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Sri Lanka need to fix middle order, Ranatunga

cricket Updated: Feb 03, 2011 16:08 IST

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Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardene should drop down and bolster a concerning middle order if Sri Lanka are to be successful at this month's World Cup, former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga said.

Ranatunga, the burly left-handed batsman who led Sri Lanka to the title the last time it was played in the subcontinent in 1996, believes the island nation are the favourites, besides India, to win the World Cup for a second time.

"Sri Lanka have built a very good team. We have an all-round side. The bowling looks really good with (Muttiah) Muralitharan and (Lasith) Malinga," Ranatunga said in an interview.

"But the middle-order batting is a concern for me."

"Kumar and Mahela should not be batting at number three and four. One of them has to come down to number five to bolster the middle order.

"May be they should send (Chamara) Kapugedera up the order to number four."

Thilan Samaraweera, with a ODI strike-rate of 68.75 and Chamara Kapugedera, who averages 23, have failed to dispel doubts about their power-hitting abilities during the later stages of an innings.

Sri Lanka will rely heavily on all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who bowls medium pace and averages over 33 with the bat, to provide the necessary balance to the team.

Ranatunga said it would be too much of an ask for the 23-year old all-rounder to disperse the middle-order worries.

"Angelo is a very good player but he is still very young. It will be too much pressure on him," Ranatunga said.