ODI World Cup 2023: SWOT analysis of Sri Lanka Cricket Team – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Oct 3, 2023

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Sri Lankan Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka will kick off their 2023 World Cup campaign against South Africa on October 7, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in New Delhi. Expectation from the island team is not high for the upcoming World Cup due to its declining performance in International Cricket Council (ICC) events but the marquee event will be played in India, where the conditions are almost similar to those of Sri Lanka. 
 
In 1996, the World Cup was played in sub-continent conditions and the Lankan Lions lifted their maiden and only World Cup trophy so far. Ahead of that event, Sri Lanka were not the favourites to win the title but under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga, they performed exceptionally and pulled off the title.

This time, they will look to repeat their 1996 World Cup performance under Dasun Shanaka’s leadership. Discussing the chances of the 1996 champions in the upcoming tournament, let’s evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).

Also Check: Most Runs in ODI World Cup 2023

Here is the SWOT analysis of the Sri Lanka cricket team for the 2023 World Cup

Strengths

Brilliant spin department

Sri Lanka have excellent spinners who can probably deliver match-winning performances in the upcoming tournament. On turning tracks of India, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, and Dhananjaya de Silva will look to wreak havoc on batters with their incredible bowling excellence.

Theekshana, who will lead the spin department, has picked up 23 wickets in 19 ODI played on the sub-continent pitches. Wellalage has played all his one-day matches in Asian conditions and he has taken 19 wickets in 15 ODIs at an economy of 5.18. In the Asia Cup 2023, the left-arm spinner scalped 10 wickets in six ODIs at an economy of 4.26 and ended up as the joint-leading wicket-taker with India’s pacer, Mohammed Siraj. Wellalage’s fine form ahead of the World Cup is an auspicious sign for the Sri Lanka team.

Dhananjaya de Silva also has the potential to provide support to Theekshana and Wellalage as his bowling record is also decent in the one-day format. The right-arm off-spinner has claimed 44 wickets in 67 innings of 82 one-day contests at an economy of 4.95.  

Weaknesses

The absence of vital stalwarts

Sri Lanka haven’t included their key player Wanindu Hasaranga in their 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup 2023. Hasaranga picked up a hamstring injury while serving B-Love Kandy in the Lanka Premier League (LPL). The star spinner missed the Asia Cup 2023 due to the strain but was expected to recover for the World Cup to be held in India.

However, the 26-year-old was left out of the squad, as he failed to completely recover from the niggle. The leg-break bowler has grabbed 67 wickets in 48 contests at an economy of 5.07 in his one-day career. Along with Wellalage and Theekshana, Hasaranga could’ve formed an amazing spin attack for his team in the upcoming tournament.

The leggie looked in a great rhythm in the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2023), as he scalped 19 wickets in 10 matches for Kandy. Noting Hasaranga’s current form and super past record, Sri Lanka supporters are in grief that their bowling icon won’t show up for their side in the most-awaited ODI tournament to be held in India 

Apart from Hasaranga, Sri Lanka won’t get the services of Dushmantha Chameera as well in the 2023 World Cup. Chameera, who has taken 50 wickets in 44 ODIs, injured his muscle during the ODI World Cup qualifier, held in Zimbabwe. The speedster had recovered from the strain but he hurt himself again during the LPL 2023.

Opportunities

Sri Lanka can put up an amazing show in the 2023 World Cup as the event will be held in India. The 1996 champion team is familiar with the conditions as the environment in both India and Sri Lanka are similar. Their World Cup record is also extraordinary in sub-continent conditions.

In the 1996 edition, they won all matches and clinched the title under Ranatunga’s captaincy. Taking advantage of friendly conditions, Sri Lanka beat quality sides such as Australia, West Indies, India, and England to win the title. The World Cup returned to the Asian sub-continent in 2011. This time, they played quality cricket under Kumar Sangakkara and qualified for the final.

On D-Day, they lost to India at the Wankhede Stadium and concluded their journey as the runners-up. It was close but no cigar for Sri Lanka but cricket fans appreciated the island team’s performance in the competition. Sri Lanka’s World Cup record in sub-continent conditions will embolden their confidence to do well in the ODI event coming ahead.

Also Check: Most Wickets in ODI World Cup 2023

Threats

Terrible record in ICC Tournaments since 2015

Sri Lanka haven’t performed up to the expectations in ICC tournaments after their 2014 T20 World Cup triumph. Following the 2014 T20 World Cup, Sri Lanka haven’t qualified for the knockouts in any of the ICC events. In the upcoming competitions, things won’t be easy for Shanaka and his men as they will have to be consistent throughout the competition to bag the trophy home.

Lack of extraordinary talents

Quality sides such as India and England look strong against Sri Lanka not only on paper but in terms of experience as well. From Sri Lanka’s 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup 2023, 11 players will mark their debut in the marquee event this time. Dasun Shanaka, the skipper of the team, will also be among the players who will play in the ODI World Cup for the first time. The talent of Sri Lanka players can’t be doubted but it would be tough for them to hold their nerves as a team against the heavyweights. Individual performances won’t help them influence the tournament.   

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