Dilshan and Chandimal
Tillakaratne Dilshan guided Sri Lanka to a hard-fought win against a spirited Afghanistan side at Eden Gardens. © Getty Images

Sri Lanka will play West Indies in match 21 of ICC World T20 2016 at Chinaswamy stadium, Bangalore. This match would be make a huge significance to both sides, as they are yet to face the mighty South Africans. Sri Lanka come into this game on the back of a much needed win over a spirited Afghanistan side. The game saw Tillakaratne Dilshan silence his critics as the veteran’s 83 helped the Lankans chase down 154 with 7 balls to spare. However, Sri Lanka will need to up their game if they are to beat a West Indies side spearheaded by the destructive Chris Gayle. Gayle scored an unbeaten century in his side’s victory against England. Full Scorecard: Sri Lanka vs West Indies, 21st T20 Match, Super 10 Group 1 

The Sri Lankan side came into the tournament facing many questions about the quality and depth of their squad. The bowling department has been significantly affected with the withdrawal of Lasith Malinga from the squad due to injury. After a good performance and a victory over Afghanistan, it is highly unlikely that Sri Lanka would upset a winning balance. We take a look at the possible Sri Lankan team for the game against West Indies. Also Read: Sri Lanka vs West Indies, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 21 at Bangalore, Preview: Pumped West Indians seek to trounce meek Sri Lanka

Top Order: The top order of Sri Lanka is certainly not going to be changed. Dinesh Chandimal showed a bit of form in the Asia Cup 2016, and Dilshan has shot back to form with a match-winning 83 in the last game. Both the batsmen complement each other really well, and there is no reason to bring in a change at the top. At no.3, Lahiru Thirimanne is expected to get the nod, despite struggling to get going against Afghanistan. Thirimanne showed his brilliance in the two warm-up games against New Zealand and Pakistan, and the team will expect him to be at his best against the West Indies. Also Read: Graham Ford: Sri Lanka have plans to stop Chris Gayle in ICC T20 World Cup 2016

Middle Order: The middle order of Sri Lanka flatters to deceive. While there is talent in players such as Chamara Kapugedara, Angelo Mathews, Shehan Jayasuriya and Milinda Siriwardana in that middle order, none of them have been consistent. The best thing about Sri Lanka’s middle order is their flexibility. If they have to score quick runs, Mathews or Siriwardana can be promoted, whereas if the team needs stability, Kapugedara can be promoted. But the biggest weakness of their middle order is the lack of consistency. While Mathews and Kapugedara have proved in past of their abilities, Jayasuriya and Siriwardana are yet to convince the critics. But a change in the middle order is not expected, considering the lack of options in the squad.

Lower Order: Thisara Perera is the designated bowling all-rounder in the side. While he is more than capable of coming up the order and scoring quick runs, it’s his bowling for which he is in the side. Against Afghanistan, he did his part with the ball, taking 3 wickets as well as coming at no.4 and getting a quick-fire 12. Hence, Dasun Shanaka will have to wait for his turn. In the bowing department, Sri Lanka have no option but to stick with Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Kulasekara and Ragana Herath.

While all these three bowlers are more than capable of producing, none of them really strike fear in the minds of the batsmen. Both Chameera and Kulasekara will have to stick together to fill the void left by Malinga, considering the only other option in the squad is Suranga Lakmal. On the other hand, Herath is the only real spinning option for Sri Lanka, and he did well in the first game, picking up 2 wickets. While they also have an inexperienced Jeffrey Vandersay and Sachithra Senanayake, his problem with bowling action keeps him out of the side.

Sri Lanka Likely XI: Dinesh Chandimal(wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Angelo Mathews(c), Thisara Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dushmantha Chameera

(R Narayan is a reporter with CricketCountry, and is an ardent cricket and football enthusiast (big Manchester United fan). Having followed Cricket since 2003, he likes high scoring matches as well as good fast bowling. His twitter handle is @RNarayan24nov)