India vs Sri Lanka ICC Champions Trophy clash: SL team strengths, weaknesses
Sri Lanka cricket team, struggling with injuries, will try to get their ICC Champions Trophy campaign back on track with a big win against Indian cricket team at the Oval. Here is a look at the Angelo Mathews-led side’s strengths and weaknesses.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 08, 2017 11:02 IST
Sri Lanka cricket team are hoping that their bastsmen come up good against the Indian cricket team bowling attack in Thursday’s ICC Champions Trophy match at the Oval to get back in contention in the tournament. Sri Lanka, led by Angelo Mathews, lost their opening fixture against South Africa cricket team and are also struggling with injuries..
1. Dickwella’s form: Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, 23, and Upul Tharanga gave a modest start in the first game loss against South Africa while the rest of the team failed. Tharanga will serve a two-game suspension (for slow over-rate) but Sri Lanka can hope Dickwella maintains form. He is yet to hit a ton in 12 ODIs, but averages 47.4 in his last five ODIs.
2. Bowling: With Lasith Malinga spearheading the charge, pacers Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep too can hope to exploit English conditions. Malinga’s yorkers are still hard to tackle while Pradeep, who too has a slingy action, has been an asset for the former world champions.
3. Batting depth: Despite their poor show against South Africa, Sri Lanka have batting depth with the likes of Dinesh Chandimal to depend on. No 7 Asela Gunaratne too is a proven match-winner, as he showed against Australia earlier this year.
1. Can’t build on starts: Even a target of 300 isn’t impossible to chase now, but Sri Lankan middle-order has crumbled under pressure in the past few series, even in the three matches against Bangladesh. It stood up against Zimbabwe and West Indies, but neither are in the Champions Trophy.
2. Captaincy: Skipper Angelo Matthews missed the SA clash due to ankle injury and stand-in Upul Tharanga was suspended for two matches for slow-over rate. If Matthews isn’t fit, Sri Lanka will miss their best player for the second game, though Chandimal or Malinga can lead.
Expensive spells: Their formidable bowling attack has leaked runs. In the seven ODIs before Champions Trophy, they conceded 300 plus four times, including against Bangladesh. In a must-win game against India’s batting might, the bowlers must click as the batsmen haven’t been able to scale mammoth targets often. And India’s polished bowling attack is unlikely to give much away.