S S Ramaswamy
Mumbai, Feb 13 (PTI) Holding the distinction of beingthe only co-host team to have won the World Cup, Sri Lankawould be keen to take inspiration from that unforgettabletitle triumph in 1996 into the mega event starting on February19.
Fifteen years ago Lanka were the co-hosts of cricket''sflagship event along with India and Pakistan while in thecurrent edition the island nation is sharing that job withIndia and Bangladesh.
In 2007, Lanka who open their Cup campaign in Group Aagainst minnows Canada on February 20 at Hambantota, finishedsecond-best in the West Indies by losing to the mightyAustralia in the final, an indication of their potential inthe 50-over game.
A big advantage for the Kumar Sangakkara-led team,seeded seventh now, is that they would be playing all theirpreliminary Group A league matches barring one at home andeveryone knows how tough they are in their familiar environs.
The emerald islanders have a classy batting line-up,in which Sangakkara, former skipper Mahela Jayawardene and theunorthodox Tillekratne Dilshan, with his "Dil-Scoops", arethe pillars while Thilan Samaraweera brings a touch ofsolidity to it.
Angelo Mathews is a key lower order batsman with avery good strike rate who normally bats at no. 7 and the swingbowler should come good in familiar conditions.
The Lanka batting has flexibility and adaptability totrouble most bowling attacks, though there is some concernover the form of Chamara Kapugedara in the middle order whileSamaraweera is not a power-hitter. More PTI SSR RSY KHS