Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan was the Player of the Series in the 2009 T20 World Cup Getty

Coach: Graham Ford

ICC World Ranking: 8

Squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne.


Match 1: Sri Lanka vs TBC, (Qualifier 1B), Group 1

Date and Time: 17 March, Tuesday – 2pm GMT/7.30pm IST

Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match 2: Sri Lanka vs West Indies, Group 1

Date and Time: 20 March, Tuesday – 2pm GMT/7.30pm IST

Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match 3: England vs Sri Lanka, Group 1

Date and Time: 26 March, Tuesday – 2pm GMT/7.30pm IST

Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Match 4: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Group 1

Date and Time: 28 March, Tuesday – 2pm GMT/7.30pm IST

Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Overview: The defending champions come into this tournament on the back of a disastrous season, which has seen them lose the T20 series to New Zealand and exit the recently concluded Asia Cup T20 in the group stage. The retirements of stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have been a big blow for the team. The performances show the team has still not recovered from that.

The problem with the Sri Lankan outfit is that they are over-reliant on the senior players, with the youngsters failing to take their chances. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath and skipper Angelo Mathews will have to perform consistently if they are to progress to the knock-out stages.

Malinga, who stepped down as the T20 captain due to persistent injury struggles, might struggle to play in all their games, something which is of concern for the team management considering their bowling options are very limited. What will be of advantage to the Lankan's though is that with the tournament being played in the subcontinent, they will be able to adapt to the conditions much better than the foreign nations.

Key player

Tillakaratne Dilshan: The Player of the Series in the 2009 World T20, Sri Lanka's hopes of defending their title rest on the opener who is the third highest scorer in T20 World Cup history with 764 runs in 31 matches.

Dilshan though is struggling at the moment but if Sri Lanka are to have any chance of progressing to the knock-out stages, he will need to recapture that destructive form.

World Cup history: Sri Lanka are the defending champions, winning the title in 2014.

Prediction: Sri Lanka are drawn in Group 1 along with England, South Africa, West Indies and the winner of the Group B qualifiers. Familiar conditions are an advantage but they are short of match-winners, which might be their undoing. We predict that they will fail to progress past the group stages.