2003 semi – finalists , 2007 finalists, 2011 – winners? – Sri Lanka sure must be hoping so. They also have won the World Cup in the subcontinent, so they are a good bet by any standards. The side has the mix of flair , experience and pedigree that can take it all the way. Their supporters also have the Caribbean flair and sound, it brings a lot of colour and vibrance to the ODIs .
Bowling – With Malinga , Murali and Mendis they have many wicket taking options. Their attack is very suited to the sub-continental conditions and though it doesnt have the sheer pace of Australia or SA, it is more than capable of running through a side.
Top Order Batting – Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakara are class acts and will set the pace for big totals. If these people fire any target is achievable and big scores will be set.
Knowledge of conditions- Though Sangakarra has mentioned that Sri Lanka know nothing of the 3 new pitches that the matches are going to be played on, in general the Sri Lankans are quite unbeatable in their own den.
X factors- Slinga Malinga, Murali, Angelo Matthews, Dilshan, Mendis – plenty of Quality and match winners here . Add to these the more conventional Sanga and Jayawardene too.
Middle Order – The middle order is more solid than explosive. There could be a momentum slow down once the top order is dismissed. The middle order has not been in form too. So that is the cause for concern.
Long Tail – The team is vulnerable to collapses, as the lower order with Murali, Mendis, Kulasekara, Fernando, Herath whichever of them are playing dont inspire too much confidence.
Home Advantage – Like India they have a good chance to win at home. a lot of support is guaranteed in the initial part of the tournament. When the matches move to India, it will be tougher for them. They do not have a good overall record there.
Murali’s Swansong – What a gift it would be to this great bowler. Also the other greats in the side, Mahela and Sangakarra would like this on their resume.
Weight of expectations – It is not usual for Sri Lanka to go in as outright favourites. The team has to adjust to it and perform to expectations.
Sri Lanka are the most solid looking outfit and theoretically the favourites.
Team rating- 8/10 , Colorful & Swinging Lankan Crowds – 10/10