Sri Lanka to miss out on direct qualification for the ODI World Cup

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Match Preview

In all likelihood, Sri Lanka has little chance of automatically qualifying for the ODI World Cup 2023. If South Africa defeats the Netherlands in both of their one-day international matches, they would have 98 Super League points, which would be a number beyond Sri Lanka’s reach. 

Probably in June and July of this year, Sri Lanka will have to participate in the qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

They have acted like a team that does not deserve automatic qualifying for the most of this Super League round. The only significant series in which they performed better than expected was a 3-2 victory against Australia at home last year, although that game wasn’t counted in the Super League.

The order of the bat is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest issues, as it was on Saturday. In January, they were bowled out for 73 by India, who had amassed 390 for 5 in the same match, and New Zealand bowled them out for 76 at Eden Park. This was the second straight game in which the team total fell short of 80.

No batter in the top seven has a consistent history in the format, with the exception of Angelo Mathews, who had not played in an ODI in two years. This poses a serious issue because the bowling is also making its way. 

The choice to leave out Dhananjaya de Silva in particular received significant criticism about the team selection for the opening game. De Silva, however, only averages 26.28 and has a strike rate of 78 in ODIs after 65 matches. There is therefore little proof that he is a game-changing batter.

New Zealand can clinch first place in the Super League standings with just one more victory. Although their most recent series in India, which wasn’t in the Super League either, ended in a 3-0 loss, this is largely for bragging rights and a confirmation of their outstanding ODI performance over the previous three years.

The second ODI in Christchurch against Sri Lanka will primarily serve as a new test for players competing for World Cup spots. Finn Allen’s 51 and Rachin Ravindra 49 from lower down the order will also have impressed the selectors, as will Henry Shipley’s five-wicket haul to win the first game.

While Sri Lanka still has significant gaps in their game to fill, New Zealand is nearing the final stages of World Cup preparation.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Henry Nicholls, 2 Chad Bowes, 3 Will Young, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (capt, wk), 6 Mark Chapman, 7 Rachin Ravindra, 8 Henry Shipley, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Blair Tickner
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Nuwanidu Fernando, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Wanindu Hasaranga, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Lahiru Kumara