1996 world cup triump revolutionised Sri Lankan cricket and although islanders took next two tournaments to rebuild team, they were back to full strength in 2007 edition as they made it to finals and may have even won it had they avoided Adam Gilchrist's mischievious century as well as bad light..
World cup 2011 comes at the right time for Sri Lanka who've found several match winners in last couple of years and we all know how tough it is to beat them in sub-continent conditions. Expert's are louding Sri Lanka's chances in 10th world cup but who are the players to carry out the work on field? here's Sri Lanka's world cup 2011 squad :-
Kumar Sangakkara was handed over the captainship by sacrificial Mahela Jayawardene couple of years ago and now he's commanding his team like a general who digests no nonsense. Sangakkara is a fighter, knows how to extract best out of his troops and since he's an allrounder, he can set the standards in both batting and fielding. Any team who desires to beat Sri Lanka in world cup 2011, they'll have to neutralise Kumar before he does the damage.
Mahela Jayawardene is one of very few cricketers who is given vice captainship of the same team he refused to lead some years ago, but that has a strong reason too. Jayawardene is at top of his game these days, attains respect of all his squad members and his past experience is something his team can surely benifit from. Jayawardene has a superb record opening the innings but chances are slim he'll face new ball for his team during this world cup as Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga have done a reasonable job in recent times. Left & right hand combination is another aspect of this attacking opening pair.
Thilan Samarweera is a surprize pick in Sri Lanka's squad, specially ahead of ODI specialist Sanath Jayasuriya, but reason is simple ~ Lankans want solidarity in middle order. Samarweera, a test match specialist, has never really estabilished himself in limited overs format but asian conditions should allow him to hold one end when going gets tough. Chamara Silva is similar sort of batsman but much busier and also has world cup experience.
Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews and Thissera Perera are three hard hitting batsmen Sri lankan fans will want to fire during slog overs. Mathews and Perera also bowl useful medium pace which is essential for the balance of their side.
Lasith Malinga is world's best bowler in one day cricket, hands down, but Dilhara Fernando is another seamer other world cup hopeful teams must watch out for. Fernando can tough 140kmph regularly as well as disguises slower deliveries very well, mixing bouncers in between. Nuwan Kulasekara is third specialist fast bowler in the Sri Lanka's world cup squad who swings the new ball into the right handed batsmen and traps them pads in front of wicket. Vetern Chaminda Vaas was overlooked.
Sri Lankan selectors have also kept their spin options open by including offspinner Muthiah Muralitharan along with finger spinner Ajantha Mendis and left arm orthodox spinner Rangana Herath, included ahead of offie Suraj Randiv.
All in all, an all round squad for all situations have Sri Lanka this time.