Sri Lanka's Predicted XI vs England Cricket World Cup 2023: Will Sri Lanka Make Any Changes?
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Sri Lanka’s Predicted XI vs England Cricket World Cup 2023: Will Sri Lanka Make Any Changes?

Injuries have curbed Sri Lanka’s progress in the tournament, but they have picked up their first win in their previous match to gain some confidence.

The tournament so far has not been very memorable for former champions Sri Lanka, but they are preparing for another test of their will against England at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru for match no. 25 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Thursday, October 26. After beginning the tournament with three defeats on the trot, including a forgettable bowling performance against Pakistan where they failed to defend a 346-run target, Sri Lanka opened their account in the ongoing edition in their last game against the Netherlands.

Dilshan Madushanka and Kasun Rajitha picked up four wickets each, as the Netherlands were bowled out for 262 runs in 49.4 overs. Sadeera Samarawickrama led the run chase with a terrific 91 off 107 balls and was well supported by Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka, as the Islanders won by five wickets.

Injury concerns have been looming large on them since the beginning of the tournament. Skipper Dasun Shanaka was first to head out of the tournament, handing over captaincy responsibilities to Kusal Mendis. Now, their fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana has returned home due to an injury.

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Sri Lanka have been granted permission to bring Angelo Mathews as a replacement, but the veteran all-rounder has made only three appearances in the last two-and-a-half years.

Openers: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera

Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera are an aggressive opening pair who are capable of taking the game away from the opposition. Pathum Nissanka has been consistent throughout the tournament, scoring 166 runs in four innings so far, which includes three half-centuries.

The hard-hitting Kusal Perera had one big knock of 78 against Australia, but beyond that, he has struggled to make it past the powerplay overs. Perera boasts of an impressive career strike rate of 92.22 and if he can get going, Sri Lanka are bound to perform better at the top.

Middle order: Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka

Kusal Mendis was the in-form batter for Sri Lanka heading into the tournament and the current Lankan skipper has been batting as aggressively as the team is demanding. He has scored 218 runs and at a strike-rate just short of 150, which includes one fifty and one century.

Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka are two backbones of their middle order and both batters have contributed in the last couple of games. In four matches, Samarawickrama has scored 230 runs at an average of 76.67, while Asalanka has notched up 149 runs.

All-rounders: Dhananjaya de Silva, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne

Dhananjaya de Silva is one of their most experienced all-rounders and if Sri Lanka are to emerge out of this predicament, they need him to perform well. He has scored 98 runs and is yet to pick up any wickets with the ball so far. Wellalage too has not been fruitful to the team’s cause, picking only two wickets in three matches.

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Sri Lanka have given Chamika Karunaratne a couple of opportunities, where he failed to make a contribution with the bat and ball, but with the ongoing injury crisis, he might get another game.

Bowlers: Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka

Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka shone in the previous match, both returning with four wickets each. Madushanka now has 11 wickets in four matches and is one of the leading wicket-takers, whilst Rajitha’s confidence too will boom as he now has five wickets in two appearances.

Maheesh Theekshana will be their x-factor bowler in Bengaluru, where bowlers might not have a lot of support from the track. Although he has been economical, he picked up only two wickets so far in three matches.

Sri Lanka’s probable playing XI:Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (c & wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka

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