Sri Lanka’s Predicted XI vs New Zealand, Cricket World Cup 2023: Will Kusal Mendis-Led Side Make Any Changes? | Cricket News

Sri Lanka will square off against New Zealand in their final match of the ICC World Cup 2023 campaign on Thursday, November 9. The fixture will be staged at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, beginning at 2:00 PM IST. The Lions have won two and lost six of their eight matches so far. Their two successful outings came against Netherlands and England, where they won by five and eight wickets, respectively.

The previous match saw them go down against Bangladesh by three wickets, a neck-to-neck contest that was marred by the Angelo Mathews’ timed-out controversy. Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 279/10 on the board courtesy of Charith Asalanka’s terrific century. In reply, Bangladesh chased down the total within 41.1 overs.

Ahead of their match against New Zealand, the Sri Lankan management is set to trust the same starting XI to help them finish the ICC World Cup 2023 on a high.

Openers: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera

Pathum Nissanka, Sri Lanka’s opener, has been their standout performer in the ICC World Cup 2023, accumulating 330 runs at an average of 47.14. His consistent batting, including four half-centuries, has been pivotal in his team’s batting lineup, showcasing his remarkable form.

On the other hand, Kusal Perera has had an underwhelming tournament so far. Barring a 78-run knock against Australia, Perera has been dismissed for single-digit scores in every game he has featured in. Nonetheless, the Sri Lankan management will continue to back the experienced batter for one last time this campaign.

Middle order: Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka

Kusal Mendis, who started the campaign with a half-century and a century in the opening two matches, has been in contrasting form in recent games. With scores of 9, 11, 11, 39, 1 and 19 in the last six matches, his form has declined drastically. However, the captain will lead his side for one last time in the ICC World Cup 2023 on Thursday.

Sadeera Samarawickrama has played the role of holding the fort for the Lankans. With the top-order underperforming, he has time and again played crucial innings to help his team get to respectable totals. In eight innings, Samarawickrama has accumulated 372 runs, including one ton and two half-centuries.

Meanwhile, Charith Asalanka has played the role of a stabiliser in the Sri Lankan batting unit. He has amassed 280 runs in seven innings at an average of 40.00, with the help of one half-century and a half-century.

All-rounders: Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva

Perhaps the most experienced player in the Lankan line-up, Angelo Mathews came in as Matheesha Pathirana’s replacement mid-way through the tournament. In four matches, he has scored 35 runs and picked up four wickets.

Dhananjaya de Silva hasn’t been at his all-round best in the ongoing competition. In the seven matches he has featured in, the 32-year-old has scored only 121 runs at an average of 20.16 and is yet to strike with the ball.

Bowlers: Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka

Maheesh Theekshana, the young spinner, has taken five wickets in seven matches at an economy of 5.26. His deceptive variations are his strengths, making him an important bowler for Sri Lanka in the tournament.

Dushmantha Chameera has played just three matches so far, returning with a solitary wicket. In his ODI career, Chameera has taken 51 wickets in 47 matches at an economy of 5.48.

Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka have led the Sri Lankan bowling attack by example, with the duo bossing the powerplay phase with each passing game.

Right-arm seamer Kasun Rajitha has chipped in with eight wickets in six matches, with 4/50 in the winning cause against Netherlands being his best.

Dilshan Madushanka has been the find of the tournament for Sri Lanka, leading the way with a staggering 21 wickets in eight matches, including a four-wicket and a five-wicket haul. His accuracy with the ball made him a valuable asset in Sri Lanka’s bowling department.

Sri Lanka Predicted Playing XI

Pathum Nissanka

Kusal Perera

Kusal Mendis (c and wk)

Sadeera Samarawickrama

Charith Asalanka

Angelo Mathews

Dhananjaya de Silva

Maheesh Theekshana

Dushmantha Chameera

Kasun Rajitha

Dilshan Madushanka

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