Five times champion, Sri Lanka will look to reverse their recent form in the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup 2018 when they start their campaign on September 15 (Saturday) against Bangladesh at Dubai International Stadium.
In a bid to bring home the trophy, the selectors will name a strong 15-member squad for the fifty-over tournament.
So far, there have been 13 Asia Cup tournaments starting from 1984. India won the first Asia Cup title beating Sri Lanka and since then went on to win another five. On the other hand, Sri Lanka had won five while Pakistan had managed to win only twice.
However, Sri Lanka has struggled to produce good result off late, and also lost the ODI series against South Africa. But, they came back well to win the rain-marred fourth ODI. Furthermore, they will wish to win the series on a high and take this momentum to the Asia Cup 2018.
Here is 15-man probable Sri Lanka squad for Asia Cup 2018
The veteran Sri Lanka batsman is the most experienced cricketer in the side. A lot will depend on Upul Tharanga’s form, who is currently going through a lean patch of form against South Africa.
Tharanga, himself, will look to score some runs and contribute to team’s success.
The swashbuckling top-order batsman can certainly hit the ball hard, and the management will look to Niroshan Dickwell to get good starts. Although he is going through a topsy-turvy form, Dickwella will be keen to take his team all the way in the Asia Cup 2018.
Kusal Perera hold’s the key to Sri Lanka’s batting order. Perera can pace his innings according to the situation which will be crucial for the Islanders.
However, Perera is currently out of form and will certainly like to hit the form ahead of the much-anticipated tournament.
Kusal Perera can score quick runs which make him an obvious choice in this format for Sri Lanka. The southpaw will look to continue his excellent run in the upcoming tournament in UAE.
Dinesh Chandimal has a lot of experience behind his back, and he needs to stand up in this kind of tournaments. Coming out of a ban for the ball-tampering incident, Chandimal will hope to hit the form straight away at Asia Cup 2018.
ANGELO MATHEWS (C)
Angelo Mathews will have to lead this side from the front scoring runs with the bat. Mathews is a big match player and knows how to perform in this kind of big occasions.
Meanwhile, he is going through a lean patch of runs and will have to return to form quickly.
Sri Lanka will bank heavily on their premier all-rounder Thisara Perera, who has been in right touch recently. An experienced campaigner, Perera can contribute with both bat and ball.
DHANANJAYA de SILVA
The all-rounder has shown form in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa and will have to continue this good string of form in the Asia Cup 2018.
The 26-year-old, Dhananjaya de Silva can be handy with both bat and ball and has a happy knack of providing breakthroughs.
New to the international circuit, Shehan Jayasuriya is yet to make a mark of himself. However, he has shown signs that he can play good knocks and chip with few wickets.
Jayasuriya will have to be in his superlative form if he gets an opportunity.
Sri Lanka has the wealth to boast too many all-rounders in their and Dasun Shanaka is one of them. The 26-year-old made a significant contribution in the only ODI he featured against South Africa.
Shanaka will hope to continue this form in the six-team tournament next year.
A regular feature in the Test side, Lahiru Kumara is making his ODI stint count against South Africa. Although the team have failed to put in a good show, Kumara has picked wickets to show his potential.
He can be a crucial component for Sri Lanka if he gets an opportunity.
Suranga Lakmal will have to lead the bowling attack for Sri Lanka with the new ball. An experienced campaigner, he recently led the Test side in Windies.
Lakmal will have to provide early breakthroughs if Sri Lanka wants to take giant strides in this tournament.
Akila Danajaya, known for his mystery spin can be pivotal for the Island nation in the upcoming tournament. He has a lot of variations in his armoury, and if appropriately produced, he can turn out to be a match-winner.
The left-arm leg-spinner has a tremendous prospect, and he has already shown that in the few international matches he has played. He can be a match-winner for Sri Lanka in those conditions.
Lakshan Sandakan has good variations, and he can be an answer to India’s Kuldeep Yadav.
The young fast bowler made his debut earlier this month against South Africa, however, didn’t have a great appearance. Kasun Rajitha will like to make a mark in the upcoming tournament if he gets an opportunity.