Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews is in brilliant touch coming into the tournamentGetty

Coach: Marvan Atapattu

ICC World Ranking: 4

Squad: Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Angelo Mathews (C), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.

Fixtures: New Zealand (14 February), Afghanistan (22 February), Bangladesh (26 February), England (1 March), Australia (8 March), Scotland (11 March).

Overview: It will be an emotional occasion for both Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, who play their last World Cup in a Sri Lankan shirt. It has been a case of what could have been for these two players, who led Sri Lanka to two consecutive World Cup finals, in 2007 and 2011 but failed to secure a trophy, after being beaten by Australia and India on respective occasions.

Angelo Matthew's is the new captain and will want to extract the maximum from these veterans, who will be desperate to sign off on a high. Both players are expected to retire from limited overs cricket after the completion of cricket's biggest event, but are still mulling on whether to extend their Test career.

Sangakkara and Matthews will be the key players for Sri Lanka, with both on top of the list of highest run getters for 2014 and are in top form coming into the tournament. They have also won the most ODIs in 2014, including the Asia Cup.

However, their only worry will be the fitness of spearhead Lasith Malinga, who is suffering from an ankle injury since September and is struggling to be back in action for the World Cup.

Key player

Angelo Matthews: The Sri Lankan captain has been in brilliant form with the bat in 2014, scoring more than 1200 runs alongside Kumar Sangakkara, to carve his name among the top scorers of the year. He has a batting average of more than 60 and his contribution will be pivotal to Sri Lanka's chances of progression. His ability to roll the arm over can be a major strength, especially on the seaming tracks of Australia.

World Cup history: Sri Lanka have won the tournament only once in 1996, when the tournament was held in the subcontinent, beating Australia in the finals. However, their recent record in the World Championships has been brilliant, reaching the finals in each of the previous two occasions, but losing to Australia and India respectively.

Prediction: Sri Lanka are the dark horses in the tournament and with a brilliant 2014 to back them up, would hope to progress far in the competition. However, Malinga's fitness may prove vital and his unavailability can see the Lankans fall short of a final berth, but are more than capable of making it to the penultimate stage.