The Sri Lankan cricket team, under the leadership of seam-bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka, have left the island nation for their upcoming series in Oman and the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup on Monday (October 04).
The official Twitter handle of Sri Lankan cricket posted an update and pictures of the contingent’s departure.
The post read:
"📸 Sri Lanka T20 World Cup squad led by Dasun Shanaka left the island to take part in a limited overs series in Oman & thereafter will proceed to the UAE for the #T20WorldCup."
As per the T20 World Cup fixtures, Sri Lanka will lock horns with Oman in a couple of T20 internationals in Al Amerat on October 7 and October 9. They will kick start their World Cup qualifying campaign against Namibia in Abu Dhabi on October 18.
The 2014 champions are clubbed with Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia in Group A. The other group comprises co-hosts Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Bangladesh. The top two sides from each T20 World Cup group will qualify for the main draw, which will get underway from October 23.
Check out the full list of all T20 World Cup 2021 teams and squads here.
"If our batting clicks it'll give us a really good chance" - Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur
Sri Lanka will have to hit the ground running from the very outset if they want to avert the ignominy of not qualifying for the main draw.
While the former champions have enough depth in the seam and spin-bowling department, the issue for them in the past few years has been the inability of their batting unit to put up big totals consistently. It is an area which coach Mickey Arthur has also identified as the island nation’s weak link.
During a recent conversation with CricBuzz, the head coach admitted the same besides stating that the players and the coaching staff have been working relentlessly hard to improve in the lead-up to the tournament. They have been doing so via skill sessions and practice games.
"I think if our batting clicks it'll give us a really good chance because I think our bowling attack is very good and our fielding standards have improved dramatically. That is an area we've worked extremely hard on over the past nine days. We've had three practice games, we've had some skill sessions to prepare players to sweep, we identified where and how we want our players to play. We've almost scripted a game."
"We've been very clear in what we want our players to do in terms of our match practice, and then we've gone to nets after that, reviewed it and practised it. So, I'm really comfortable now that we have got better at it. But it's certainly a work in progress. There's no magic wand."
Sri Lanka have made five changes to the original squad they picked for the marquee event. The likes of Minod Bhanuka, Lakshan Sandakan, Ashen Bhandara Ramesh Mendis and Pathum Nissanka received last-minute call-ups while Lahiru Madhushanka, who was picked in the original T20 World Cup 202 Sri Lanka squad, will no longer be a part of the touring party due to injury.
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