World Cup Betting: Sorry Sri Lanka Clutch at Straws

Ed Hawkins

Friday, April 19, 2019 6:52 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 19, 2019 6:52 PM UTC

Ed Hawkins (@cricketbetting) says the 1996 winners have made some bold decisions when naming their roster for the summer tournament

<p>Sri Lanka, rated as the No 8 side in the world and as big as 50/1 (51.0) with <a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank">Betfair</a>, <a href=";a=acd6b93a-905e-45af-90ef-7eb1df661829" target="_blank">Coral</a>, <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank">Paddy Power</a> and <a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank">Ladbrokes</a> for the World Cup have taken a novel approach to trying to bridge the gap: by leaving out some of their most experienced players in their squad and changing their captain.</p><p>There is no place for wise heads Upul Tharanga or Dinesh Chandimal, who was captain of the team in October. There were other surprises, too. Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, both decent hitters, and spinner Akila Dananjaya were left out.</p><p>Instead they have picked four players who have not played an ODI for at least two years. Batter Lahiru Thirimanne, spin-bowling all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis, and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay are given a comeback chance.</p><p>Dimruth Kanuratne will lead the team. He hasn’t played an ODI for four years. There’s a reason for that. He averages just 15 in this grade of cricket, which means he should be nowhere near the squad. He gets the gig because he masterminded a surprise Test series win over South Africa earlier this year and is believed to be able to unite a dispirit squad.</p><p>The rationale behind the selections is simple. At the start of the month Sri Lanka held a domestic one-day tournament to run the rule over contenders. Mendis, for example, managed six wickets and Thirimanne was the second-highest runscorer.</p><p>There is some good news for punters looking for reliable sorts to trust on the top bowler and top-bat markets. Lasith Malinga, currently performing well for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, and Angelo Mathews, are included.</p><p>We can well imagine that we’ll be betting both in each of the games Sri Lanka play for top bowler and top batter respectively. They have almost nothing to beat. A couple of players to watch, though.</p><p>Suranga Lakmal, who has good experience of English conditions, should be a threat with the ball likely to swing. We are also impressed by the late-order hitting of Isuru Udana. He is one for the notebook as we expect big prices about him top scoring in an individual innings.</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal</strong></p>
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