An underdog fairytale? SL’s key men for the T20 World Cup

October 17, 2021 at 4:36 PM

2014 Champions Sri Lanka enter the T20 World Cup in pre group stage this time, having to sweat it out with the lesser prominent teams to earn a spot in the group stages to compete with the ‘big boys’.

Sri Lanka are not favorites this time, not even remotely. They enter as ‘proper’ underdogs. With no big names in the squad to strike terror into opponents, they rely on team effort and street-smartness, to pose a challenge to the big boys of T20 cricket.

We look at few key men Sri Lanka will be banking on, to script an Underdog Fairytale..

Mahela Magic


The famous tactician is with the home side. Even though it’s a short stint, Mahela’s presence will do a world of good for the inexperienced Lankan lads.

Mahela brings a wealth of T20 experience with him. His hands-on exposure of the game at the highest and the most competitive level will undoubtedly be extremely useful for the players.

Even if the players can bring in a fraction of Mahela’s inputs and advice into their game, Sri Lanka can very well spring a surprise in this edition of the T20 World Cup.

Wanindu the trump card


Arguably, Wanindu Hasaranga is Sri Lanka’s trump card. The No. 2 ranked T20 bowler in the world, Wanindu has gained reputation as one of the most potent spinners currently operating in World Cricket.

With his big hitting abilities with the bat, Wanindu comes in as one of the most important players for Sri Lanka, who are looking to become the giant killers in this edition’s tournament.

Wanindu’s recent form with the bat will be a bit of a concern for Sri Lanka, considering how important his role is, as a late order batter. Having said that, if you ask anyone to name 3 most important players for Sri Lanka, you can bet Wanindu Hasaranranga will be in everyone’s list.

Sri Lanka’s own Mr. Cricket


Chamika Karunaratne – currently the most loved Cricketer of local cricket fans.

Chamika doesn’t seem to have a specific x-factor in his bowling or batting, but he’s surely turning out to be the ‘go to man’ of the team.

A resilient athlete who doesn’t shy away from a challenge, he is exactly what Sri Lanka needed, when the chips were down.

Karunaratne has fast become the ‘finisher’ Sri Lanka were searching for a long time. In pressure situations in the tournament, the team will badly want him to deliver with the ball and the bat, for their chances to prosper.

Speedster Chameera


Dushmantha Chameera is surely the most improved fast bower for Sri Lanka in the past year or so.

Chameera’s consistency at the start of the innings has enabled Sri Lanka to stay in the game with the ball. He is also very efficient at the death, which makes him a definite starter for any game, even in spin friendly UAE conditions.

If Chameera can strike early in UAE, it will be a bonus for the spin-heavy bowling attack of Sri Lanka, who will look to tie the opposition down with their variations.

Apart from these, there is former captain Kusal Perera, who remains an invaluable asset in the batting department along with Avishka Fernando, who has had some consistent performances with his middle order role recently.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka made a blistering knock against Oman recently, who needs to deliver consistently with the bat, especially batting at crucial number 6 position.

Our own mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana’s impact also will be crucial, especially against sides that usually struggle against spin.

Sri Lanka take on Namibia in their opening encounter tomorrow. The players and the management should be fully aware that these associate nations cannot taken lightly, especially in the shortest format of the game, in the world stage.