London, May 28: Sri Lanka cricket needs a resurrection. Since the World Cup 2015, the 1996 champions are on a downward journey, losing 61 off its 85 ODIs. Their winning ratio of 28.24 is the lowest among all the frontline cricket nations in this four-year cycle. Can they revive their fortunes lifting the ICC World Cup 2019? It is a wild thought, considering their current state. But hasn't sports offered even wilder real-time episodes? MyKhel takes a look at Lanka's chances?
Not really sure what is their strength. In captain Dimuth Karunaratne, his predecessor Angelo Mathews and wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Mendis, Lanka have a few batsmen who can impose themselves on the opposition. Veteran Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal can create a flutter if the conditions favour them and Lanka will be hoping for a collective clicking from them.
There are plenty of it. Lack of form, non-inclusion of players like Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella etc can hurt them. They are a vastly inconsistent side too as the aforementioned record suggests and even their Test series win over South Africa now stands as a mere aberration. Lanka have a mountain to climb in England and alarmingly that's an understatement.
3. Key Man 1: Dimuth Karunaratne
The Lanka captain's 158 against Proteas that earned them a rare away Test series win also prompted the Lankan selectors to promote him as the team's captain in ODIs. Now, he will have to do the duel role of captain and lead batsman if Lanka are hoping to make any foray into the World Cup.
4. Key Man 2: Angelo Mathews
The former captain needs to chip in with a huge contribution if Lanka make any progress in the ICC World Cup 2019. He no longer bowls regularly in international cricket and perhaps Mathews can think of reviving that angle for a short period, also giving Lanka another option with the ball. But with the bat, Mathews will be one of the most important cog in Lanka's wheel.
Nothing at this stage suggests that, Lanka would make to the knockout stage. Barring miracle of Himalayan proportions, Lanka's campaign should end in the league stage.