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ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 27: ENG vs SL – Sri Lanka Predicted Playing XI

Sri Lanka will need nothing short of a miracle if they are to pull off an upset against England.

Lahiru Thirimanne
Lahiru Thirimanne. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

With just one win in five games thus far, Sri Lanka gears up for one of the biggest challenges of the tournament as they take on England in their next game. Things haven’t been easy for the Asian team thus far in the tournament. Two of their games so far were washed out without even a ball bowled.

In their last game, Sri Lanka threw away the start provided by the openers and ended up bagging a massive embarrassment. The middle order has been a huge area of concern for Sri Lanka and they’ve been trying out everything possible. There isn’t any update on the injury of Avishka Fernando and there are a few decisions to be taken before they play this match.

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Here is the Predicted Playing XI for Sri Lanka:

Openers (Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk))

Kusal Perera, Sri Lanka
Kusal Perera. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Possibly, the openers have done the best job for Sri Lanka thus far in the tournament. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is leading the team from the front but is hardly finding any support from the other batsmen. In the last five ODI innings, the left-hander has mustered 279 runs at an average close to 70.

Kusal Perera has played well with his skipper. He is adding some important runs on the board and that too at a fair clip. He piled 52 runs against Australia and looked good. But given the way the middle order has been playing, that by no means is sufficient. These two should bat for a long time and score as many runs as possible without taking too many risks.

Middle Order (Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews)

Kusal Mendis
Kusal Mendis. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

After the openers, Lahiru Thirimanne is doing well up to a certain extent. But he can’t afford to throw his starts away too often and must play responsibly. Most of the team that do well have their number three batsman performing exceptionally well. Hence, Thirimanne should also add solidity to the line-up by scoring big runs consistently.

Kusal Mendis seemed to have found his touch back in the last game and batted confidently. But he couldn’t score more than 30 runs. With the kind of talent that he’s got, that is substandard for him and should do better. Angelo Mathews is possibly going through one of the worst phases of his career at the moment. In his last five outings, he only scored 32 runs and is turning out to be a burden for the team. As long as Avishka Fernando is not fit, he should continue in the playing eleven.

All Rounders (Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana)

Thisara Perera
Thisara Perera. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The all-rounders have been a massive disappointment with the bat. All of them have failed to take the responsibility to add some crucial runs to the team’s tally. Being one of the most senior members in the team, Perera has got a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. But he hasn’t lived up to the expectations both with the bat as well as the ball.

Sri Lanka doesn’t seem to have too many options beyond him and thus will persist with him. The same is the case with Dhananjaya de Silva and Isuru Udana. This troika has got to pull up their sleeves and bring out better performances if Sri Lanka is to advance forward in the tournament.

Bowlers (Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep)

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Suranga Lakmal could be back in the eleven in place of Milinda Siriwardana. With Sri Lanka not faring well in either department of the game, having an additional bowler shouldn’t make much of a difference. Lakmal is usually economical with the ball and might pick up a wicket or two on his day.

Lasith Malinga has been ineffective with his pace going down. He is conceding a lot of runs and hasn’t picked up as many wickets as he would have liked in recent times. However, the pacer will hold onto his place in the eleven along with Nuwan Pradeep. If the conditions favour, Sri Lanka might even look to rope an additional spinner in.

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