ICC World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka team profile – all you need to know
Sri Lanka have a gigantic task at hand at the World Cup. (AFP Image)

Sri Lanka have been one of the more consistent teams in the history of the World Cup, reaching the knockouts in the previous four editions. However, with players grappling with indifferent form and the responsibility of the team falling on the shoulders of a new captain in Dimuth Karunaratne, the 2019 World Cup promises to throw a mountain of challenges for Sri Lanka.

With most of the big guns balling time on their career, Sri Lanka have gone through a trying time, with the next generation not yet fully able to complete the transition. On top of that, Karunaratne was appointed captain of the side in April, a month before the World Cup after the likes of Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal being tried out in the past. Karunaratne last played an ODI in March, 2015.

A cursory glance at their recent ODI record will ring more alarm bells. In September last year during the Asia Cup, they were the first Test team to be eliminated from the series, following consecutive losses to Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Later, they lost to England 1-3 at home. They were further blanked 0-3 in New Zealand, 0-5 in South Africa. A couple of ODIs remain against Scotland before the World Cup warm-ups begin but just how much of a fine tuning will it bring is anybody’s guess.

World Cup record: P 63 W 29 L 31 T 1 NR 2

SQUAD: Dimuth Karunaratne, (capt), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal

Likely starting XI: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 2 Lahiru Thirimanne 3 Kusal Perera (wk), 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Thisara Perera, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Nuwan Pradeep, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Lasith Malinga

Matches

May 24 – vs South Africa (Warm-up), Cardiff

May 27 – vs Australia (Warm-up), Southampton

June 1 – vs New Zealand, Cardiff

June 4 – vs Afghanistan, Cardiff

June 7 – vs Pakistan, Bristol

June 11 – vs Bangladesh, Bristol

June 15 – vs Australia, Oval

June 21 – vs England, Headingley

June 28 – vs South Africa, Durham

July 1 – vs West Indies, Durham

July 6 – vs India, Headingley

World Cup standings: 1975 – failed to reach knockouts, 1979 – failed to reach knockouts, 1983 – failed to reach knockouts, 1987 – failed to reached knockouts, 1992 – failed to reach knockouts, 1996 – Champions, 1999 – Eliminated after Group stage, 2003 – Reached semi-finals, 2007 – Reached the final, 2011 – Reached final, 2015 – Reached quarter-final

Most runs: Kumar Sangakkara (1532)

Most wickets: Muttiah Muralitharan (68 wickets)