Placed under Group-B with India, Bangladesh and Bermuda, Sri Lanka is one of the top most contenders in this World Cup 2007. Though, it played its first international match in 1975 but it got the status of test playing nation in the year 1981. This 1996 world champion has some of the world’s greatest players like Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. Some extraordinary changes came during the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga who led his to taste World Cup victory.
The present Sri Lankan team is a combination of experienced and young players with ability to upset any team in the world. Batsmen like Jayasuriya, Sangakarra, and Jayawardene are known for their consistency and attacking play. The team has Muttiah Muralitharan as the greatest spinner and Vaas as a successful wicket-taking bowler whose performance is going to play a crucial role in over all team performance. Again youngsters like Tharanga and Farveez Maharoof have great match winning potential.
Looking at the history, we can find that Sri Lanka apart from winning the 1996 World Cup has also reached the 2003 Semifinal. If everything goes like their performance in the 2006 Natwest Series which it won in 5-0 margin then it has great opportunity to register its second World Cup win.
Team Players: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Kulasekera.
The present Sri Lankan team looks balanced in all respect, however, it performances like others depends on certain key players in terms of their experience.
Sanath Jayasuriya – In modern cricket, he is one of the most destructive batsmen having the ability to damage any bowling attack especially during fielding restriction. After defeating England in the Natwest series, he is probably in the best of his form and that is a good sign for the team. His spin bowling is also as useful as his batting and fielding.
Muttiah Muralitharan – Regarded as the best bowler with the highest number of test match wickets after Shane Warne (Aus) in his credit, one can expect a spellbinding performance, as probably this will be his last World Cup in his career.
Chaminda Vaas – With a bagful of wickets and good amount of experience in international cricket, this man is going to led the Sri Lankan bowling attack along with young pace men like Maharoof and Fernando. He also has the record of taking most wickets (23) in a World Cup (2003) and so will definitely be a key player Sri Lankan team for the World Cup 2007.
Kumar Sangakkara – He is probably the best wicket keeper batsman for Sri Lanka so far. His consistency in batting provides a solid platform for others down the order and hopefully he will play a major part in recreating the magic of their victory in 96 World Cup.