a glimpse of that was seen in the 2022 Asian Cup final. He scored more on 45 ball 71 no out, to take on Sri Lanka’s limping innings. He smashed 3 sixes and 6 limits when his super fast hitting helped post him set a challenging goal of 171 runs.
Dasu Shanaka: The Sri Lankan skipper has been the guiding light for his team. A player always needs to be backed up and Shanaka never hesitates to do the same. Whether it’s because of his leadership, picking up wickets at crucial moments or supporting innings with bat in hand, Dasun Shanaka has proven to be one of the best captains to lead a team when it’s going through a transition.
Sri Lankan team:
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 (subject to eligibility), Lahiru Kumara (subject to fitness), Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan.
Waiting Players: Ashen Bandara, Praveen Jayawickrema, Dinesh Chandimal, Binura Fernando, Nuwanidu Fernando.
Sri Lankan matches in Round 1
October 16: against Namibia
October 18: vs UAE
October 20: vs Netherlands
get the latest cricket news, Calendar Y live cricket scores here