Sri Lanka - World Cup 2023 Team Preview

Sri Lankan cricket has been through turmoil over the last few years. For the first time in its ODI history, the 1996 Champions failed to gain direct entry to the main event and had to go through the humiliation of taking a longer route through the Qualifiers played in Zimbabwe earlier this year.

However, the team has seen a resurgence of sorts over the past few months. Starting with the Qualifiers, Sri Lanka registered a 13-match winning streak, which is the second-longest in ODI history. 

It has also done better than expected at most world events, like the Asia Cup where it reached the Final. Injuries seems to have set it back at a crucial time but the emergence of some unconventional bowlers, batters that are not afraid of trying, and innovative leadership could help it punch above its weight.

While the team management is yet to finalize its squad for the quadrennial event, let’s have a brief look at some of the potential strengths and weaknesses.

Current ODI Ranking: 8th (As on 15th September 2023)

Form in ODI Cricket Over the last 2 Years: Played 33, Won: 20, Lost: 12, NR: 1

Squad (Final Squad Yet to be Announced)


Pathum Nissanka

Dimuth Karunaratne


Dasun Shanaka

Charitha Asalanka

Dhananjaya de Silva

Wanindu Hasaranga


Kusal Mendis

Kusal Perera

Sadeera Samarwickrama


Dunith Wellalage

Matheesha Pathirana

Maheesh Theekshana

Lahiru Kumara

Dushmanth Chameera


The top-order batting will be one of the core strengths for Sri Lanka. Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne were in good form during the Qualifiers and consistently gave good starts to the team. 

The middle order, made up of Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama did well during the Asia Cup, with Mendis scoring 3 half-centuries in 6 innings. Sri Lanka also has one of the most versatile bowling attacks. 

Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana are two quality spinners on the team, while Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, and Pramod Madushan are very good with the new ball. The sheer number of people in the squad who can both bat and bowl with a fair level of dexterity gives Sri Lanka a lot of flexibility.


Sri Lanka has been struggling with injuries for quite some time now. Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, and Dilshan Madushanka were all missing from the Asia Cup due to injuries. 

The batting form of the lower middle order, particularly Dasun Shanaka, is another cause of concern. Shanaka is averaging just 8.83 in his last 17 matches. 

Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva also haven’t been consistent enough. Sri Lanka suffered one of its worst ODI defeats in the recent Asia Cup finals and will need to gather themselves soon.

It does seem as if Sri Lanka struggles on flat batting tracks because its batters lack the quality that the other top teams have. On mid to low scoring venues, though, Sri Lanka will fancy itself.

Scheduled matches

7-10-23 SL vs South Africa Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi

10-10-23 SL vs Pakistan Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad

16-10-23 SL vs Australia Ekana Stadium, Lucknow

21-10-23 SL vs Netherlands Ekana Stadium, Lucknow

26-10-23 SL vs England M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

30-10-23 SL vs Afghanistan MCA Stadium, Pune

2-11-23 SL vs India Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

6-11-23 SL vs Bangladesh Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi

9-11-23 SL vs New Zealand M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Do the World Cup 2023 Venues Suit Sri Lanka?

Two matches in Lucknow and two matches in New Delhi will be something that Sri Lanka will be pleased about but overall, we don’t think that the Island nation will be making too much progress towards a semi-final berth. 

South Africa first up in New Delhi is promising but early on in the tournament, not too much help from the surface is expected. 

Afghanistan at Pune could be dangerous for Sri Lanka and we think overall, this is going to be a tournament to forget for Sri Lanka.

Injury updates

As mentioned earlier, quite a few Sri Lanka players, especially from the bowling department, missed the Asia Cup due to injuries, and updates regarding their availability are awaited. Maheesh Theekshana injured himself during the Super Four match against Pakistan and had to miss the Finals.

Top run-scorer in 2023

Pathum Nissanka is the leading run-scorer for Sri Lanka in this calendar year. He has scored 819 runs at an average of 45.50, including 2 centuries and 5 half-centuries.

Top wicket-taker in 2023

Maheesh Theekshana has picked up 31 wickets in 15 matches at a strike rate of 23.25.

Betting tips

Most runs: Kusal Mendis

Kusal Mendis has shown good form in the recent Asia Cup and was the top-scorer for Sri Lanka in the tournament. He is one of Sri Lanka’s most experienced batsmen and has a knack for playing big innings under pressure. We are therefore backing him to be the top run-getter for Sri Lanka in this tournament.

Most wickets: Wanindu Hasaranga

Hasaranga is undoubtedly one of the finest spinners that Sri Lanka has produced in recent times. His 22 wickets during the World Cup Qualifiers played an important role in helping his team book a spot in India. He is likely to be effective on the slower pitches of India.

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